|Li River, Guilin|
Crown Cave, also known as Guanyan Cave, is located in Caoping Town about 37 km (23 miles) south of Guilin and about 56 km (35 miles) north of Yangshuo. On the east bank of the Li River stands a hill resembling a crown when seen from a distance. Thus the karst cave beneath it is called Crown Cave, or Guan Yan in Chinese. It is now the biggest comprehensive scenic area along the Li River. It was once called Ganyan Cave because of the sweet, clear spring water running from the cave. It boasts the world's longest sightseeing sliding track, setting a new record according to Shanghai China Records. As far back as 1637, Xu Xiake, a renowned Chinese traveler, had visited the cave and described it in detail in his travel notes.
Underground Karst Landscapes
Crown Cave is well known for the variety of transportation that can be used while sightseeing. Walking from the entrance to the cave takes around forty minutes. Or you can take a sightseeing rail car to the mountainside about 3.2 km (two miles) away. It is a lot of fun to drive by yourself through the sea of pastoral scenes along the way.
At the mountainside, an elevator descends into the cave. In the intricate maze of the cave, there are five grottoes across three floors. The stalactites, stalagmites and stone pillars inside will dazzle you with a kaleidoscope of colors that will make you want to linger for a long time. Then you can take the tramcar to Palm Hall on the second floor where there is a superb collection of stalactites. Among four palm-shaped stone pillars, the tallest one is over 50 meters (164 feet), reaching to the ceiling of the cave. The 'palm tree' is so thick that it takes several people together to put their arms around it. Seeing this, visitors can't help but marvel at the magical power of nature. On the third floor is an underground river that is 1,000 m (1,090 yards) long and 500 m (546 yards) wide. You can take a small boat to experience the distinctive views of the river. Many other karst landscapes are waiting for you after you come ashore. Surprisingly, there is even a waterfall in the cave. Walk up the stone steps, and you will reach the exit where the wonderful Li River scenery comes into view.
Besides the underground views in the cave, attractions above ground such as the Peach and Plum Garden, the Olympus Garden, and the Carp Pool in the scenic area are all worth visiting. About 500 m (164 yards) downriver from Crown Cave Scenic Area lies the mysterious and beautiful Xiangba Isle whose name used to be Langzhou Isle, covering 33 hectares (82 acres). Landing on the isle, the first things that come into the view are varied wood carving masks. Camphor trees, grapefruit trees, and peach trees grow in profusion on the isle. What’s more, you will experience rich ethnic customs here while enjoying native folk dances, elaborate artistic works and delicious local dishes. Facing Xiangba Isle across the river is another interesting spot along the Li River, Half-Side Ferry, where a huge rock blocks the road between two villages on the same bank. If time permits, you can hike to have a visit.
How to get to Crown Cave
Direct buses to Crown Cave are available at Guilin Chief Bus Station, which is next to Guilin Railway Station at Zhongshan Road. It is a 40-minute ride.
Tip: The Li River Cruise passes by the cave but doesn’t stop; therefore, to visit Crown Cave, you need to take a bus from Guilin. Visitors often make a day tour visiting here together with the nearby Gudong Waterfall.
|Entrance Fee||CNY 80 for adults; |
CNY 40 for children between 1.2 and 1.5 m (3.9 - 4.9 ft);
Free for children below 1.2m.
Note: The fares for admission, elevator, tramcar, and boat are included.
|Sightseeing Rail Car||CNY30 for a single trip, and CNY60 for a round trip. |
Free for children below 1.2m.
|Opening Hours||8:30 - 16:30|
|Recommended Visit Time||Two hours|
Next: Half-Side Ferry