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Cave Exploring in Yangshuo

Karst usually refers to the area with bare rocks, no vegetation, caves, sinkholes and underground rivers, but lacking rivers and lakes. It is the result of dissolution of soluble massive limestone by groundwater.

The word karst originally refers to the limestone area along the Dalmatian coast of Adriatic Sea, and now it has been used in the areas with the same landform.

Karst is distributed in extremely scattered areas in the world, such as Coase in France, Guangxi in China, and Kentucky in the United States.

The conditions to promote karst development are:

  1. There are dense limestones with developed joints near the surface
  2. Moderate to heavy rainfall
  3. The groundwater circulation is smooth

Cave Exploring in Yangshuo

The unique karst landscape creates Yangshuo a world-famous paradise of outdoor adventure. Caving or Spelunking is one of the popular adventure items. It is for the brave. Touch the solid rock walls, overcome psychological fears, explore the mysterious wonders of the natural caves, and feel the magical power of the geological changes for hundreds of millions of years.
karst stone column
karst stone column

There are many caves scattered in the countryside of Yangshuo, such as Pusa Water Cave, Longmen Water Cave, Moon Water Cave, Gold Water Cave, etc. Every cave has its own feature.

Pusa Water Cave

Pusa means Bodhisattva in Chinese. Pusa Water Rock is located on the back hill of Licun Village in the Moon Mountain Scenic Area of Yangshuo, and it passes through three mountains, so it is named because there is a stalactite in the cave that looks like a statue of Bodhisattva. The cave is 6 kilometers deep and is famous for the quagmire formed by karst landform. The lights in the cave are dim, and half of the nearly one-hour journey is to bow down and squat. There are not only all kinds of grotesque stalactites and a waterfall about 15 meters high in the cave, but also a huge quagmire. Local villagers often go to take a mud bath, and foreign tourists will also play as children and take a mud bath here, which makes them particularly comfortable after washing.

Longmen Water Cave

Longmen Water Cave, located in the southeast of Yangshuo county, is a world-famous large underground river crystal cave. Start from Yangshuo County, pass the Big Banyan Tree and Moon Mountain, and then arrive at Longmen Village-Longmen Water Cave. There is a lake of about 300 square meters at the entrance of the cave. The cave is about eight kilometers long and runs through eight mountains. It has four passages, with a height of more than 100 meters. The temperature in the cave is kept at around 23 degrees all the year round, which is cool and pleasant. The best travel time is from April to November.

Moon Water Cave

Moon Water Cave is the largest, the most spectacular, the most exploratory and the most primitive underground limestone cave in Yangshuo. The cave is about 6 kilometers long and the area of lake is about 600 square meters. The underground river flows through 9 mountains. The holes of entry and exit are different, so there is no need to turn back. The journey is about 3 kilometers.

Gold Water Cave

Gold Water Cave is located in Lichun Village, Moon Mountain Scenic Area in Yangshuo. It's opposite the Moon Mountain. Gold Water Cave is the largest, most distinctive and most exciting underground river crystal cave in Yangshuo, which crosses three mountains. It is about five kilometers long. Gold Water Cave scenic spot mainly consists of 4 areas, dry cave , underground river crystal, mud bath and cave hot spring. Stalactites in the cave are majestic and abrupt. Entering Gold Water Cave, enjoy the unique karst landform style of Guilin and feel the unique underground river cave in Guilin. You can feel the climate conditions tens of meters underground in the cave, just like entering a natural air-conditioned room in hot summer.

What You will Experience during the Caving?


The formation of karst landform is due to the dissolution of groundwater, which makes the rock surface produce karst caves, underground rivers, underground lakes and other landform. There are 3 stages for the formation of karst cave: dissolution, collapse and deposition. Firstly, groundwater enters the rock through cracks, crevices, holes and other places, and then chemically react with minerals in the rock, so that the rock surface is gradually dissolved. Secondly, after some parts of the rock surface are dissolved, some cavities will be formed. These cavities will gradually expand until the rock surface can't support them, and then collapse will occur. Finally, groundwater will bring dissolved minerals to the surface, and then deposit them on the surface, forming various sediments. These sediments will form various landform on the surface, such as stone pillars, stalagmites and stalactites. 

