Known as the mother river by all the Chinese people, the 5,464-kilometer (about 3,395 miles) Yellow River is the second longest in China after the Yangtze River . The headwaters of this mighty river lie in Kunlun Mountains in northwestern Qinghai Province. It runs through nine provinces and autonomous regions on its way to the Bohai Sea. It is not exaggerating to say that this river is a melting port, because there are more than 30 branches and countless streams feeding it through its course. The vigorous upper reaches of the river starts in Qinghai Province to Hekouzhen in Inner Mongolia. This magnificent river flows quietly, like a shy girl in this section, irrigating the farmlands and nurturing the people. Its middle reaches ends at Taohuayu in Zhengzhou City, Henan Province. Here the river splits the Loess Plateau in half, forming the longest continuous gorge in the whole drainage area of the river. The lower reaches ends in a delta on the Bohai Sea.
It is agreed upon by almost all the Chinese people that the Yellow River is the cradle of Chinese civilization, the spiritual home of the Chinese people. It is the waters of the river and its spirit that nurture the whole Chinese nation. For thousands of years, this river has been admiring by literary giants, artists, as well as by the common people. The Yellow River is not just several letters, nor is it just the name of a yellow-ochre-colored river. It bears special significance: the symbol of the Chinese nation, the spirit of the Chinese people and more importantly, civilization itself.
Neolithic (7,000 BC-3,700 BC), Bronze (3,700 BC-2,700 BC) and Iron Age Sites (770 BC), and so on can be found in the Yellow River's drainage basin, which had been the center of ancient Chinese culture since the Azilian (Middle Stone Age). Here, the story of three cultural heroes: Suiren-shi who taught the Chinese to make fire by drilling wood, Fu Hsi who was the inventor of hunting, trapping and fishing and Shennong-shi who invented agriculture, was spread. It was these three legendary individuals that began the development of civilization in the Yellow River basin. After that, many ancient Chinese emperors, like Emperor Qin Shi Huang, Genghis khan (1162-1227, grandfather of Kublai Khan who is the first emperor of the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368)) pushed the Yellow River civilization to a wholly new level of refinement, grace and spirituality which drew the attention of the whole world.
Rich cultural relics, history and gorgeous natural sceneries make the Yellow River a fine place to visit. Along the river, there are dozens of worthwhile attractions. They are stretching arms and waiting for your visiting!