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Making a Splash: Water Rafting Hotspots Around Chengdu

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Now that the hot weather of the summer season has officially descended upon all of China, everyone is fantasizing about heading off to the largest (and coolest) body of water that they can find for some necessary R&R. Many in Chengdu are flocking to water rafting destinations in far off provinces, seemingly convinced that there aren't any good places nearby, but that's not at all true. If you head out just a little farther than you would usually go, there are plenty of great water rafting hot spots. One of the areas even puts on an annual international water rafting festival! So skip the excruciatingly long train ride out to some water rafting spot two provinces over, and come enjoy the fascinating country charm of the outskirts of Chengdu instead!


Hongkou Water Rafting. Photo: qcs.cn

1) Hongkou Water Rafting View In Map
Hongkou Water Rafting (虹口漂流) is in the Longxi-Hongkou International Natural Protection Site (龙溪-虹口国家级自然保护区), about 70 km journey from Chengdu. The Hongkou rafting area, which is about 24 km long, has two different rafting options: difficult and easy. The difficult rafting course only takes about 10 minutes to complete, but the bumps and turns adds a sense of danger to the journey that thrill seekers are going to love. Granted, not everyone wants to feel like they're about to die while rafting. For them, the easier course is recommended, which takes about two hours to complete, and is great for taking in the natural scenery.  It's also very worthwhile to check out the midsummer annual water rafting festival held at Hongkou. The festival runs from mid-June through the end of August.

Add: Jiuzu, Guangrong Village, Hongkou Town, Dujiangyan City
地址:都江堰市虹口乡光荣村九组
Tel: 028 8972 9999; or if you're in Chengdu, call 028 8318 1155 to make reservations
Price: 170 RMB
Opening Hours: 09:00-18:00
Website: http://www.hkpiaoliu.com/ (Chinese)
Getting there: from either Jinsha Station (金沙车站) or Chadianzi Station (茶店子车站) in Chengdu, take the bus to Dujiangyan (都江堰) for 16 RMB per person. From the Dujiangyan Station take the bus to Hongkou Water Rafting (虹口漂流) for 5 RMB per person


Xiling Canyon Water Rafting. Photo: tuan.kx001.com

2) Xiling Canyon Water Rafting View In Map
Xiling Canyon Water Rafting (西岭峡谷漂流) is a national 4A tourist area, and boasts the highest elevation of any rafting area near Chengdu. The river is about 4 km long, and takes several hours to raft. The highest drop is 100 meters, and there are 10 different river paths and18 different white water rafting areas to try out. The inflatable rafts here seat 3-4 people, so be sure to bring your friends along with you. Also, be sure to check out the nearby popular Sichuanese restaurant (it's surrounded by Western Sichuan folk-style farm houses) for an added look at the local rustic lifestyle.

Add: western section of Guanyinge Jie and Xiaonan Jie, Puyuan Town, Dayi County, Chengdu
地址:成都市大邑县晋原镇小南街观音阁街西段
Tel: 028 8833 3323
Price: 128 RMB
Opening Hours: 09:00-18:00
Getting there: from Jinsha Station (金沙车站) 年Chengdu, take the bus towards Dayi County (大邑县) for 18 RMB. From Dayi County Station take the bus to Xilingxueshan (西岭雪山) for 7.5 RMB and get off at Yunhua Village (云华村)


Wangyou Valley Water Rafting. Photo: pintuan.com

3) Wangyou Valley Water Rafting View In Map
Wangyou Valley Water Rafting (忘忧谷漂流) is just 17 km from the world heritage site of Qingcheng Mountain (青城山), and only about 60 km away from the Chengdu city centre. The average temperature is a bit lower than in Chengdu, perfect for a cool summer holiday excursion. The raftable river is 8 km in length, and will take you several hours to complete. Two-person rafts are used at Wangyou Valley, so bring a friend. And if you plan on staying overnight, you can book a room at a nearby farmhouse inn, enjoy a barbeque, and light off a few fireworks to turn it into a true holiday getaway.

Add: Chaping Village, Daguan Town, Dujiangyan City
地址:都江堰市大观镇茶坪村
Tel: 028 8553 9365; 136 7803 6777
Price: 120 RMB
Opening Hours: 09:00-18:00
Getting There: From Chengdu North Station (成都火车北站) take a high-speed (高铁) train to Qingchengshan Station (青城山站). From there, transfer to the bus that will take you to Daguan Village (大观镇), and then take the small bus to the nearest entrance of the Wangyou Valley Rafting area.


Pingle Ancient Village Water Rafting. Photo: soufun.com

4) Pingle Ancient Village Water Rafting View In Map
Pingle Ancient Village Water Rafting (平乐古镇漂流) is located 93 km away from Chengdu, in the Pingle Ancient Village. If you plan to go by car, it only takes about an hour to get there, so you can probably make it a day trip. But if you plan to go by bus, then you're better off spending the night. The raftable river is 4.2 km long, and will take you a little over an hour to complete. After you're done rafting, be sure to spend some time walking around the ancient village area, which is a nationally recognized historic site with over 2000 years of history to its name. 

Add: Pingle Ancient Village (平乐古镇), 18 km southwest of Qionglai City (邛崃市), Chengdu
地址:成都邛崃市西南18公里处的平乐古镇
Tel: 028 8878 1230
Price: 120 RMB
Opening Hours: 08:30-17:30
Getting there: from Xinnanmen Lüyou Station (新南门旅游车站) in Chengdu, there is a direct daily tourist bus to Pingle Ancient Village (平乐古镇). Buses depart between 09:40-16:50, and cost 25 per person. The trip will take about 100 minutes.

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Keywords: water rafting around Chengdu Chengdu summer hotspots

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