There are countless reasons why a visit to the Chinese city of Guilin is generally a good idea. A tour to the East offers gorgeous scenery, a peaceful environment and loads of natural attractions. One site that is a must visit in Guilin is undeniably the Reed Flute Cave.
Well-known for being illuminated by artificial rainbow colored lighting, this ancient cave tick all the Travel East boxes. This natural cave is considered older than 180 million years and had been carved out in Limestone Mountains. Its huge stalagmites, stalactites, and fascinating rock structures is worthy of the pickiest traveler. The inscriptions discovered inside the Red Flute cave is the main proof of its old age. Researchers discovered that a couple of the longest-existing inscriptions date back to 792 AD.
The Reed Flute Cave is just five kilometers northwest of Guilin’s downtown area. Almost all travel itineraries that aim to promote this Chinese province lists this ancient cave for its accessibility and natural splendor. The cave is named after the verdant reeds that grown inside it. Can you believe the cave covers an area of 240 meters? If you travel east and undertake a trip to the Red Flute cave, you must be prepared to walk through stone pillars, cross an underground lake and admire superb rock formations. All indisputable masterpieces of Mother Nature (and a little help by the human hand if you count the lightning).
Each rock formation got a name consistent with Chinese custom. As expected, the names are about legends and famous poems. A few examples are Fruit Mountain, Dragon Pagoda, Crystal Palace and Virgin Flower. Very apt if you see the name with the accompanying rock formation. The sightseeing tour follows a U-shaped path. Remarkably laid out so that you will be able to enjoy and appreciate all the impressive parts of the cave. The exit of the cave is in close proximity to the entrance.
Guided tours of the cave typically lasts 60 minutes. You can visit the cave by yourself and stay longer if you choose. Just remember that the synthetic lights inside Reed Flute have sensors and are triggered when metal goes by over them. So my advice will be that you tag along with a guided tour group otherwise you won’t be able to see the fabulous rock formations and the magic will be that much less effective.
Take this tip and ensure you seize one of the steel flashlights used by the guides at the entrance. On the other hand, there is absolutely no assurance you will get one. Therefore being proactive is the best solution. Bring your own powerful flashlight, ideally encased in a metal casing along to ensure an exploration of the cave at your own pace.
The cave floor can be wet and muddy, hence always bring comfortable and sturdy shoes or boots like sneakers. Sandals are a no go, unless you like dirty and wet feet. Also, keep in mind that the temperature inside Reed Flute is significant lower than outside. Your best bet is to bring a light sweater along, especially if you are the type that gets cold easily.
Outside the cave, the magic goes on with the manmade park. It is decorated with attractive pavilions, bridges, ponds and plants. It is a mini-attraction in itself as it offers several souvenir stands and provides boat rides great for visiting families with small children.
It only takes 20 minutes to reach the cave by car. Additionally there are free bus services, particularly Bus no. 3 and 58, which brings travelers to the cave area. However, should you decide to use these bus services, you must be prepared to wait long periods.