Whether you are in search of some passionate excitement or a piece of quiet solitude, you will definitely find it in Nanning, China. Following the footsteps of Travel 3Sixty’s new writer on board, join us to discover Nanning together!
Original Text & Photography by Swee Har
Returning to Nanning as well as the Detian Waterfall after eight long years and a series of personnel changes at the workplace, my heart was overwhelmed with a myriad of emotions. I first visited Nanning on an annual trip with my previous company. This time, it was also a work trip. Right on the second day at my new job, I was sent by my new company on a study tour.
As I watched the great curtains of water pouring magnificently down the cliff against an overcast sky with the intensity of a thousand horses running, I came to believe that my decision to take a three-year break from work was just so that I could come back to witness this landscape in all its grandeur.
I’m not a poet like Li Bai. I just couldn’t compose a poem as beautiful as “Beholding Lushan Falls”, which has been passed down through generations. Yet, upon arriving at Detian Waterfall, I quoted the great poet as anyone can experience the grandeur of “the impressive three thousand feet descent, akin to the Milky Way flowing across the Ninth Heaven”.
The majestic Detian departs from E’quan River in the old province of Guangxi and surges towards Vietnam. After wandering around Vietnam for a while, the stream returns to the embrace of its motherland China, back to Detian Village in Shuo Long County, Guangxi Daxin where it flows into a chasm. There, it paints a magnificent picture of mighty water falling down the towering cliff.
Guichun River is like a lost child, running away from its home in its youth. After experiencing the harshness of life in the outside world, he finally returns home. He discovers his place in life and lives it to the fullest. Upon encountering a dangerous three-fold cliff, Guichun River, now matured from the vicissitudes of life, valiantly takes on the challenge. Jumping over the natural barrier, it displays its perseverance and passion for life, subduing all obstacles with its overwhelming force.
As I sat on my bamboo raft on this foggy winter afternoon and gazed upon the Detian Waterfall, I could hear the thundering watery curtains unfolding an impressive life story.
Even as the flow of water ebbs in the winter, visitors are still amazed by the river’s coursing strength. In summertime when the waterfall is at its mightiest, it’s more than 200 meters wide and over 60 meters deep. Only those who have personally captured the breathtaking view of this huge surge of water billowing at full speed can truly share the thrill and excitement with others.
For those seeking to be emotionally touched and inspired, I believe that a trip in the summer is the only way to fully experience the beauty of the majestic falls.
Fork out only RMB20 to take a ride on a large bamboo raft. You can ‘go abroad’ to Vietnam without applying for a visa. Also, experience the joy of shopping ‘across borders’ with the Vietnamese hawkers selling their goods by the river. There is also a Vietnamese market 600 meters upstream of Detian Waterfall. Very often, you’ll find a man with a green cap greeting visitors “Welcome to Vietnam”, and at departure, he will gleefully greet you “Welcome back to China.” It’s pretty amusing!
A visit to Detian Waterfall on a day trip or a two-day tour is a good idea. You can also visit Tongling Grand Canyon, Mingshi Pastoral, Yiling Cave, Longhu Mountain, Zuofo Mountain and Guichun River all at once.
There are express buses that depart every day at 9:00am from Nanning Passenger Center and Langdong Bus Terminal to the entrance of the scenic spots of Detian. A one-way trip takes 4 hours, and the return trip takes off at 3:30pm.