Alufu Dong

Ancient A'lu Cave - Alu Ancient Cave - Alugu Caves

Useful Information

Location: Luxi County, Honghe Prefecture, Southeast Yunnan. 165km from Kunming. (24.558 N, 103.758 E)
Classification: ExplainKarst cave
Light: electric
Dimension: L=2,500m, A=1,705m asl.
Guided tours: L=3,000m.
Address: Alufu Dong, Yuxi, Luxi Country, Tel: +86-873-665-2600, Fax: +86-873-665-2004.
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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195? explored by Hungarian cavers.
1984 opened to the public.
1987 visited by the acting general manager of the American Eastern Sun Prospecting Corporation.
1997 large theme park with Sani Yi attractions and facilities constructed outside the caves.


This cave is named Alufu Dong (Ancient Alu Cave) by the Yi after the ancient Alu tribe. During the Song and Yuan Dynasty, the Alu were one of 37 wild tribes in the area. They lived in the cave, which they were named after: Alu means water and stone.

This enormous cave system may be explored on a 3,000m long tourist trail. The tour includes 18 chambers, a cave river and a resurgence, karst windows, and a wealth of speleothems. The tour shows three different passages of the cave which are called Luyuan Cave, Yuzhu Cave, and Biyu Cave, each with characteristic speleothems. Luyuan Cave is a 760m long passage, a series of ten chambers connected by narrow paths. The biggest chamber can hold 4.000 people. An abundance of speleothems of various forms are named in the typical Chinese way with colourful and poetic names. Yuzhu Cave has a length of more than 800m. The ceiling in this passage is very high, which is the reason for the formation of typical palm trunc stalagmites. The most impressive single formation is the the Jade Pillar Supporting the Sky, a pilar or stalagnate with a height of eight meters and a diametre of about 30cm. The 800m long Biyu Cave contains a crystal clear cave river which is called Yusun River. It is populated by blind cave fish, which can sometimes be seen on the tour.

The Alu Origin Cave is the chamber were the Alu lived and archaeological excavations took place. But it has not only a prehistoric use, it is also a very old show cave. The first literate men came to the cave during the Yuan Dynasty. The famous geographer Xu Xiake came here twice for geographical investigation during the Ming Dynasty.