Rivers for Rafting

Yunnan Province boasts a wealth of rivers, including the sources of two major river systems: the Xi River (known locally as the Nanpan and Hongshui) and the Yuan River. The Hongshui River is a primary tributary of the Xi River. Originating as the Nanpan in eastern Yunnan, it flows southward and then eastward, forming part of the boundary between Guizhou Province and Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. The province is drained by six major river systems, offering opportunities for adventurous rafting experiences:

  • The Yangtze River, known here as the Jinsha Jiang (River of Golden Sands), drains the northern part of the province.
  • The Pearl River, originating near Qujing, collects waters from the east.
  • The Mekong River (Lancang River), flowing from Tibet into the South China Sea, delineates boundaries between Laos and Burma, Laos and Thailand, and passes through Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam.
  • The Red River (Yuan or Honghe), sourced from mountains south of Dali, exits to the South China Sea through Hanoi, Vietnam.
  • The Salween River (Nujiang), flows into the Gulf of Martaban and the Andaman Sea through Burma.
  • The Irrawaddy River, originating from the confluence of two rivers in Kachin State, Burma, has minor tributaries in Yunnan’s far west, including the Dulongjiang and Taping River, as well as rivers in Dehong Prefecture.