Best time to travel to China

Yellow River in China

Huge strangely-coloured river is believed to be the origin of Chinese Civilisation

Best time: May–October

Yellow River
Yellow River
Yellow River
Yellow River

Locals name it Huang He, yet the world knows it as the Yellow River, the second largest in China after the Yangtze River, and also one of the longest in the world. It's 4,845 km long, and its area is 752,443 km². The colour is attributed to huge amounts of ochre-coloured silt carried down by the river, to be more precise 1.6 billions tonnes. For the Chinese, the river yet means something more than just its size, chemical content, and colour.

The river is believed to be the mother of the entire Chinese Civilisation. Numerous archaeological relics found along the basin date back to the Neolithic era. Rich deposits of fertile silt led to the birth of agriculture on these lands. The very first settlements must have emerged on the river banks back 12,000 years B.C. Today agriculture continues to thrive in the area, that is the main producer of China's cotton and wheat.

Locals respect and at the same time dread the river owing to its deadly floods that occur during heavy rains.

Meandering river flows through seven Chinese Provinces, but naturally, it's the most yellow in the lower reaches, namely from Zhengzhou to the Bo Sea. Besides, yellow Hukou Waterfall a little above is worth visiting.

The season starts in May when most of ice and snow has melted and the rainy period has set in, so the basin is replenished with a plenty of new water. The yellow water can be enjoyed till October which brings dry and cold weather. If you dislike too hot and humid weather, it's also recommended to avoid July and August.

Practical info

When is it recommended to visit the Yellow River in China?

The best time of year to visit the Yellow River in China is from May to October. During this period, the river is supplied with fresh water from melted ice and snow, and the region experiences a rainy season. The yellow-colored water can be observed until October, when dry and cold weather conditions take over. It is best to avoid visiting in July and August as it can be hot and humid. Show more

What is unique about the Yellow River in China?

The Yellow River, known as Huang He, is one of the world's longest rivers and the second largest in China. The river is characterized by its yellow color originating from silt that contains ochre. This river is considered the mother of all Chinese civilization, and agricultural development in this region is attributed to it. The river's frequent deadly floods cause fear and respect among the locals. Show more

What are some archaeological sites to visit along the Yellow River?

Numerous archaeological sites can be found along the Yellow River basin, tracing back to Neolithic times. Examples of such sites include the Banpo Museum in Xi'an and the Western Han Emperors Pyramid tombs in Xianyang. Zhengzhou is the heart of the basin, offering the most ancient relics. Additionally, the city of Anyang, located midway between Zhengzhou and Luoyang, has many bronze artifacts on riverbanks. Show more

Which crops are produced in the Yellow River basin today?

The Yellow River basin is one of the most fertile regions of China, responsible for the production of various crops, including cotton, wheat, corn, rice, barley, beans, and sorghum. The region holds a prominent reputation in China's agricultural industry due to abundant silt deposits. This basin continues to be an active farming area in the country, playing a vital role in producing crops that feed China's population. Show more

What is the main danger associated with the Yellow River?

Deadly floods caused by heavy rains occur every year between July and August, making it the most dangerous period to visit the Yellow River. Due to these floods, many disasters, property damage, and deaths have occurred throughout history. Although only risky during the rainy season, the river's flash floods may occur at any time, causing locals to both respect and fear the river. Show more

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Last updated: by Eleonora Provozin