云水洞

Yunshuidong - Yunshui Cave - Shangfanshan Yunshui Karst Cave


Useful Information

Location: Shangfanshan National Park, Fangshan District, Beijing 102406.
(39.666905, 115.807629)
Open: All year daily 8:30-16.
Park closed during winter.
[2022]
Fee: Park: Adults CNY 30.
Cable Car: Return CNY 80, One Way CNY 40.
Yunshui Cave Scenic Spot: Adults CNY 30.
[2022]
Classification: SpeleologyKarst cave
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System LightColoured Light
Dimension: L=613 m, T=13 °C.
Cable Car: L=830 m, VR=320 m.
Guided tours: L=1,500 m, D=1 h.
Photography:
Accessibility: no
Bibliography:
Address: Yunshui Cave, Shangfanshan National Park, Fangshan District, Beijing 102406, Tel: +86-10-6131-5542.
Beijing, Fangshan District, Yuesheng Highway, Yuegezhuang 102454, Tel: +86-10-6131-5518.
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

27-NOV-1981 two relics excavated in Leiyin Cave.
1992 declared a National Forest Park.
24-OCT-1999 Shijingshan cableway opened to the public by the Yunju Temple.
03-MAR-2017 Yunshui Cave Scenic Spot opened.

Description

云水洞 (Yún shuǐ dòng, Yunshui Cave, Cloud Water Cave) is located on Shangfang Mountain in the Fangshan National Forest Park. There are two possibilities to visit the cave, either take the cable car and then walk 5 minutes to the cave, or walk from the parking lot to the cave entrance, which is about two hours uphill. While the cave is located at the outskirts of Beijing, It's nevertheless a 90 minutes drive from the city center, if you are lucky. The locals go there if the air pollution in Beijing is too unbearable. The mountain has two parking lots called East Entrance and West Entrance, they are only 800 m apart along highway X046, and the cable car starts at the West Entrance.

Shangfang Mountain (860 m asl) became an area of Buddhist activity during the Eastern Han Dynasty (25-220). 72 ancient convents are spread throughout the mountain's 12 peaks. The monastery is named Shijingshan and has two Tang pagodas as well as a large number of historical relics such as stone-cut ancient wells and inscriptions from Sui and Tang Dynasty. The mountain is said to have nine caves, 12 peaks and 72 thatched cottages.

Bei'anli Temple is a small temple from the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), located at the cable car, it is a temple at which monks still pray, reside and conduct tours of the caves. The cave is located behind the temple. At the cave entrance is a 1,200-year-old Buddhist carving, inside there are more modern Buddhist statues of enormous size. However, they are dwarfed by the huge cave chambers, the biggest is 70 m high, the others between 40 m and 50 m. One of the chambers contains the largest stalagmite in Asia, named 擎天柱 (Qíng tiān zhù, Optimus Prime), which is 38 m in height and estimated to be 300,000-year-old. The cave passage is 613 m long and has seven chambers with fine speleothems, unfortunately lighted with coloured light. But there are also kitsch "enhancements", like bridges, cement lily pads, a dais of majestically-lit Buddhas, and a miniature Great Wall. Together with the "casino-like multi-colored lighting" it was actually too much for the journalist of China Daily who visited the cave in 2011. The tours are in and out, so with all bends and curves in the trail the tour is 1.5 km long. The tours are guided by the residential monks and take about an hour.

Before the cable car existed all visitors had to walk at least two hours to reach the monastery. The monks of nearby Yunju Temple wanted to facilitate tourists to go up the mountain for sightseeing. So they opened Shijingshan cableway which goes up to the highest temples of the Shijingshan monastery.

In winter the (rather low) mountain has sometimes snow, and as this is not good with steep trails and abysses, the park is generally closed during winter. Nevertheless, the cable car and cave are open, you are just not allowed to walk up to the cave.