What, still no plans for the Mid-Autumn Festival break next week? Why not head to out Hangzhou and check out some of the world's top surfers take on the Qiantang Tidal Bore, also known as the Silver Dragon. Said to be as tall as two double decker buses and as loud as a thousand galloping horses, it's a tidal bore that well deserves its nickname, sweeping along everything before it in an unstoppable surge and leaving a mass of scale-like roiling waters and dangerous currents in its wake. People have been awed by this incredible natural phenomenon for centuries and it has claimed the loves of many an unwary bystander.
Since 2008, the annual Surfing China event (October 2-4, 2012; Cultural Plaza, Qianjiang Road, Qianjiang New Town, Hangzhou, www.surfingchina.org) has brought some of international surfing's biggest names to ride the dragon and this year, organizers are stepping things up a notch with a surf contest between four international teams.
The elevated decks adjacent to the festival site known as the Hangzhou City Balcony (Shìmín Zhōngxīnyǔ Chéngshì Yángtái Zhōubiān, 市民中心与城市阳台周边) provide a prime viewing point to watch the riders pit their skills against each other on a watery battlefield. The wave rolls in early afternoon (check the Chinese version of the Surfing China website for timing updates) and you'll want to claim your spot early otherwise you'll need to elbow your way through the crowds or content yourself with watching all the action on the big screens set up especially for the event. The surfing starts at Bridge 9, passes the Hangzhou City Balcony and continues on a few kilometers further, depending on the strength of the wave. Spend the rest of the afternoon checking out the Vans Dragon SK8 comp and wandering the open air Surfing China expo where paddle board and surfing simulators provide entertainment for all.
Read more about the Silver Dragon and surfing in China.