The amazing karst formations that form the landscape in the region were created by the gradual retreat of inland seas which through erosion has created fissures, sinkholes, underground lakes and streams and many caves. Most are inaccessible to the general public but many in Yangshuo County have been made safe and opened to the public. The following list is some of the major caves you can visit while staying in Yangshuo.
All tickets to the caves can be booked at the reception in YSMR
Location: From YSMR head towards the main road in the direction of Yangshuo (2km).Turn right when you reach the main road, cross the bridge heading towards Moon Hill and the cave is approximately 1.5km on the left hand side of the road. Length of cave tour: 45 minutes
Features: The cave is very accessible for all ages with a paved path running through. The stalagmites and stalactites are lit up with various color lights giving it a magical feeling that children always seem to enjoy. There are a few underwater crystal clear ponds that look like mirrors in the dim light. At the end of a path you will exit on a boat as a large underwater pond stretches into the depths of the cave.
Location: From YSMR head towards the main road in the direction of Yangshuo (2km).Turn right when you reach the main road, cross the bridge and head towards Moon Hill (4km). On the left hand side opposite Moon Hill is Moon Hill Village. Head down the road towards the village. There are two large signs at the beginning of the village, the left sign promotes the Buddha Water Cave and the right is for the Real Water Cave which is this one. The ticket office to the Real Water Cave is at the other end of the village on the right hand side. Length of cave tour: Short tour: 1.5 hours, Full length tour: 3 hours
Features: This cave is for the slightly more adventurous and stretches far back into the mountain. You enter in a small narrow boat meandering through stalactites and low hanging rock. The cave has huge cavernous halls and gigantic glimmering rock formations. Half way through the cave there is large mud bath that is excellent to lie in and float on. Towards the back of the cave are a series of clear ponds that are excellent to have a swim in and wash all the mud off. Tips: Bring your swimsuit, towel, shoes with good grip that you don't mind getting wet and be prepared for a wet, muddy experience!
Location: Ticket office in Xingping - please ask at reception for details Length of Cave Tour: 1 hour
Features: The Lotus Cave is approximately 600 meters long reaching to 40 meters at its highest point. There are hundreds of formations inside including of course the famous lotus formations. The cave lotuses look very similar to real lotus leaves and range from 30 centimeters to 2 meters in diameter.
Location: Caoping - please ask at reception for details
Length of cave tour: 1-2 hours
Features: The commercialized Crown Cave is another favorite for families with children and is located near the village of Caoping on the Li River. It is part of a giant subterranean river system that stretches 12 kilometers. The tour however, only explores the first 3 kilometers but is still an enjoyable experience not least because of the various ways you can explore it. With small boats, elevators, mini trains and slow roller coasters the Crown Cave was listed in the Guinness book of World Records as having the most differing ways of exploring a cave.
Location: From YSMR head towards the main road in the direction of Yangshuo (2km). When you reach the main road head straight on towards Yangshuo. The cave is approximately 3.5km on the left side hand side of the road. Although there is space at the side of the road to walk it is busy and much better
Location: 25 Kilometers from Yangshuo - please ask at reception for details Length of cave tour: 1.5 hours
Features: The Silver Cave runs through 12 karst formations and the round tour covers approximately 2 kilometers. Famous for its wonderful shapes including thousands of stalactites and stalagmites the cave is divided into three sections that have distinctive features making for a great experience.
For more great pictures of the caves go to http://www.flickr.com/photos/yangshuomountainretreat/sets/72157603689752017/