While China is most often associated with things like the Great wall, the terracotta warriors and the large cities of Shanghai and Beijing, what many people don’t know is that it is also awash with caves. Not just ordinary caves but awe inspiring caves. This has given rise to China being also known as the Kingdom of the caves. But in saying that, I didn’t know about it immediately until researching for a trip there.
There are so many caves in the various regions of China that it is hard to choose the best. These are just 4 of them, that are really worth seeing. Undoubtedly I have missed many out. Just worth thinking about – tens of millions of people currently live in caves in China
The Benxi Cave is the longest known water-saturated cave in the world. The cave features a huge lake measuring over than 1,000 square meters. Around and above the lake are many many stalactites. You are also able to take a boat ride on this lake within the cave. Seriously interesting and not the expected. The Benxi Cave can be found in the province of Liaoning.
The Xueyu Cave
This cave is located in Chongqing, and is famous for its stalactites which are as white as snow. The orginal name Xueyu literally means ‘snowy jade.’ There are said to be healing properties within the cave due its microclimate and the caves exposure to air. It is said that being in the caves can cure many things such as the common cold, asthma and other respiratory ailments.
These are the worlds largest caves and is set in a pristine environment. Huanglong caves can be found in the Hunan province. Huanglong Caves contains two types of caves – the hangdong (those without water) and shuidong (those with water). The mineral deposits inside the cave are multi-colored, giving rise to an amazing spectacle. . The cave is also filled with unusual stalactites and stalagmites. Very eerie but spectacularly beautiful.
The Zhijin Caves conatin caves within caves and is known as the ‘museum of caves’ in China. Not only are the caves awesome but their location. in a typical Chinmese viallge with many streams and waterfalls surrounding them, make it the complete package. Zhijin Caves can be found in the Guizhou province.
The Mogao Caves
These caves are carved into the cliffs above the Dachuan River located 25 km from the center of Dunhuang county in the province of Gansu in China. It comprises of a system of 492 buddhist temple cells and sanctuaries containing some of the finest examples of Buddhist art that goes back to more than 1000 years ago. Due to its religious and cultural influences, it was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987. The Mogao caves are also known as the Dunhuang caves or the Caves of the Thousand Buddhas.
So I didn’t know about the caves before, but now I do. I hope you also include these on a trip to China.
Photo by 39483037@N00 on Flickr