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The colorful Reed Flute Cave in China is a fascinating gallery of natural sculptures which has been one of Guilin’s attractions for over 1, 200 years

Marija Georgievska

The Reed Flute Cave is a landmark and tourist attraction in Guilin, China. The cave got its name from the type of reed growing inside, which can be made into melodious flutes.

It is a natural limestone cave with multicolored lighting, and has been one of Guilin’s most fascinating attractions for over 1200 years, now being over 180 million years old.

The colorful Reed Flute Cave. Photo Credit

The colorful Reed Flute Cave. Photo Credit

The cave received its name in the Tang Dynasty (618-907) for the numerous reeds growing outside the cave. Photo Credit

The cave received its name in the Tang Dynasty (618-907) for the numerous reeds growing outside the cave. Photo Credit

The 240-meter-long cave is a fascinating gallery of natural sculptures. It is filled with a large number of stalagmites, and rock formations in weird and wonderful shapes.

Some are human-like figures, some resemble animals, some look like fruits and vegetables, and some look like flowers.

The interior of the cave is a veritable show gallery of gorgeous geological formations. Photo Credit

The interior of the cave is a veritable show gallery of gorgeous geological formations. Photo Credit

The most popular formations are Rose Dawn over Lion Peaks and Crystal Palace. The grotto, which is called the Crystal Palace, served as an air-raid shelter during the Second World War.

It is a Chinese habit to give each formation a legendary or poetic name such as Crystal Palace. Photo Credit

It is a Chinese habit to give each formation a legendary or poetic name such as Crystal Palace. Photo Credit

The cave is reputed as “The Palace of the Natural Arts”. Tourists began to visit here in the Tang Dynasty. There are 77 stone inscriptions covering many years of history, including travelogues and poems written by Tang Dynasty literati who visited the cave.

Illuminated by the colored lights, the cave looks like a dazzling underground palace. Photo Credit

Illuminated by the colored lights, the cave looks like a dazzling underground palace. Photo Credit

According to geological research, the cave used to be an underground lake.

Gradually the lake turned into the cave as a result of the enhancement of the mountain and decline of the water level.

Nowadays, multicolored lighting artificially illuminates the cave. Photo Credit

Nowadays, multicolored lighting artificially illuminates the cave. Photo Credit

The cave was almost forgotten for a thousand years before it was rediscovered in the 1940s by a group of refugees fleeing the Japanese troops. It was opened to the public in 1962 and is now equipped with an artificial lighting system to emphasize a visual effect.

The effect is almost surreal, as the light turns the otherwise dark space into a strange mix of bright neon colors and rough natural erratic.

Rating as one of Guilin city's top four tourist sites, the Reed Flute Cave impresses every visitor. Photo Credit

Rating as one of Guilin city’s top four tourist sites, the Reed Flute Cave impresses every visitor. Photo Credit

Love caves? Then read another article from us about caves: Fingal’s Cave: One of the most unique caves on the island of Staffa that has inspired everyone from John Keats, Jules Verne to Pink Floyd

Rich with stalagmites and stalactites, colorful displays and grand natural architecture, the Reed Flute Cave is a library of treasures and enjoyment.

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