Huángguǒshù Falls

Waterfall in Anshun

Hugely popular among domestic travellers for good reason, Huángguǒshù Falls are one of many cascades gushing around a pristine national park where sublime walking trails lead to stunning views. The 77.8m-tall, 81m-wide dàpùbù is understandably Guìzhōu’s number-one natural attraction. From May to October in particular, these falls really rock the local landscape with their cacophony, while rainbows from the mist dance about Rhinoceros Pool below and colourful peacocks show off their dazzling plumage.

The cascades are actually part of a 450-sq-km cave and karst complex discovered when engineers explored the area in the 1980s to gauge the region’s hydroelectric potential. Hiking here can get crowded on weekends, but it's well worth the occasional jostle.

Don’t miss groping your way through the dripping natural corridor in the rock face of the 134m-long Water Curtain Cave (水帘洞; Shuǐlián Dòng), behind Huángguǒshù itself. Going underground into the colossal caves within the geological Tiānxīng Qiáo Scenic Zone (天星桥景区; Tiānxīng Qiáo Jǐngqū) is a quite awe-inspiring sideshow, especially if you do not have time for the Lónggōng or Zhījīn Caves.

To get around you’ll really need to buy a ticket for one of the sightseeing cars (guānguāngchē; ¥50), located near the entrance, which can then be flagged down anywhere inside the park. It's an effective system as the cars are in fact registered taxis that link the main areas, including Dǒupōtáng Waterfall, Lúosītān Waterfall, Tiānxīng Qiáo Scenic Zone and the Main Waterfall Scenic Zone.

You can do Huángguǒshù Falls as a day trip from Guìyáng at a push, while it’s an easy one from Ānshùn. There are accommodation options everywhere in Huángguǒshù village, but there is little need to overnight here.

From Ānshùn, buses (¥20, one hour, 7am to 7pm) run every 30 minutes from the east bus station; buses back to Ānshùn run until 7pm. There are seven buses a day from Guìyáng to Huángguǒshù (¥55, 2½ hours, every 40 minutes from 7.40am to 12.45pm) from the long-distance bus station on Jinyang Nanlu; the last bus returns to Guìyáng at 4pm.