Have You Seen the Rainbow-Colored Reed Flute Cave of Guilin? (Photos)

    Electric blue stalactites. (Image: Weibo.com)People look tiny next to the huge rock formations. (Image: Weibo.com)The gorgeous Reed Flute Caves of Guangxi have been a tourist attraction for over 1,200 years. (Weibo.com)A multi-colored array of limestone formations. (Image: Weibo.com)Looking at karst limestone up close. (Image: Weibo.com)Some of the rocks look a bit like coral. (Image: Weibo.com)An enormous limestone pillar. (Image: Weibo.com)A rainbow waterfall of stalactites. (Image: Weibo.com)It could almost be an underwater scene. (Image: Weibo.com)Tourists help to show the vastness of the cavern. (Image: Weibo.com)More coral-like rocks. (Image: Weibo.com)Stalactites join with stalacmites. (Image: Weibo.com)A fairy grotto perhaps? (Image: Weibo.com)

    It’s been a popular tourist site for over 1,200 years since the Tang Dynasty, and contains 77 wall inscriptions that are said to be travelogues and poems from that era.

    Officially founded around 111 B.C., Guilin is now home to about 5 million people in south-eastern Guangxi Province.

    It’s also home to the Reed Flute Cave or “Palace of the Arts” which is 180 million years old, and composed of karst limestone. It’s named after the verdant reeds that grow outside the entrance, and were used to make traditional flutes in ancient times.


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    The cave is almost 800 feet long, and is full of stalactites and stalagmites, rock pillars, and other formations with strange and wonderful shapes, all illuminated by colored lighting.

    One grotto—the Crystal Palace of the Dragon King—can hold around 1,000 people, and was an air-raid shelter in WW2.

    This cavern features a giant white slab rock hanging from a ledge with a human-shaped stalactite on the other side. The story goes that a scholar wanted to write an ode to the cave’s beauty, but it took him so long to find the right words that he eventually turned to stone.

    Each cave has an interesting name with a fun story behind it, like Virgin Forest, and Flower and Fruit Mountain.

    After being almost forgotten since the Tang Dynasty (A.D. 618-907), the cave was rediscovered in the 1940s, and opened to the public in 1962, reclaiming its status as a gorgeous gallery to inspire visitors.

    Research by Ming Yue


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