The Diaoshuilou Waterfall (吊水楼瀑布 [Diàoshuǐlóu Pùbù]) was said to be the 3rd largest waterfall in China. But you probably wouldn't know it from the photos shown on this page because it was practically dry on our visit. All that was left was maybe a trickle that remained from a small spring towards the bottom of the center of horseshoe-shaped wall.
We learned from our visit here that hydroelectric developments upstream had caused this falls to flow normally only during periods of flood in the mid- to late Summer months. Beyond September, the falls would degenerate into a disappointing trickle like when we saw it in May 2009. Needless to say, our visit was a big letdown, especially given how much trouble it took to get here. You know how pathetic it was when we were relegated to looking forward to some local guy doing a cliff dive off the top of the cliff where the falls should've been. By the way, if you are interested in seeing this guy do his shtick, come here at 10am and at 2pm as apparently he does this every day twice a day.
It's a shame they messed up this falls the way they did. You could see from the photo above that if the falls were flowing, it'd be a real mighty display of force and size. Oh well, not meant to be. Maybe next time.
The waterfall was near the Jingpo Hu (Mirror Lake), which was so named because apparently it had mirror-like qualities. Except during our visit, the lake was a bit too ripply for that to happen. Boat rides circling the lake seemed to be the common thing to do here as there were some palaces on mini-islands within this lake. They costed extra, however, so we didn't do anything beyond the baseline tour for the lake.
It took us about 90 minutes by car from Mudanjiang to Jingpo Hu (Mirror Lake; though it definitely wasn't mirroring in our trip). It was another 90 minutes or so to get from Jingpo Hu to Dunhua where we spent the night.
It took us a bit of trouble to get here because we actually started in the city of Haerbin, which was a transport hub for us (as well as a place to see Siberian Tigers as well as other big cats in captivity). Then, we took a long train ride to get to Mudanjiang (probably about 4 hours).
For geographical context, Haerbin was 1,250km (12.5 hours drive or 90 minutes flight) northeast of Beijing.
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