Reed Flute Cave is a place of legend, a fascinating place to discover in person. The cave near the city center of Guilin, China, also is called the the Palace of Natural Arts. It’s a place where nature’s artistry is on display around every turn. Nearly everyone whose tours of China bring them to Guilin makes time to visit this natural wonder. All who visit are richly rewarded with some amazing sights of a subterranean delights.
Every much a wonder as the Himalayas, the cave is a wonder to behold. Geologists call this a karst, a type of landscape made by water-soluble rocks. In this case, it’s a limestone cave once home to an underground lake, much like Mammoth Cave in Kentucky or Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico. Guilin’s cave and the wonders within were formed by the forces of time and water. Once you step underground, you’ll find a wonderland of fantastical formations that stretch on for nearly 800 feet (officially, Reed Flute Cave is 240 meters long, which works out to just over 787 feet). Lighting features are a much more recent addition, but they really add to the magic of the Palace of Natural Arts.
The name is as magical as the cave itself. According to legend, the thin rock formations could be fashioned into flutes to make beautiful music. During the Tang Dynasty, poets were so entranced by the caves, they carved poems and travelogues into the walls. Some of these can still be seen today. Even 1,300 years ago, Reed Flute Cave and the Lijiang River were drawing attention from tourists.
It’s takes most modern travelers two to three hours to see the cave. An admission fee is charged, and you can purchase photos for an additional small fee. Because of the unique lighting conditions in Reed Flute Cave, it can be difficult to capture a good picture on your own. The cave is large and can hold up to 1,000 visitors at a time, so you won’t need to worry about waiting in line to see this natural wonder.