When people asked which is the most famous waterfall in the world? Perhaps most people would say Niagara Falls. It’s probably well known because of the America and Canada media influences. Well, the credit doesn’t go to the media, but to it’s entrenching beauty which makes Niagara Falls one of the most famous in the world! Niagara Falls is located at the southern end of Niagara Gorge and is the collective name for the three waterfalls that split the international border between United States of America and Canada! From largest to smallest, the three waterfalls are the Horsehoe Falls, the American Falls and the Bridal Veil Falls.
Although Niagara Falls is not as grand as Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe, but it has it’s own unique charm. The combined falls form the highest flow rate of all waterfall in the world, with a vertical height of 50 meters. The horseshoe falls is the most powerful waterfall in North America. Not just the beauty of the waterfall, it is renowned for the valuable source of hydroelectric power, a perfect destination for travelers to witness a magical waterfall that encompasses recreational, commercial and industrial usage.
Which side has a better view of the Niagara Falls, the American or Canadian?
Its powerful force and sheer amazing command of Mother Nature’s fury makes Niagara Falls one of the most sought out tourist destinations in the world. The Falls itself is divided into 2 major waterfalls,
- The American side: The American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls
- The Canadian side: The more majestic Horseshoe Falls.
Both of them supply an ample supply of awe inspiring and amazement to those who visit.
Now, the most frequently asked questions by many “Which side of the fall is the best?”. While I can’t answer this directly, cause I don’t wanna invite troubles or accusations from either side of the country. LOL I could only tell you that the Horseshow Falls lies on the Canadian side which you can see clearly from both American and Canada side. Whereas the American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls are on America side, which means you can get up close and personnel with the falls. So you decide for yourself! haha 🙂
The first impression of Niagara Falls, or in fact Canada, was actually the hostel I was staying. I stayed in ACBB hostel in Niagara Falls town. My first impression of Canada was like “wow, what a big country with HUGE SPACE!” (Imagine I am from Singapore!) haha Plus, I received a warm welcome upon arrival for a free upgrade by Patrick and Shelly, the friendliest couple and owner of ACBB Hostel! Perhaps I visited the Niagara Falls during the low season and Patrick mentioned I had a GREAT SMILE! (yea, gotta emphasise the compliment! haha) Hence, Patrick decided to give me a free upgrade for my accommodation, from a quad sharing room to a solo room! woohoo… The free upgrade was great for me, the only concern was that, I was all alone by myself at the highest floor, in an old Canadian building. Hmmm…. my imagination was running wild those few nights! haha
Something strange happened on the first evening when I was at Niagara Falls. A strong mist was covering not just the Niagara river, but also the entire town! According to the owner of ACDD Hostel, he told me living in Niagara Falls for over 20 years, such thing is first time ever! Nothing like this happened before! I was like, praying that the world will not come to the end, just like that! haha
Something strange happened that night as well, I was just about to end my video call with my family, the entire town suddenly was out of electricity and Niagara Falls town suddenly turned into a mist of darkness! There was absolutely no electricity and worse of all, a heavy downpour hit Niagara Falls. Everyone in the hostel was busy helping to clean up the floor and helped to fix the roof as the rainwater was leaking into the hostel. It was actually quite a nice experience, helping in the hostel with people around the world. Sort of like scrambling and stranded in a foreign land, you can only depend on your new friends! I would say, quite a unique experience. 🙂
After all the hard work, as it was my first night in Niagara Falls, I really didn’t want that evening to be spoiled by power breakdown and the mist of darkness. I embraced myself and decided to explore Niagara Falls town, even in darkness and with heavy fog and mist! I asked around and a few brave souls came along and we headed towards the town to grab some bites and drinks, instead of living in the dark in the hostel.
We decided to be playful in the misty darkness of Niagara Falls town with totally quietness and emptiness. No one else but just us. It was little chilly, scary but thrilling fun! 🙂
Eerie Mist At The Niagara Falls
Again, perhaps it was the “wrong” time for me to visit, it was very misty and according to Patrick, owner of ACDD hostel, it was very unusual for the mist. Apparently, the mist was caused by strong winds and droplets caused by the splashes from the Niagara Falls. He never saw something like that before In Niagara Falls. Many locals decided to stay in their house, hotel or hostel. As for me, due to the limited days I had in Niagara Falls, I decided to risk and explored around the town.
My Attempts At The Misty Niagara Falls
I was very hard up on the fact that I only had a limited time in Niagara Falls, but the entire town was misty! The Niagara Falls and river was even worse than the town where I hardly see anything, but the roaring of thw falls. I kept walking up and down the Niagara Parkway road between Clifton Hill and the Horseshoe Falls to see the majestic falls and hopefully get a good picture from it. Unfortunately, it required me a lot of patience and time. It took me half a day! I walked up and down the road for 4 times, each time is is about 4 kilometers (approx 2 kilometers each way)! Total 16 kilometers that morning just to seek for a better view of Niagara Falls and take a better picture! It was really tough. So appreciate the photos, even though it wasn’t great! haha
My 2nd attempt
My 3rd attempt
Still, it was quite misty, but it was a little bit more cleared up than before. After which, I decided to take the maid of the mist after considering the fact I may not have the chance to see a clear blue sky or at least a clearer sight of the Horseshoe falls.
