沂水地下大峡谷

Yishui Underground Grand Canyon - Shandong Underground Gorge - Shandong Underground Grand Canyon - Glowworm Water Cave - Firefly Water Cave


Useful Information

Location: 8 km southwest of Linyi City, Yishui County, Shandong Province.
(35.724520, 118.541263)
Open: DEC to FEB daily 8:30-16.
MAR daily 8-17.
APR to JUN daily 7:30-18.
JUL to AUG daily 7:30-18:30.
SEP daily 7:30-18.
OCT to NOV daily 8-17.
[2022]
Fee: Yishui Underground Grand Canyon: Adults CNY 98, Children (<1.2 m) free, Students CNY 49, Seniors (60+) CNY 49, Seniors (70+) free, Disabled free.
Glowworm Water Cave: Adults CNY 60, Children (<1.2 m) free, Students CNY 30, Seniors (60+) CNY 30, Seniors (70+) free, Disabled free.
Little Flying Dragon Rail Car: Adults CNY 30.
Both Caves: Adults CNY 168, Children (<1.2 m) free, Students CNY 84, Seniors (60+) CNY 84, Seniors (70+) free, Disabled free.
[2022]
Classification: SpeleologyKarst cave SpeleologyRiver cave
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System LightColoured Light
Dimension: L=6,600 m, T=18 °C.
Guided tours: Yishui Underground Grand Canyon: L=3,100 m. V=670,000/a [2010].
Yishui Underground Fluorescent Lake: Ar=25,000 m², L=1,000 m.
Photography:  
Accessibility:  
Bibliography:  
Address: Yishui Underground Grand Canyon, Yaodianzizhen, Yishui County, Linyi, Tel: +86-539-2559999. E-mail:
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

2004 cave leased by entrepreneur Zhang Shanjiu.
25-JUL-2008 to 27-JUL-2008 first China Yishui Underground River Rafting Festival.

Description

The 沂水地下大峡谷 (Yishui Underground Grand Canyon) is a river cave, with its canyon like river passage well developed for more than three kilometers. The tour includes a walk through rice fields, canyon passages, and fossil passages with numerous speleothems. The visit to the little theme park around the cave takes about five hours and also includes a ride in a small railway through sculpted landscapes and in an inflatable boat through dark river passages. The Chinese have been very busy to develop this cave, they identified over one hundred scenic spots along the trail and named them as One River, Five Passes, Six Waterfalls, Nine Spring, Nine Palaces, and Twelve Gorges. We still wonder in Nine Spring means, that there are nine springs or if it is the ninth spot, which is a spring. The whole cave has been lit with light in all possible colours, except probably white. Actually the overwhelming and baroque attack of kitsch hits westerners brutally, if they are not already used to it.

The theme park at Yishui Underground Grand Canyon is the property of the entrepreneur Zhang Shanjiu, the local magnate. He leased it in 2004 for 60 years from the officials. As a result of the development and advertisement he had 670,000 visitors last year [2010]. The company which manages the cave is listed in the United States, which seems to be a prestige thing. Zhang Shanjiu said in an interview "For entrepreneurs, going public gives them a sense of recognition. For employees, going public gives them a sense of achievement." However, It's actually not possible to list a chinese company in the United States, so they did it with help from the United States through a reverse merger in 2010. This practice had recently been used for manipulation of the stock market and has come under scrutiny. However, while the company has not been accused of accounting problems and has not been implicated in any wrongdoing some public attention was given to the labyrinthine link between Longkong and the U.S. stock market. Probably a publicity which was hoped for.

The sight must have published a sort of official statement, which is quite common for Chinese sites. They have a Chinese description which lacks any real facts, which is translated into English by someone who has no idea about the site or about caves in general. The result is then published by countless journalists on countless webpages and in all kinds of brochures. The drawback is, it's devoid of any information about the site, and it's always the same. They never rewrite it or update it. The good thing is, its sometimes funny, unintended obviously.

The Grand Canyon was shaped by the enormous karst crack 200,000 years ago. The murmuring stream makes beautiful sound. The grotesque stalactites, stalagmites and stone waterfall portray a variety of styles. Over one hundred scenic spot such as One River, Five Passes, Six Waterfalls, Nine Spring, Nine Palaces, and Twelve Gorges etc are magnificent and remarkable, deep and serene. The Grand Canyon has the cliff with the height of several meters, the colorful vault of heaven, the bottomless crack of stone, the waterfalls just like the Milky Way pouring from the sky and the spiral shells with different styles.

We haven't understood the meaning, but we like the karst crack who shaped everything 200,000 years ago. Never met that guy though.

On top of the hill is a temple called 卧龙寺 (Wolong Temple). The huge parking lot at the foot of the hill is for both attractions. From here it's a 20 minutes walk to the cave, but it is also possible to ride a tourist train called 小飞龙管轨车 (Little Flying Dragon Rail Car) which must be paid extra. This option is quite popular among families with young children. The visit of the cave, the train ride and the temple will keep you occupied at least half a day, there is also mini golf and other stuff, so you can also spend a full day.

Some years ago another site was opened called 沂水地下荧光湖 (Yishui Underground Fluorescent Lake) which seems to be a water-filled chamber of the cave which is visited on a boat ride. The fluorescent bit seems to be poetic exaggeration or coloured lighting. It has been updated and is now called 萤火虫水洞 (Glowworm Water Cave), and includes a boat ride on the rather fast flowing cave river in gum boats. This seems to be quite new, introduced probably 2020. Glowworms or fireflies are obviously tiny glowing dots, and they tell there are actually bioluminescent animals in the cave, similar to the glowworm caves in New Zealand and Australia. They do not tell if these are insects or larvae of insects and which species. Glowworms are quite exceptional for Asia, actually this is the only location we know of, or it's just a name for marketing and the lights are artificial. The boat ride is currently 500 m long, but they intend to make it 2.5 km long. The Glowworm Water Cave has a huge chamber with a lake called Yingguang Lake, the surface area is 25,000 m² and the water volume 350,000 m³. Beneath the glowworms at the ceiling there are salamanders living in the lake, and they say one of them is nearly 100 years old. This cave is about 10 km from the Underground Grand Canyon and best reached by car.