It’s amazing what you can do sometimes with a little rock, water and patience. Well, a little water, a hefty amount of rock and all the patience in the world, I suppose.
Amazing caves exist all across the world but for some reason, few have fired up my imagination.
The geology may be impressive but, let’s face it, caves by their very nature are dark, dank and dangerous (and by danger, I mean in terms of bumping your head and spraining your ankle. Nothing more dramatic. But who wants to go deliberately running into that? Not me, that’s for sure.)
The province of Guilin in China have come up with a better plan: snazz up 180 million years of drip-drip-drip with 240 metres of illuminated walkways.
Stalactites in red. Stalagmites in blue. Rippling water. Calm water. Dripping water.
As Guilin’s largest cave network, the Reed Flute Caves can afford to show a little razzle dazzle. Even the name carries a touch of poetry, claiming inspiration from the reeds that grow outside, slender and musical in the early morning breeze.
Following a tradition found across China, people here have given the rock formations names – and evocative names at that.
Flower and fruit mountain. The dragon pagoda. Footsteps into the virgin forest.
At the entrance, the poetry persists still, floating parasols to decorate the tops of trees in sunshine yellow and pops of orange among the green.
It’s a place of slippery illusion greens and throbbing amber beads threaded through the darkness.
And words. Scripted, swirling words that date back to the Tang Dynasty and the year seven hundred and ninety two.
And so, I bring you through my own sweet photos: the Reed Flute Caves of Guilin.