If you are eager for an inside view of Guilin’s karst landforms, do not miss Reed Flute Cave. Only 5 kilometers northwest of Guilin city center, the cave is a cool place for you to take respite from the blazing summer sun and spend half a day in Guilin.
The cave gets its name from the reeds that grow at its entrance, used for making flutes and pipes. After entering, visitors will take a U-shaped sight-seeing route, along which different spots are illuminated by multicolored artificial lighting.
The cave is regarded as the largest and most impressive in Guilin. It is 240 meters long, and the tour involves a 550-meter walk, revealing a magic land of stalactites, stalagmites, stone pillars, stone curtains, birds, plants and animals in fantastic shapes and colors.
Each cave formation has a name born of legend; such as Crystal Palace, Dragon Pagoda, Virgin Forest, Flower and Fruit Mountain. You need to use your imagination to visualize the various shapes, and this is not easy for everyone. In case you can’t see the shapes, knowing the stories behind the formations is still interesting.
There is a famous slab of white rock hanging from a ledge like a cataract, with a human-shaped stalactite opposite it. In Journey to the West, one of the greatest works of Chinese literature, this slab was said to be the Dragon King's needle. The Monkey King used it as a weapon for defeating the dragon's army and then left it in the cave.
Over 70 wall inscriptions from the Tang dynasty (618-907 AD) have been found on the walls, proving that the cave has been used for many hundreds of years. During World War Two, the grotto once served as an air-raid shelter.
Suitable for: Families, friends, couples, individuals
Activities: Sightseeing train, 4D show
Recommended Visiting Time: 2-3 hours
Transportation: Guilin Bus Nos. 3 & 13/Taxi
Access: By foot
Opening hours: April to November: 7:30 to 18:00
December to March: 08:00 to 17:30 (4D show pauses from 12:30 to 13:30)
Experienced Guide and Well-Equipped Facilities
The cave has a team of guides, one of whom will lead you the whole way and explain the stories behind the formations. The guides are well-trained and know all about the cave. There is no extra guide fee.
The 4D show, which uses the 3,000 square meter dome in the Crystal Palace, explains the formation and growth of the limestone. During the show, you can imagine the cave as it used to be, filled with ancient ocean and fish, and can picture the various stages in its development.
Restrooms in this attraction are not only available but also carefully designed. Since they blend into the backdrop, you can enjoy the view even as you use them.
Before or after the cave exploration, you can stroll around the adjacent park, featuring zigzag paths, elegant pavilions, ponds, bridges, plants and other garden structures. Once you exit the cave and pass the bridge you may wish to climb the steps taking you to a nice observatory half way up the hill.