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China Rivers

Last updated by peggie at 2015/4/18

As the third biggest country in the World, China has rich rivers and waters. The Yangtze River, the Yellow River, the Pearl River, the Huaihe River, the Haihe River, the Songhuajiang River and the Liaohe River are called China’s seven major rivers.

The Yangtze River and the Yellow River are the most famous rivers in China. Besides, visitors can join river cruises along the Pearl River, the Grand Canal and the Li River.

President Fleet on the Yangtze River


1.    The Yangtze River

The Yangtze River, also called the Changjiang River(长江), is the third longest river in the world, ranking after the Nile in Africa and the Amazon River in South American. It is 6397 kilometers long, and the longest and biggest river in Asia.

The Yangtze River rises in Tanggula Mountain in Tibetan Plateau and flows through 9 provinces and 2 municipality cities, and the key cities along the Yangtze River include Shanghai, Nanjing, Wuhan, Chongqing and Chengdu. The Yangtze River together with the Yellow River, is known as “Mother River” in China.


There are a lot of famous attractions along the Yangtze River such as Fengdu Ghost City, the Three Gorges and the Three Gorges Dam Site. Joining a Yangtze River Cruise is a popular and worthy activity, which can offer visitors a magnificent and unforgettable journey on the Yangtze River. The Yangtze River cruises run between Chongqing and Yichang in Hubei Province, a journey which covers the essence of the Yangtze River.

See more information on China Travel:

1.Yangtze River Cruises

2.The Yangtze River

2.    The Yellow River

The Yellow River, with a total length of 5464 kilometers ranks the second longest river in China after the Yangtze River and the fifth longest river in the World. It originates in the Western Qinghai Province, and joins the Bohai River in Shandong Province. The Yellow River passes through 9 provinces, meandering as a Chinese character“几”(jǐ).

The Yellow River

The Yellow river flows through the Loess Plateau which makes the river with high sediment concentration. However, the Yellow Basin was one of the main birthplaces for Chinese nation. It promotes Chinese civilization in the history of China, so Chinese people call it as the “Mother River”

See more information on China Travel: The Yellow River

3.    The Pearl River

The Pearl River, with a total length of 2400 km, is the third longest rivers in Chinese territory. It has tributaries including the East River, the West River and the North River, and is one of seven major rivers in China.

Night Cruise along the Pearl River is a highlight tour plan on a lot of travelers’ travel lists in Guangzhou. World high-level Hotels on the banks such as White Swan Hotel, Nangfang Mansion, Guangzhou Hotel and commercial buildings make the Night of the Pear River more outstanding.

Travelers can enjoy beautiful scenery in the evening along the Pear River, a journey which can be compared with the night in Hong Kong. The essence of Night Cruise along the Pearl River covers the waterway between White Goose Pool and Guangzhou Bridge.

See more information on China Travel: Night Cruise along the Pearl River

Related Links: Guangzhou Tours

4.    Songhuajiang River

Songhuajiang River is called as the “Mother River” in the Northeast of China. The River is originated in Tianchi (The Heavenly Lake) in Changbaishang Mountain. Owned many tributaries, it is known as the “Milky Way” in Manchu language.


The river is over 1840 kilometers long and its drainage areas is about 545,000 square kilometers. There are beautiful attractions along the river such as the famous Songhuajing River Rime.

The best time to witness the beautiful scenery is from Dec.20 to February in next year.

5.    The Huaihe River

The Huaihe River rises in Tobaishan Mountain, flows through Henan, Anhui and Jiangsu Provinces, and merges into the Yangtze River at Sanjiangying. The river is famous for its difficult management. It is divided into 3 parts, and the total drop is about 200 meters. The Huaihe River and Qinling Mountain form the geographical boundaries of the North and the South in China.

6.    The Grand Canal

The Grand Canal, short for the Beijing- Hangzhou Grand Canal is one of the famous man-made Canals in the world. It is one of the great waterway projects in the ancient time, and the earliest and longest canal in the world. The canal was built in the 5th century in ancient time.

The Great Canal starts in Hangzhou in Zhejiang Province and extends to Tongxian County, Beijing. It links with Huaihai River in the North and connects with Qiantang River in the South. With a total length of 1794 kilometers, the canal flows through six Provinces in China.

Now the section between Suzhou and Hangzhou is still in use, which offers beautiful Jiangnan scenery. Thousands of travelers are attracted by the famous Wuzhen Town, where the canal is one of the most important elements.

See more information on China Travel: The Grand Canal
Related Links: Suzhou Tours

7. Heilongjiang River

The Heilongjiang River is an international river running through China and Russia. Known as Amur, it passes the Northeast of China and joins the Okhotsk Sea. The Heilongjiang River gets its name because it meanders as a black dragon. The whole river is 4,370 kilometers long, and is the No.11 biggest river around the world. The river not only makes people in Heilongjiang Province benefit, but also provides beautiful attractions along the river.

Related Link: Harbin Tours

8. Brahmaputra River

The Brahmaputra River rises in the Himalayas in the Tibet Autonomous Region, and is the highest-altitude river in the world. Its entire length is 2840 kilometers and most parts of the river are in China.

The Brahmaputra River in Tibet Language means that the snow comes from a high mountain. It is loved as a “cradle” and “Mother River” by Tibetan people. The Grand Brahmaputra Canyon is one of the largest canyons in the World.

9. Three Parallel Rivers

Jinsha River, Lancang River and Lu River rise in Dajiang of Tibetan Plateau and flow together for over 170 kilometers in Yunnan Province, which forms a magnificent and irreplaceable attraction in China. Travelers can view strange scenery that Water in three rivers doesn’t mix with each other.

1.    Jinsha River

The upper reaches of the Yangtze River is called the Jinsha River which merges into Hengduan Mountains and links with the Min River. The Jinsha River is about 2316 kilometers long and the section around the Hengduan Mountains flows torrential.

The Tiger Leaping Gorge, one of the deepest canyons in the world, is a famous attraction on the Jinsha River. Hiking along the Tiger Leaping Gorge is one of top hiking tourism lines in China.

See more on China Travel:

1. The Tiger Leaping Gorge

2. Hiking the Tiger Leaping Gorge

Related Link: 5-day Tiger Leaping Gorge Hiking tour

2. Lancang River

Lancang River starts from the Tibetan Plateau, passes through Simao and Xishuangbanna in China. The lower reaches are known as the Mekong River out of China. With a total length of 4880 km, the river runs through Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam, and mingles in the South China Sea. Called as “the Oriental Danube”, the Lancang River offers an international waterway tour route in China, Laos, Myanmar and Thailand.

3. Nujiang River

Nujiang River, one of big rivers in the Southwest China, rises in Tanggula Mountains in Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. The upstream is called “Nagqu River” in Tibetan Language and the section in Myanmar is renamed the Salween River. With a total length of 3240 kilometers, the part flowing through in China is about 2013 km. Travelers can explore regional minorities’ culture and custom in Yunnan such as Lisu people (傈僳族) along the Nujiang River.

Related Links: Kunming Tours

Other Rivers

Li River

The Li River is located in the Eastern Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, belonging to the Pearl River water system. It is famous for its beautiful scenery consisting of water, hills and countryside life.

With a total length of 437 km, the river between Guilin and Yangshuo covers an essential journey of the beautiful Karst landscape in Guilin. Take a cruise or hiking along the Li River are popular activities in Guilin. Travelers from home and abroad love to have a holiday in Guilin because of the wonderful Li River.

See more on China Travel:

1.Li River

2.Guilin Tours

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