Controversy Surrounds Famous Chinese Waterfall

A hiker’s video has unleashed a torrent of controversy in China over the authenticity of the Yuntai Mountain Waterfall, touted as the tallest uninterrupted waterfall in the country. The video, which has gone viral with over 70,000 likes since its posting, revealed that the waterfall’s flow during the dry season was supplemented by a pipe built into the rock face. This revelation has ignited a social media storm and prompted responses from both the park operators and local government officials.

The video, posted by user “Farisvov,” shows water gushing from a pipe high up on the rock face, with the caption lamenting the effort it took to reach the waterfall only to discover it was partially artificial. This disclosure quickly gained traction, with the topic “the origin of Yuntai Waterfall is just some pipes” amassing over 14 million views on Weibo and nearly 10 million views on Douyin. The outcry was significant enough that local government officials were dispatched to investigate the park, and the operators were advised to be more transparent with visitors about the enhancements.

In response to the controversy, the Yuntai tourism park explained that the “small enhancement” was made to ensure visitors would not be disappointed during the dry season. A statement posted on behalf of the waterfall itself read, “I didn’t expect to meet everyone this way,” acknowledging the seasonal variability of its flow and the intention behind the enhancement. The park assured that the water used was spring water and posed no harm to the natural landscape.

Located in central Henan province, the 312-meter Yuntai Waterfall is part of the Yuntai Mountain Geopark, a UNESCO Global Geopark known for its ancient geological formations. The park attracts millions of visitors each year who come to witness its natural beauty and historical significance.

The social media reaction has been mixed. Some users expressed understanding and support for the park’s decision to use artificial measures to maintain the waterfall’s flow, noting that it prevents visitor disappointment. One user on Douyin commented, “Yuntai park: Does this person not have better things to do?” This comment received nearly 40,000 likes. Another user on Weibo echoed this sentiment, stating, “I think it’s a good thing to do. Otherwise, people would be disappointed if they end up seeing nothing there.”

However, there has also been significant criticism. Some users argue that the use of pipes disrespects the natural order and misleads tourists. A Weibo user wrote, “It’s not respecting the natural order, and not respecting the tourists.” Another user on Douyin questioned the credibility of the waterfall’s title as the tallest uninterrupted waterfall, stating, “How could it be called the No.1 waterfall anymore?”