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The Reed Flute Cave

An Introduction to The Reed Flute Cave

The Reed Flute Cave is absolutely a must-see attraction. It is located five kilometers northwest of the downtown of Guilin, or a pleasant 45-minute bike ride northwest of the town, on the southern shoulder of the Guangming Hill (Bright Hill), in China. It is famous for its speleothems.

The name of the cave is derived from ludi cao (reed grass), which grows in front of the cave and is used to make flutes with melodious sound. The grass covered the entrance to the cave, so the people of the area used this cave for many centuries as a hideout in times of war. The cave is filled with a large number of stalactites, stalagmites, rocks in all strange shapes. Along the u-shaped route, visitors can see those oddly shaped rocks, stone pillars and your guide will give you interesting story about them. Illuminated by the colored lights, the cave looks like a dazzling palace that’s why the cave is otherwise known as the“Art Palace of the Nature”.  

Inside the cave there are more than 70 inscriptions written in ink, which can dating back to 792 AD during the Tang Dynasty, over one thousand years ago. These aged marks tell that it have been an attraction in ancient time. Since the cave opened to the public in 1962, millions of tourists have visited it. Now the cave is one of the main tourist draws in the area, just under the famous Li River.  The cave is about 240 meters long and a trip last about one hour. It was formed 600,000 years ago. According to the geological research, the cave used to be an underground lake; it gradually turned into the cave as a result of the enhancement of the mountain and decline of the water level. In the long course, the calcium carbonate in the rock was dissolved by the underground water. When the water flew into the mouth of the cave through the gaps, the crystallization of the calcium carbonate was deposited. After the accumulation of several million years, the wonderful sceneries were formed. 

The cave contains an overwhelming abundance of speleothems, lighted in a typical Chinese manner with colored lights. When you enter the Reed Flute Cave, your eyes will be feasted with a large display of stone formations, such as stalactites, stalagmites, stone pillars, stone flowers, stone curtains, stone mushroom and so forth. If you look at each one with your imagination, you will surprisingly find every stone has its equivalence in the real life. Some are like the human figures, some resemble the animals, some are similar to the famous flowers, and some look like the fruit and vegetables. What is more, pagodas, forest, fish, waterfall, canyon, peanut, carrot are all available here.

The formation called Red Silk Mosquito Net is a huge drapery. A massive pillar consisting of a huge stalagmite and a rather small conic stalactite is called Fish Tail Peak because of its shape. The stalagmites are of the type Palm Trunc Stalagmite which is only formed in huge chambers as those of this cave. Beautiful details are some Rimstone Pools surrounded by a forest of small stalactites in one corner of a huge chamber. They are called Mountain City or Pastoral Scenery. Rather funny is sometimes the English translation of poetic Chinese names on the English language tours. There is a formation called A Bumper Harvest of Melons and other speleothems are called Listening to Flute Music from a Secluded Place. Even the artists and craftsmen dare not to say they outmatch the nature in making the fine works of art.

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The Reed Flute Cave
  • The Reed Flute Cave
  • The Reed Flute Cave
  • The Reed Flute Cave

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