When you glance around the southwest suburban Fangshan District of Beijing, you feel as if the towns are sleeping against the backdrop of barren high mountains. However, on a closer look you will find that the entire region is bursting with energy and has many tourist destinations, which are of immense importance to geological society.
Amongst the ancient city relics, monasteries and tombs, which can be found almost everywhere you will also find breathtaking limestone caves. One such stunning cave is Shihuadong Cave that is a renowned seven stories cave. This famous scenic spot, located in the Fangshan District is a famous geological park that offers valuable information to the geologists across the world.
The cave’s original name was Qianzhen, which was given by a Chinese monk Yuan Guang, during the Ming Dynasty. He found this cave while wandering around this region. Shihuadong Cave is a Karst Cave. A Karst cave is a naturally formed cave by the action of weathering over the rocks. These caves are large enough for the humans to enter and they sometimes run deeper into the underground. Since Shihuadong Cave is a Karst cave, this is a great place for the study of Speleology and is of interest to the researchers and teachers of geology.
The cave covers an area of 1.8 hectares and is multi-layered. The six layers above the ground are the main scenic spots, while the seventh one is under the ground where a river flows. Inside the cave is nothing short of a dreamland and the nature’s bounty is explicit here. There are many deposits that are history of earth’s evolvement and sedimentary changes.
There are stalactites, stalagmites and dispersed amongst them are various types of flora. The stalactites over here are of extreme rare nature. Water keeps dripping and you can hear its sweet sound around you. There is a white colored stone present in this cave called “Yue Nai Shi”, which is a national treasure. Besides these there are many natural stone formations. All these multi-colored stones are typical of China’s cave deposits.
Also known as the Stone Flower Cave this cave has several types of water forms like dripping water, stagnant water, running water and splashing water. It is open until the fourth floor only for the tourists. In the 2,500 meter area, which is open for the visitors, there are about 18 attractions that have over 120 different types of panoramas. Each of these areas is further divided into 16 halls, which are interconnected by narrow passages. Just outside the Shihuadong Cave there is a wide variety of wild animals and other rock formations.
The Shihuadong Cave obtained the prized honor of being the best cave in China. The usual temperature that you can expect inside the cave is 13 degree C. basically you can expect a spring like weather all round the year. The Shihuadong Cave has witnessed climate changes for over 2,500 years.
Reaching Shihuadong Cave is quite easy. You can take a shuttle bus from Pingguoyuan Station at 9:00 am and get back at 2:00 pm.