双龙洞

Shuanglong Dong - Double-Dragon Cave


Useful Information

Location: Shuanglong Cave Scenic Area, Luodian Town, Wucheng District, Jinhua, Zhejiang 321021.
(29.2041914, 119.6194832)
Open: JUL to AUG daily 8-17:10.
SEP to JUN daily 8:30-16:40.
[2022]
Fee: Adults CNY 90, Online Booking CNY 80, Childrens (1.2-1.5 m) CNY 45, Children (<1.2 m) free, Seniors (60+) CNY 45.
[2022]
Classification: SpeleologyKarst cave
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System LightColoured Light
Dimension:  
Guided tours:  
Photography:  
Accessibility:  
Bibliography:  
Address: Shuanglong Cave, Luodian Town, Wucheng District, Jinhua, Zhejiang 321021, Tel: +86-579-8259-8866.
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

400 first mentioned as a scenic spot.

Description

双龙洞 (Shuanglong Dong, Double Dragon Cave) was named after two huge stalagmites right behind the cave entrance which look like dragon heads. The cliff face around the cave entrance is decorated with huge chinese characters reading Shuang Long Dong. The characters were presumably written by a scholar of the Tang Dynasty. On a wall inside is an inscription saying cave and sky, which is interpreted as the cave is a separate world with its own sky. It was created by Wu Lin, a calligrapher of the Song Dynasty. And finally there is a third inscription on the top of the cliff by Yu Youren, a 20th century calligrapher, saying 36th Cave.

The cave has two huge chambers separated by a wall of speleothems. The first chamber is called the Outer Cave and has a flat floor and ceiling, with 1,200 m² it is big enough for 1,000 people. This chamber has a huge portal and is still influenced by the outside temperatures. The other part is called the Inner Cave, the connection is called Frog's Mouth, a 3 m wide and 12 m long entrance passage. This passage is filled by the cave river to 30 cm below the ceiling. The second chamber is entered by boat, the visitors have to lie down in the boat, with the ceiling only a few inches from their face. As the wall separating the Outer and Inner Cave is only 5 m thick, it would be quite easy to build an artificial tunnel. We guess the fun to lie down in a boat is part of the experience.

The cave behind the wall is in the dark zone of the cave with a constant temperature of 15 °C. The cave river which flows through both chambers, leaves the cave at the entrance and fills a clear mountain lake in front of the cliff.

The Inner Cave has about 2000 m² and is full of speleothems, stalactites, stalagmites, and stalagnates. The Chinese way is to name them with phantastic names, and the visitors need a lot of creativity to see them in the shapes. We liked the names colored clouds chasing the moon, heavenly horses galloping in the sky, the sea turtle exploring the sea, and the golden rooster spreading its wings. This baroque names have some history, the Ming Dynasty explorer and adventurer Xu Xiake wrote about the cave: "A stone curtain hangs in the cave; by water and on foot, one can enjoy the wonders of the cave. And the light and shadow of the cave forms a unique scenery."

The name of the cave is written into the stone at the entrance since the Tang Dynasty. So actually the reason why it was named so is not really known.

Fang Feng, a famous scholar in the Song Dynasty, writes in his book Record of Jinhua Cave that the "double dragons" are in the inner cave:
伛偻踏水入内洞,有形蜿蜒,头角须尾,凡二,屈蟠隐见,爪尖皆白,石如玉,所谓双龙也
Hunchbacked and treading water into the inner cave, there is a shape winding, head, horns, beard and tail, where two, flexing coils hidden see, claw tips are white, stone like jade, the so-called double dragons.

The modern writer Ye Shengtao wrote in his book Remembering the Double Dragon Cave in Jinhua:
"The first thing about the inner cave is, of course, the two dragons winding at the top of the cave, a yellow dragon and a green dragon."

Zheng Dongbai who served as the governor of Jinhua County in the 27th year of Jiajing in the Ming Dynasty, believed that the dragon rising and falling was in the outer cave hall, as he wrote in his book "A Journey to Jinhua".
洞门轩豁如大厦,石盖如砥错,有石乳下垂,如龙升降状。
"The door of the cave is as open as a building, the ceiling is as misshapen as the inner cave, and there are stalactites hanging down, like a dragon rising and falling."

Xu Xiake, a famous traveler in the Ming Dynasty, also said in his Zheyou Diary.
外洞,轩旷宏爽,如广厦高穹。而石筋夭矫,石乳下垂,作种种奇形异状,此双龙之名所由起。
"The outer cave is as vast and magnificent as a high vaulted building. And the stone tendons are in a very early stage, and the milk of the stone is hanging down, making all sorts of strange shapes and forms, which is the origin of the name of the Double Dragon."

The Jinhua City Chronicle compiled in 1992 believed that the Double Dragon was at the entrance of the outer cave: "Double Dragon Cave: there are stalactites hanging on both sides, one green and one yellow, resembling two dragons, the two dragons are outside the cave, while the dragon body is hidden inside, hence the name "Double Dragon Cave". Legend has it that in ancient times, when Wuzhou had a severe drought for many years and the people were suffering, the Green Dragon and the Yellow Dragon stole water from the Heavenly Pool to save the people, but they were trapped inside the cave because they had broken the rules of Heaven and the Queen Mother used a huge stone to crush their necks, but the two dragons still tenaciously tilted their heads and spat out water, and the clear spring water continues to gurgle to this day.

The above three explanations are from the Chinese Baidu page. Obviously they also have no idea, and to hide this fact they write a lot of poetic nonsense and cite long gone celebrities. There are no speleothems resembling dragons, otherwise there would be no need for different theories. Either they were destroyed during 1,600 years of cave tourism, or they actually never existed.

The scenic area is named after the most important show cave, but there are numerous other caves and even several show caves. Unfortunately it is almost impossible to get a list or the locations, so we do the same as they do, we list arbitrary names. Shuanglong Cave Scenic Area includes 双龙洞 (Shuanglong Dong, Double Daragon Cave), 冰壶洞 (Bīng hú dòng, Curling Cave), 桃源洞 (Táoyuán dòng, Peachtree Cave), 朝真洞 (Cháo zhēn dòng, Chaozhen Cave), 冰瀑洞 (Bīng pù dòng, Icefall Cave), 二仙洞 (Èr xiāndòng, Two Immortals Cave), and 仙瀑洞 (Xiān pù dòng, Immortal Waterfall Cave). These are the caves which are included in the ticket, which seems a pretty good value to us.