Yellow River and Great Wall shake hands here
There’s an old saying in China to describe the Yellow River, its mother river by calling it — jiu qu, shiba wan, or ‘nine twists, 18 turns’ — because it meanders all over northern China on its lazy 5,464 kilometer run to the East Sea
Accompanying this is an old fable about how an old cow used the powers that it had been granted by the gods to furrow a magnificent deep river bend in Pianguan county, Shanxi province, which leant itself in naming the area, Old Cow Bay, which has been recognized as a grand sight for centuries and was added to the list of China’s most beautiful valleys by China National Geography magazine.
And, just across the river from the Shanxi side, to the north and west, and with the same high, steep loess cliffs, lies the neighboring Inner Mongolia autonomous region, so that Old Cow Village on the Chinese side is the first village that the river enters in Shanxi province.
Now, Old Cow Bay is prominent not just for its magnificent view of the mother river way down below as it snakes its way around a large S-shaped bend. It is also, in the words of Dong Yaohui, vice-chairman of the China Great Wall Association, the only place in China where “the Yellow River ‘shakes hands’ with that wonder of the world, the Great Wall.”