• We returned from our holiday last Wednesday and I just wanted to say a big thank you for organising our tours in Beijing last week.
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Shanghai Sights and Sounds
Reed Flute Cave

Reed Flute Cave

Walk through a surreal underground landscape of eroded karst, past stalactites, rock formations and rainbow illuminations. Many attractions claim to be China’s oldest, but with 180 million years of history, the Reed Flute Cave (Lu Di Yan) trumps them all. The cave’s fairyland of weird and wonderful rock formations was created when the karst rock eroded over many millennia, leaving columns, pillars, and strange shapes.

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Walk through a surreal underground landscape of eroded karst, past stalactites, rock formations and rainbow illuminations.

Many attractions stake claim to being China’s oldest, but with 180 million years of history, the Reed Flute Cave (Lu Di Yan) surely trumps them all. The cave’s fairyland of weird and wonderful rock formations was created when the karst rock eroded over many millennia, leaving columns, pillars, and strange shapes. The cave was discovered by refugees in the 1940s, and has since become one of China’s most beloved cave systems. Illuminations in many colors bring the stones to life.

Visitors tour the cave in a U-shape, using zigzag bridges and walkways to get up close to the rock features. The locals have bestowed names on many of the formations, such as Dragon Pagoda, Virgin Forest, and Fruit Mountain.

The cave is named after the reeds that grow outside, which people use to make musical instruments. These days, vendors peddle the flutes at the entrance and exit.

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Fubo Hill

Fubo Hill

Stand at the spot where a Tang Dynasty general tested his sword, and witness natural pavilions and cloisters made from rock formations. Fubo Hill overlooks the Li River from the western bank around two kilometers from Elephant Trunk Hill. The 213-meter peak stands alone, and is decorated with a series of cloisters, gardens and pavilions. At water level, it hides caves and statue-filled grottoes, making it one of the most interesting and mysterious attractions on the Li riverbank.

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See where a Tang Dynasty general tested his sword, and witness natural pavilions and cloisters made from rock formations.

Fubo Hill overlooks the Li River from the western bank around two kilometers from Elephant Trunk Hill. The 213-meter peak stands alone, and is decorated with a series of cloisters, gardens and pavilions. At water level, it hides caves and statue-filled grottoes, making it one of the most interesting and mysterious attractions on the Li riverbank. The hill is named for its apparent ability to calm the waves.

On the peak itself is a cloister that combines the natural rock formation with artificially built levels and pillars. The cloister encloses a garden and pavilion, in which is stored a huge 300-year-old iron pot that can boil enough water for a thousand people.

It is the caves that are the most impressive aspects of Fubo Hill. Pearl Returning Cave contains stalactites and stalagmites that have been engraved with Buddhist art and inscriptions. The legend goes that a peasant kicked a pearl out of the cave, angering a dragon that lived there. The only way to appease the dragon was to return the pearl, which the peasant dutifully did. The nearby Sword Testing Cave has a huge hanging pillar where a general is said to have checked his weapons. Connecting to this chamber is the Thousand Buddha Hall. Visitors climb a winding staircase to see all 239 of the Buddha statues, as well as paintings from the late Tang era (618-907).

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Elephant Trunk Hill

Elephant Trunk Hill

See an amazing natural rock formation that resembles an elephant drinking from the Li River. Sailing down the tranquil waterway, the last thing you expect to see is an elephant bowing its head to drink. Elephant Trunk Hill (Xiangbishan) may not be a real pachyderm, but it certainly looks like. A promontory of rock on the western bank of the Li looks just like an elephant lowering his trunk into the water.

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See an amazing natural rock formation that resembles an elephant drinking from the Li River.

Sailing down the tranquil Li River, the last thing you’d expect to see is an elephant bowing its head to drink. Elephant Trunk Hill (Xiangbishan) may not be a real pachyderm, but it looks convincing enough. A promontory of rock on the western bank of the Li looks just like an elephant lowering his trunk into the water. A cave on the hillside nearby looks like the creature’s eye. The space formed by the arch of the elephant’s trunk away from his body is known as Water Moon Cave, and makes up an image of the full moon with its reflection in the river.

On top of the promontory is a two-story pagoda from the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) that resembles a ceremonial vase on the elephant’s back when viewed from a distance. The pagoda contains an image of the Bodhisattva Puxian, who traditionally rides a white elephant. The hill is part of Elephant Trunk Park, which is also home to Yunfeng Monastery and Aiqing (Love) Island.

 

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Yaoshan

Yaoshan

Watch the Li River come alive with a visually stunning and musically diverse performance involving 600 actors. The 1961 movie “Sanjie Liu” made the Li River famous around the world. According to the myths of the Zhuang ethnic minority, Sanjie Liu was a beautiful singing maiden who lived by the river. In 2004, the stage extravaganza “Impression of Sanjie Liu” was premiered in Yangshuo, based on the legends surrounding her.

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Visit the mausoleums of great emperors, and admire scenery that is unique in all four seasons.

Yaoshan (Yao Mountain) is the tallest peak in the Guilin area, rising 909 meters above sea level. Located eight kilometers east of downtown Guilin, it sits in some of the most attractive, mysterious scenery in the country. It is no wonder that so many emperors chose it as their final resting place.

A cable car system was built in 1996 to transport visitors to the top of the mountain, where they can enjoy historic attractions like the temple of the Yao Emperor, the White Deer Temple, the Tianci Field, and the tomb of the Jingjiang king. Listen out for distinctive call of the Yaoshan swallow, and enjoy unique vistas depending on the season. In springtime, the mountain is awash with azaleas; in winter the surrounding peaks are capped with snow; autumn brings the red maple leaves out, and summer is the time for bamboo and new greenery. From the top of Yaoshan, the mountains in the distance look like a huge reclining Buddha.