Reed Flute Cave
This massive cave about 5km north-west of the city center is probably Guilin’s most wondrous attraction. Filled with stalactites, stalagmites and strange rock formations (each with their own bizarre name), Reed Flute Cave is made all the more stunning by the multi-colored lights that bring the limestone to life. The circuit through the cave is initially along narrow corridors before opening out into the expansive ‘Crystal Palace’, which one visiting dignitary compared to the United Nations General Assembly Hall. Hang around in the Crystal Palace for one of the regular light and sound shows. The open space of this area is a welcome reprieve from the tour groups which consistently block your path along the cave’s narrow corridors.
Continuing on from the Crystal Palace, it’s back into narrow pathways hemmed in by soaring rock curtains until you exit to sunlight. Along the way you’ll be cheekily hit up for another ¥20 to visit ‘1000 Year Old Turtle Cave’ which branches off the path. Why this isn’t included in the admission fee is anyone’s guess and, really, there’s no reason to go in – it’s more of the same. Minor annoyances aside, Reed Flute Cave is a wonderful attraction.
If you have spare time to spend in the area, the surrounding hills are great places to explore and, unlike the ones in the city center, are largely free of other people.
Admission: ¥60. Open: 7:30-18:00.
Directions: Bus #58 goes to Reed Flute Cave goes to Reed Flute Cave (infrequently) from Fubo Hill or Diecai Hill. Alternatively, it’s about half an hour bike ride from the center (north along Zhongshan Lu and then north-west along Ludi Lu). Meanwhile, a taxi from the center should only cost ¥20 or so.
Show the taxi driver: 请带我去芦笛岩, 谢谢。 (Please take me to Reed Flute Cave. Thank you.)