Maid of the Mist or Hornblower Niagara Cruise
The main reason to visit Niagara Falls is, well, to see the falls of course! haha One of the most memorable ways to do that is to strap on a poncho and hop on a Maid of the Mist cruise. These cute little coal powered steamboats have been shuttling visitors to and fro the base of the falls since the 1840s. All you need to do is to be prepared to get wet! The Maid of the Mist practically dunks you very near to the falls, but rain gear is provided, you don’t have to worry! 🙂 Many people say that this is one of the best ways to experience the majestic splendor of the Niagara Falls.
Boarding the Maid of the Mist to experience the falls up close and personal was truly amazing! No waiting, no lines. I went up the observation deck to enjoy the height and spectacular views, then went down to board the Maid of the Mist in no time. Plenty of room to move around on the top deck and take pictures. If you don’t want to get wet, you can go below deck. But you’ll be missing out on the exhilarating experience and physically being up close and personal with the majestic falls. Definitely felt the mist and the roar from the Niagara Falls. As I approached the falls, the wetter I got, the louder the falls roar, the more exhilarating the experience. It was breathtaking for the cruise to get near the Horseshoe falls. Unbelievable gigantic and fury Niagara Falls. The boat lingered so close to Horseshoe Falls long enough to feel the rush, the power, and most definitely, the roar. Amazing experience! That’s why they give out plastic ponchos. 🙂
That’s also the time when I got my camera (not waterproof) really wet! Unfortunately, my camera is not a splash proof or water proof camera, basically, I couldn’t use my Powershot SX200 anymore after the Maid of the Mist! So, please treasure the last glimpse of video images from my SX200! 🙁 Now, it has retired into a full-proof camera! haha
My 4th and Final Attempt For A Clear Niagara Falls
After the Maid of the Mist boat ride, I realised there was some hope. I started to see ray of sunlight and slowly, the Niagara Falls started to clear up a little bit! It excited me once again and I decided to walk to the Horseshoe Falls AGAIN for the 4th time. Which was approximately three and half hours after 1st attempt! 🙂
So, the 4th and final attempt was when I reached Clifton Hill area after the cruise, I saw Niagara Falls was totally cleared up! Argh, I told myself “I most probably be here only once in a lifetime, do it Keith!” haha I embraced the tiredness and soreness on my legs from the long distance walking, back and forth for so many times, I decided for the last final attempt! haha
After a long tiring day of walking and exploring. I finally got a few clearer photos of the Niagara Falls. YAY! 🙂
Edge of the Horseshoe Waterfall
Besides the maid of the mist, another personal highlight of mine was at the edge of the Horseshoe Waterfall! Once I was at the edge of the Horseshoe Waterfall, I looked at the massive speed of water plunging in front of my eyes and conquering all my senses! I couldn’t help but be in awe over the power and force the water goes over the ledge. Simply breathtaking view and overwhelming for me!
I walked back to the hostel and my hostel friends told me the night view of Niagara Falls will be spectacular and invited me to check it out with them, hence, that evening was my 5th attempt going back to the falls! haha -_-!!!
Night View of Niagara Falls
It was visually stunning and the sheer magnitude of it was overwhelming! The falls were so amazingly beautiful, especially at night with the colours. Everyone should see this at least once in their lifetime. No words can better describe the awe inspiring experience by the majestic falls at night!
There were live bands and beautiful colourful lights shinning at the stunning Niagara Falls. The Niagara Falls simply turned into a live musical river, like a fantasy! People setting up street stall to sell their items i.e. glow stick, it felt like a flea market, great for families, teenagers to gather at the Niagara Falls Parkway and Clifton Hill for the amazing evening and light show. It was an amazing sight and chillax evening for everyone.
Hanging out with my new friends from France at the falls was chill and relax. Was a great evening with them.
Niagara Falls is an amazing place to visit. Be it Victoria Falls, Iguazu Falls or Skogafoss, all waterfalls improves mood, relaxation, good respiration, and a good optimization of limited time on earth. haha The improved mood results from the fact that waterfalls, somehow have an aesthetic qualities to human beings. haha Perhaps, I sounded a little like boring scientist, but this is a fact isn’t it? Who doesn’t like waterfall? Listening to the roaring and admiring the beauty of a treat from nature! 🙂
“Think of your life as a waterfall; it may come crashing down at some point, it may have it’s ups and downs, but in the end, it will continue to flow.”