Detian Falls, China-Vietnam#
9 October 2019
with kind permission of AirPano
There are not so many waterfalls that flow through international borders. And among them, there is Victoria Falls between Zambia and Zimbabwe with a height of 120 m, Iguazu Falls between Brazil and Argentina falling 82 m, and Niagara Falls between Canada and the US dropping 53 m. The 4th largest waterfall along a national border is Detian Falls consisting of two 30-meters high flows between China and Vietnam. During a rainy season, two waterfalls merge into one thundering flow that can be heard from a great distance.
In 1979 during the Sino-Vietnamese War, this area was the place of the Chinese troops' deployment. After the conflict had ended, there were long-lasting disputes of where the exact border would be. In 1999, the border was demarcated through the line of the waterfall. In the jungles surrounding this natural monument, there is a stone mark and a stretched red line symbolizing the border that can't be crossed.
Detian Falls is fed by the Quây Son River originating in China and flowing between the Karst hills with thick vegetation. The water cascade is extremely beautiful in any season. Autumn features some gold shades, winter has mists that add some mystery and romance to the landscape, in spring the bank of the river is covered by blooming flowers. While in summer, between May and September, the waterfall becomes a thundering flow with a height of 120 m and the width of all 3 levels being 200 m.
The river becomes very wide in the lower reaches of the waterfall, its both sides have multiple tourist facilities: observation desks, excursion boats and floats, and of course, lots of concession stands selling local crafting items, Vietnamese coffee beans, ice-cream and beverages.
The Chinese part of this area is thoroughly enhanced. The lanes are made of concrete and metal, the parapets and bannisters are styled to look like tree branches, and there are electric cars for elderly and physically challenged people. The Vietnamese part is organised much simpler, but you can hire a horse here. Note that you will not be able to go into the water from the Chinese side, as the guards watch it closely. But on the Vietnamese side, one can swim in the river (but in the evening it gets "closed").
People may ask which side is better for watching the waterfall: Chinese or Vietnamese? But AirPano followers know that the best side is the bird's eye view! The climate of this area is rather exotic — it is hot and damp here, so it is a considerable strain on a heart. Take a safe and breathtaking journey to this beautiful waterfall!