I had heard that today was supposed to be a good time to see something called a “Tidal Bore” on Qiantang River. (The Tidal Bore of Qiantang River, “钱塘潮”, even has its own entry in the dictionary!) Around mid-autumn festival is supposed to be the best time to see it. (15th day of the 8th month in the lunar calendar; sometimes called 15th August, which is misleading because the month names are related to the “Western” calendars).
Well, I had never even heard of a tidal bore before, let alone known what it was, so I had to go and check it out. Finding out what time it was supposed to be I went over to the city balcony. Somewhat surprised to find quite so many people. We waited for what seemed like an eternity. And then, finally, some waves, preceded by some boats and jet-skis and things (which seemed to be pretending to surf the wave, or perhaps trying to outrun it), coursed up the river.
I have to say, it was a not a little disappointing. Maybe the wave is higher further down or up stream, I’m not sure. Or perhaps it was not at its highest this day. Someone can tell me. Apparently there have been occasions where it got so high it knocked people off of the viewing platform they were on, and overflowed the flood barriers. But normally it is supposed to reach several metres. It clearly didn’t today. I might go again one day if I’m back here around this time of year again, especially if there’s a friend who wants to see it. But otherwise I’d probably give it a miss.