Shady Green Gorge

Useful Information

Location: Jiuxiang village, 70km from Kunming, 47km from Yiliang. Kunming Prefecture.
Classification: ExplainCollapsed Cave, roofless cave
Light: n/a
Dimension: L=600m
Guided tours:  
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Yincuixia (Shady Green Gorge) is a 600m long gorge with a river of deep green colour. The gorge is used for motor boat trips with tourists. The special thing with this gorge is the fact that it is a karst feature. It is a socalled cave ruin or roofless cave.

Obviously a roofless cave is a sort of paradox, as the definition of a cave requires the existance of a roof. If it is roofless, it is not a cave. This term is used to describe the formation of a gorge, which formed underground as a cave. As the cave became bigger and the roof thinner, the roof started to collapse. The karst windows were subject to intense erosion and grew fast, the roof shrank untill it became a series of natural bridges and finally those collapsed too. At the end there is a gorge with former cave walls, often - like in this case - with stalactites and other speleothems.

This valley is called Lovers' valley by the native Yi people.