|Snail Hill |
On the west bank of the Li River less than 1km (0.6 miles) south of Xingping Town stands the renowned picturesque Snail Hill, about 24 km (15 miles) from Yangshuo County and 40 miles (64 km) from Guilin. Rock strata twisting up from the bottom to the hilltop form a pointed tip and a round body, making the hill look like a big foraging snail no matter which angle it is viewed. Hence the hill got its name Snail Hill.
On an overcast day it looks like a snail inhabiting deep water. The lush bamboos and bushes growing on the hill look exactly like moss on the snail's body. If it is a fine day, Snail Hill resembles a snail out of water basking in the sun. Trees on the hill glisten in the sunlight, just like water drops on the snail's shell.
Snail Cave, whose name is derived from the Snail Hill, lies at the southwest of the hill. The cave has two parts, the bigger one in the east and the smaller one in the west. Stalactites in varied shapes of birds, beasts, fruits, and flowers are scattered around the cave. Within the cave, the most attractive and astonishing sights are the three snail stones hanging upside down from the roof. One is as white as snow, one is as dark as black lacquer and the other is as green as an emerald. Stone inscriptions can also be found in the cave, which clearly describes the origin of the cave and nearby scenery.
The hut at the entrance of Snail Cave is named the Tengjiao Nunnery. It was originally built in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and then renovated in the Qing Dynasty (1644 - 1911). The Tengjiao Nunnery consists of two sections, namely, Sanbao Hall meaning a hall with three treasures and Kuixing Pavilion referring to the hall of the god that governs education. Every year on the 3rd day of the 3rd lunar month, 6th of the 6th lunar month and 9th of the 9th lunar month, locals will take their children here to pray for good marks.
Legend About the Origin of Snail Hill
Like other attractions along the Li River, Snail Hall comes complete with an attached legend. It says that the hill was a smart and diligent fairy called "Snail". Having had enough of dull life in Heaven, she escaped to Earth for fun. She decided to settle down in Xingping Town at the sight of such enchanting scenery. Then Snail taught the locals to spin, brocade and sing songs. Her brocade is as pretty as the evening glow and her songs are beyond description, making her popular in nearby villages. However, the Jade Emperor in Heaven was mad at her behavior and turned her into a hill in the shape of a snail as a punishment.
How to Get to Snail Hill
Take a Li River morning cruise ship from Zhujiang Dock in Guilin. The 4.5-hour downstream cruise to Yangshuo passes Snail Hill around noon. Or visitors can arrive at Xingping Town
first and then take a walk of about 20 minutes to the hill.
|Admission Fee ||Free |
|Opening Hours ||All day long |
Laozhai Mountain is located at the south of Xingping Town. Despite a low altitude of 300 meters (984 feet), it is quite steep, so take care when climbing. Being the best place to have a bird's-eye view of the Li River, it has attracted an endless stream of travelers and photographers. The hill is free of charge and climbing takes around half an hour.
Next: Green Lotus Peak