Sidonggou Gully

Area in Chishui
Image by Christian Kober / robertharding / Getty Images
Image by Christian Kober / robertharding / Getty Images

This 4.5km-long valley is forested with ancient ferns and dotted with gushing cataracts. Paths follow both sides of a river; gushing minifalls lead to four ‘proper’ waterfalls. The biggest and most impressive is the last, the 60m-high White Dragon Pond Waterfall (白龙潭瀑布, Báilóngtán Pùbù). You can get really close to the falls here. The circuit takes about three hours.

Sidonggou is the most touristy of Chishui’s sights, but still not overly crowded, even in summer. To get there, first take a minibus from Chishui (¥8, 30 minutes, hourly 7am to 5pm) to the ticket office. From here, you have to take a quick, free shuttle bus down to the actual entrance of the park. Once inside, you can either walk the 9km loop up and down the valley or jump on a shuttle bus (one way/return ¥20/30) to save your legs.

Buses to Sidonggou from Chishui also pass by the town of Datong (大同, Dàtóng), which has an attractive and historic old town (gǔzhèn) quarter.