The Hukou Waterfall on China’s Yellow River has very modest dimensions. It’s just 30 meters wide, increasing to 50 meters during flood season, and only 20 meters tall. Despite these small figures, it is the largest waterfall on the Yellow River, and the second largest waterfall in the country.
It is also unusual because of its yellowish but mostly brownish appearance due to the presence of silt and mud. Thousands of tourists come to see this waterfall and experience its thundering roar, especially during the floods when the waterfall is at its mightiest.
The waterfall is located at a place where the mighty Yellow River is squeezed through a narrow valley blocked by mountains on both sides. This valley is called the Jinxia Grand Canyon and it lies at the boundary of Shanxi Province and Shaanxi Province.
The riverbed abruptly narrows down from 300 meters to less than 50 meters turning the placid water to rapids. The roaring waters then plunges over a narrow opening on a cliff forming a waterfall about 20 meters tall.
The constricted opening and the turbulent waters apparently reminded people of boiling water being poured from a kettle or teapot, because Hukou literally means “flask mouth”.