Dongtian Waterfall (洞天瀑布 [Dòngtiān Pùbù]) and Underground Forest Waterfall

Changbai Shan / Tianchi, Jilin, China

About Dongtian Waterfall (洞天瀑布 [Dòngtiān Pùbù]) and Underground Forest Waterfall

Hiking Distance: 4-5km round trip (both falls)
Suggested Time: 2 hours (both falls)

Date first visited: 2009-05-16
Date last visited: 2009-05-16

Waterfall Latitude: 42.27851
Waterfall Longitude: 128.10912

Waterfall Safety and Common Sense

The Dongtian Waterfall (洞天瀑布 [Dòngtiān Pùbù]; Heaven Cave Waterfall?) was a confined slot canyon waterfall that was difficult to photograph.

After all, it was essentially a waterfall squeezed inside of a slot canyon (quite like the Cleddau River rushing through the Chasm on the way to Milford Sound in New Zealand).

Changbaishan_243_05152009 - Looking into a crevace containing the Dongtian Waterfall
Looking into a crevace containing the Dongtian Waterfall

Even though it was not the most photogenic waterfall, Julie and I certainly appreciated the noise from the power and turbulence of the waters within.

Further downstream, the river fell and cascaded into the Underground Forest.

The waterfall right at the edge of the depressed forest was more photogenic than the Dongtian Waterfall.

In any case, it was said that an earthquake (probably related to the volcanic activity here) had split up the hillside in a big fault.

Today, that fault was now filled with trees as well as the newly created drainage in which the Underground Forest Waterfall spilled right into.

Changbaishan_222_05152009 - Looking down at the attractive Underground Forest Waterfall
Looking down at the attractive Underground Forest Waterfall

The steep cliffs surrounding the forest attested to the geological oddity that gave rise to this scene.

When we did this excursion taking in both waterfalls, it took us 2 hours to do the walking plus taking photographs.

The walk was on mostly flat boardwalk towered over by tall trees.

The difficulty rating reflected our experience of extending our visit to both waterfalls.


The Dongtian Waterfall resides in the Changbai Shan / Tianchi scenic area near Erdaobaihe of the Jilin Province, China. To my knowledge, I have not found a reliable official government authority administering this area. Therefore, I can’t recommend a particular website belonging to said authority for the latest conditions or other inquiries.

Changbaishan_216_05152009 - Julie and our guide Susan on the boardwalk beneath the tall trees en route to the Dongtian Waterfall
Changbaishan_218_05152009 - Looking in the downstream direction over a tiny opening atop a cliff at the so-called Underground Forest
Changbaishan_219_05152009 - The impressive Underground Forest Waterfall
Changbaishan_226_05152009 - Another look in the direction of the Underground Forest. But to be honest, I wasn't sure if I could tell why this forest was considered 'underground'
Changbaishan_233_05152009 - Looking over what might be near the brink of the Underground Waterfall'
Changbaishan_235_05152009 - Tiny cascades seen on the way to the Dongtian Waterfall from the Underground Forest
Changbaishan_241_05152009 - Looking into the Dongtian Waterfall barely revealing itself between this crevace
Changbaishan_250_05152009 - Looking down into where the Dongtian Waterfall disappeared into a chasm

There’s a bus stop between the main intersection (where there are hotels as well as shuttles to both Heaven Lake and the Changbai Waterfall) and the park entrance.

From this stop, you have to walk some 2km each way I believe to get to the Underground Forest.

A separate spur path for a few hundred meters branches off and goes to the Dongtian Waterfall.

To give you some more geographical context, Dunhua was 193km (3 hours drive) southwest of Mudanjiang, 1,274km (13 hours drive) from Beijing, and 295km (4 hours drive) west of Jilin.

Find A Place To Stay

Looking at the turbulently confined slot canyon waterfall

Looking at the mysterious waterfall at the underground forest of Changbai Shan

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Tagged with: changbaishan, changbai, shan, tianchi, heaven lake, north korea, china, waterfall, jilin, everwhite, underground forest, dongtian

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Johnny Cheng

About Johnny Cheng

Johnny Cheng is the founder of the World of Waterfalls and author of the award-winning A Guide to New Zealand Waterfalls. Over the last 2 decades, he has visited thousands of waterfalls in over 40 countries around the world and nearly 40 states in the USA.
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