The Top Five White Water Rafting Locations In China

China wasn’t the first destination that came to mind when you thought about white water rafting, was it? Of course it didn’t, China is a place of historical sightseeing and food rather than adventure sports.

However, all of that is changing as the country’s tourism possibilities have expanded to include more sports and a whole lot more adventure. Want to work white water rafting into your itinerary, next to the Great Wall and Summer Palace? You can! Here are the top five locations in China to go white water rafting.

Wangyou Valley

White water rafting in China

Photo Source: Panoramio

This rafting destination is one of the most scenic! It’s located about 17 kilometers away from the scenic area of Mount Qingcheng, the Cultural and Natural World Heritage Site. It’s also about 60 kilometers away from Chengdu and a similar distance away from Guilin. The rafting sets off from Lianghekou in Chaping Village and lasts for about 90 minutes. While these rapids aren’t very intense, the beauty of the area makes it perfect for a self-guided float. There will be turns and rapids in between sights of bamboo groves and mountain peaks.
What Else To Do
Tour around the Wangyou Valley when you have some free time. It is jam packed with things to see and do. Check out the bamboo culture expo, botanical garden, folklore garden, and the bamboo sea. The area is used to seeing tourists, so you will have some options for where to stay.

Maling River

White water rafting China

Photo Source: Absolute China

Located in Xingyi of Guizhou province, this is one of the most intense whitewater rafting stretches in China. It is more than 50 km long and features more than 70 pools, 80 rapids, and 60 sharp twists and bends.
What Else To Do
The Maling River Gorge is a scenic destination for anyone to visit, even if you aren’t white water rafting. Grab your camera and make sure to get a look at the gorge and all of the raging waterfalls that flow into it. Make your way to the canyon and see if you can find the deep crack in the earth that this area is famous for. Move on to experience the Thousand Peak Lake, the Buyi Village on the water, and the Thousand Peak Forest which has farmland, caves, villages and valleys.


White water rafting China

Photo Source: Maxxelli Blog

Located about 70 kilometers from Chengdu, this white water rafting area is one of the most popular in China. It’s around 24 kilometers long and has two different options for rafting. The difficult portion only takes about ten minutes to get through but it is full of twists and turns. Those who don’t want such an adrenalin rush can take the easier option. This way takes about two hours but is great for relaxing and checking out the scenery. If you happen to be visiting in August, there is an annual white water rafting festival that could make your visit a little more interesting.
What Else To Do
White water rafting may be a great idea for an afternoon, but you should spend a little more time checking out the area. The rapids you will raft are part of the larger, Hongkou Nature Reserve which is home to lots of charming scenery. Make sure to check out the valleys, mountains, waterfalls, and streams while you wander around the green space.
Staying In Chengdu
This city makes a great base for a day trip rafting. As in most Chinese cities, Chengdu offers plenty of accommodation and restaurant options. Make sure to try the spicy Sichuan cuisine while you’re here. Some other things to check out are:
-The West Pearl Tower: The tallest city tower.
-People’s Park: A gathering place for locals and tourists filled with food vendors and activities.
-Jinli Ancient Street: This is where you can see some old world architecture, do some antique shopping and try traditional food.

Wuzhishan Rain Forest

White water rafting CHina

Photo Source: LaVacanza Travel

Also referred to as the Five Finger Mountains, this area is a favorite for whitewater rafters. The journey is about 2.4 miles along the Maoyang River and takes about an hour and forty minutes to complete. If you visit during the rainy season, this is when the river and its rapids are at their best.
What Else To Do
Outdoors enthusiasts can climb Wuizhishan mountain on either the easy or difficult trail. The climb to the top is certainly worth the views. You can visit the local Li Village of Chubao, which is home to around 300 people. Get in a rainforest hike if you can or spend some time wandering around the Hainan Minority Museum.

Tang River

white water rafting china

Photo Source: Euro-khmervoyages

This is one of the best destinations for getting back in touch with nature. There are hardly any signs of an artificial building, and the bustle of small towns and cities is nearly nonexistent here. The river here flows about 1.38 miles per second and 50 meters is the most narrow part of the river, while the widest is 200 meters. Rafters can expect several vertical drops, valley views and a few sections of torrents.
What Else To Do
This river is located close to Beijing, making this capital city, the best base for visiting. In fact, rafting on the Tang River is the perfect chance to take a break from the bustling city life. There are a TON of things to see and do in Beijing, but some of the top options include:
-The Summer Palace: It’s the most natural beauty you’ll get while visiting Beijing. Wander around the gardens, sit under a willow tree and watch the painters capture the beauty of the place.
-The Great Wall: You can’t visit Beijing without seeing the Great Wall. Book a tour and spend the day wandering around this world wonder.
-The Hutongs: This antiquated area of Beijing used to house the locals but has been transformed into a trendy, artsy, underground haven. Get lost in the maze of the ancient buildings while finding craft breweries, art galleries, little restaurants, and quirky bars.
-The Forbidden City: See history at its best when you wander through the wide and open Forbidden City. You’ll be amazed at how big it is.

White water rafting in China will get you closer to the natural beauty while giving you a chance to explore areas that you may have never heard of. Are you ready for some adventure?

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Shannon Ullman

Hey! I'm a published American travel blogger and teacher. My travel writing has been featured on Huffington Post, Elite Daily, Matador Network and Thought Catalog. I spent over a year living and traveling around China while I taught English there. I have also visited dozens of other countries around the world.