芦笛岩

Ludi Yan - Reed Flute Cave


Useful Information

Location: 7 km northwest of Guilin, Province Guangxi.
On the northwestern outskirts of Guilin, on the southern shoulder of the Guangming Hill (Bright Hill).
(25.307930, 110.263690)
Open: DEC to MAR daily 8-17:30.
APR to NOV daily 7:30-18.
[2021]
Fee: Adults CNY 90, Children (1.2-1.4 m) CNY 45, Children (<1.2 m) free.
[2021]
Classification: SpeleologyKarst cave
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System LightColoured Light LightSon et Lumière
Dimension: VR=240 m.
Guided tours: L=500 m, D=1 h. V=920,000/a [2000]
Photography:
Accessibility:
Bibliography:
Address: Red Flute Cave, 1 Ludi Rd, Xiufeng District, Guilin, Guangxi, Tel: +86-773-269-5075.
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.

History

792 oldest inscriptions written in ink.
1940s rediscovered by a group of refugees fleeing the Japanese troops.
1959 cave explored.

Description

芦笛岩 (Ludi Yan, Reed Flute Cave) was formed 600,000 years ago by a cave river. It is famous for its speleothems. The name of the cave is derived from ludi cao (reed grass), which grows in front of the cave and is used to make flutes. The gras covered the entrance to the cave, so the people of the area used this cave for many centuries as a hideout in times of war.

The cave contains an overwhelming abundance of speleothems, lighted in a typical Chinese manner with coloured lights. The formation called Red Silk Mosquio Net is a huge drapery. A massive pillar consisting of a huge stalagmite and a rather small conic stalactite is called Fish Tail Peak because of its shape. The stalagmites are of the type SpeleothemPalm Trunk Stalagmite which are only formed in huge chambers as those of this cave. A beautiful detail are some SpeleothemRimstone Pools surrounded by a forrest of small stalactites in one corner of a huge chamber. They are called Mountain City or Pastoral Scenery. Rather funny are sometimes the English translation of poetic Chinese names on the English language tours. There is a formation called A Bumper Harvest of Melons and Vegetables and other speleothems are called Listening to Flute Music From a Secluded Place.

However, at the moment this cave holds our unofficial award of being the most kitschy way to present a cave. There is probably not a single white lightbulb in the whole cave, and to make it worse they have installed a lightshow. They are really fond of the "almost otherworldly air". Its like american cakes on LSD. Beware of sugar poisoning.

The cave system is vast and has served many purposes during history. The first visitors left their traces, calligraphy inscriptions, mostly poems and travelogues, during the 8th century, the Tang Dynasty. During the Sino-Japanese war it was used as air raid shelter. Hospitals and newspapers operated from inside the safety of the cave, impervious to Japanese bombs. And today black tie dinners are held in the cave.