Guanyan Cave, an Adventure on an Underground River (Photos)

    Approaching the entrance to the cave on the Li River. (Image: sightseeing elevator. (Image: ready to travel on the subterranean river. (Image: river runs underground before joining the Li River. (Image: of the two upper caves. (Image: limestone formations illuminated by colored lighting. (Image: and stalacmites. (Image: collection of stalactites. (Image: limestone pillar. (Image:

    Guanyan or Crown Cave is located in Yangshuo in Guilin. It is part of an subterranean river connected with the Li River. As the water has a different origin, the water from Crown Cave is greener.

    It is 7.5 miles long, and the first 1.9 miles of it have been developed for public access.

    Traveling by boat on the Li River, the cave appears like a crown-shaped hill ahead, but when you go inside, it turns out to be hollow. Although it feels hot outside, once you go into the cave it’s very cool, and you can hear the sound of running water as soon as you enter.

    There are three parts to the cave—the top two are dry karst caves with stalactites and stalagmites, whereas the bottom area is partly submerged by a huge underground river.

    To enter the lower cave system, you need to take a boat, which is a bit of an adventure traveling in the dark.

    There are several ways of touring the caves: by foot, sightseeing elevator, train, wooden boat, or “track car.”

    It’s sometimes described as the cave with the most ways to travel

    At the end of the boat tour, there is even a lift that takes you back up.


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