Back in 1995, my mom and I took an amazing trip to China. Thanks to this sponsored guest post, I can see we missed out on some fun outdoor adventures. Maybe it’s time for another trip!
The valley surrounds you as your raft makes its way between jagged rocks and tumultuous waves. The water splashes in your face and on your life jacket. You open your mouth to take a breath, and some water finds its way inside. Your heart is racing, your pulse ever rising. This is the excitement you’ve been looking for. This is white water rafting in China.
While not all of China’s white water rafting is as adrenaline pumping as this, there are a few that really stand out.
So, if you’ve been looking for the best places to take part in white water rafting in China, here’s a list of the best locations for it. They’re all brilliant for one reason or another, but you’ll have to keep reading to find out why.
Before you even think about rafting in China, read these 151 China travel tips to make sure you have the best trip.
White Water Rafting in China
With the increase in domestic tourism, the number of places available to go water rafting in China continues to rise. However, there are a few places which just are (for reasons you’ll see below) better than others. These places offer you an experience you’ll find only mimicked elsewhere.
So, without further ado, here is a list of just a few places where you can take part in the awesome sport of white water rafting in China.
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The Chinese capital has everything; it definitely has a place for you to go white water rafting in China. In fact, it has four of them. For your convenience, these four have been whittled down to the two best locations for water rafter in China’s capital of Beijing. So after your tourist photos in the city you can easily go for a rafting adventure. But remember, Beijing is a very built up area. Consequently, only one of these is a natural scenic area. The others are artificial in one way or another.
The first location is White River Bay rafting, which will take you through the natural scenic spot of White River Bay. This is the only natural scenic spot for water rafting in and around Beijing. The experience lasts for just over 12 km, down the river. The river reaches 50 meters in width at some points. A definite recommendation for those who want to experience ‘real’ floating in China. It’s not an intense ride, and you can let the boat move along with the tide if you don’t want to control it.
The second location is Tang River Rafting. Located in Tanghekou Town, Tang River rafting is easily accessible by bus from Beijing downtown. The journey is just 6 km, but it has been designed with several vertical drops and high current areas. Looking out of the raft, you’ll see some incredible views. Just remember, it’s not as ‘natural’ as they have made it look.
Right next to Shanghai, Zhejiang is sometimes known as China’s business capital. It’s within this province that you’ll find one of the country’s best rivers for relaxing rafting in China: Nanxi River in Wenzhou, Zhejiang. Businessmen need a chance to unwind!
The Nanxi River offers mountains, water, and a bamboo raft from which to see it all from.
It’s not as adventurous or adrenaline pumping as some of the other water rafting spots offered here, but if you’re after beauty, relaxation, and a slight dipping of your toes in the waters of water rafting in China, then you’re in luck with Nanxi River.
The Underground Chasms of Shandong is awesome because it’s (you guessed it) underground. This river rafting experience is unique, in that it’s one of the only places in China where you can do the sport in a subterranean environment.
In fact, the underground water adventure trail has even been featured in the Guinness Book of World Records as “The longest underwater flow in China.”
Guilin’s Karst formations have, over the years, created some of the world’s most beautiful natural landscapes. If you know someone who knows about Guilin, and you mention it to them, they’re almost 100% certain to agree. So, what better backdrop for a water rafting experience than here?
Zijiang River is Guilin’s setting for river rafting. The long, winding path through the watery “road” is lined on both sides by the Danxia landforms which the area is so famous for. You’ll find yourself floating along a poet’s dream, making lamentations when you have to return home; sad that you will leave this beautiful place behind.
Best Place for River Rafting in China
Which place is best, depends on what you’re after. If you want a relaxing and convenient location for rafting in China, then you’re probably going to prefer Beijing. However, if you’re after scenery and incredible views of karst landscapes, definitely head to Guilin. The area’s natural beauty manages to outstrip the others regardless of how much they try.
YiShui in Shandong is best if you’re looking for something a little bit different. Underground water rafting in China through tunnels is a story you’ll be able to take home with you, but it’s also not the most popular location for a reason. For local Chinese people, it’s more about the natural beauty than gimmicks.
Zhejiang’s Nanxi River is best if you’re looking for a place to kick back and relax. The beauty nearly rivals that of Guilin, but it’s not quite as fast. The Bamboo rafts really set you up for a relaxing trip, and not one where you’ll be pushed about against your (supposed) will.
Boating might not be China’s cheapest means of travel, but it sure is fun. However, remember to bring a change of clothes, as you’re probably going to get wet. Traipsing around in a soggy outfit isn’t as fun as you might think.
Read about our rafting adventures:
- White water rafting the Rio Chiriqui Viejo, Panama with my brother.
- White water rafting the Tara River in Montenegro and Bosnia with Henry and the boys.
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