Alongside your way, you will see the various stalactites, stone pillars and stalagmites. When the water at the top of the cave slowly leaks downward, the calcium bicarbonate in the water reacts, some are deposited at the top of the cave, and some are deposited at the bottom of the cave. Over time, stalactites are formed at the top of the cave and stalagmites are formed at the bottom of the cave. The stalactites in the cave extend downward and connect with the corresponding stalagmites to form a karst stone column. It is said that stalagmites and stalactites only grow 1 centimeter high every hundred years. If a stalagmite or stalactite grows to 1 meter, which takes 10,000 years. They are all gifts of time and gifts of nature. It is our great honor to see the wonderful stalagmites and stalactites. The stalactites are colorful with various shapes. Some look like the string of pearls, some look like mushrooms and some look like a crystal palace.

Take Boats if Necessary

There is a lake in the entrance of some caves, like Longmen Water Cave and the Moon Water Cave. So in these caves you need to take boats to enter the caves. When taking boats, pay attention to the distance between you and the cave to avoid hitting your head or having an accident. Safety comes first when caving. Keep balance in the boat is also very important when caving. You can experience the karst landscape by when taking boat.

Underground River

Passing through the underground river is common when caving. Sometimes it is very narrow, and you should pay attention to it. Sometimes you need to bend down to pass. And the water runs fast here, you should be careful when you pass through. The deepest part of the underground river is about 1 meter, so that’s why we suggest you to choose a guide when you have children. Please be careful when passing through the underground water to avoid falls. Wearing wading shoes can guarantee your safety when passing through underwater. During this time, you may meet some small fishes and shrimps in the underground river. There are many steep slopes after landing, and some places are extremely low, so you should squat. Many places are difficult to walk.

Bats are Possible to Meet

The cave is very dark and wet, which provides a good environment for bats to live. When you meet the bats, keep quiet and calm. And they are not aggressive when you don’t make them scared. According to statistics, they spend much more time inactive than active in their life. In summer, they sleep almost all day and part of the night. Flashlight illumination is not easy to disturb bats. So you are very safe with your headlamp. As long as you don't make a loud noise, or use strong light to continuously illuminate the bat and cause the rock wall to vibrate, you won't wake the bats.

Mud Bath 

If you are interested, you can take mud bath in the cave. The mud in the Mud Baths from the cave stones is naturally formed. There are more than 20 kinds of minerals in these seabed mud. The mud is very safe here and you don’t need to worry about being dirty. The mud is smooth and free of impurities, which is beneficial for people's health. It must be a exciting experience to rub mud on your own body. You can play with your friends here. Children can have fun here, and adults can find their childhood here. And taking mud bath will make you relaxed.

mud bath

Rock Climbing and Rappelling if Needed

In some caves, rock climbing and rappelling are needed. Cave exploring needs some basic skills of rock climbing and rappelling, that’s why we recommend you to choose professional and experienced guide. For your safety, please learn the skills carefully. You may meet some steep cliffs when rock climbing. The rocks are slippery, please be careful when you climb up them. When rappelling, you may meet some deep gorges. Please follow the instructions of the guide to guarantee your safety. The climbing and rappelling are not difficult to operate. Follow the guides and you will get an different experience. And you will feel fulfilling after you finish climbing and rappelling.  

Tips for Caving

Avoid the Rainy Season

Sunny days are recommended when you want to experience the cave exploring, because caves are dangerous in rainy days since the amount of water in the cave will change due to the rainfall. And the temperature is lower than that outside.

Professional and Experienced Guide is Necessary

To the consideration of your personal safety, a guide is necessary when you explore the cave. Besides, a guide can provide you the introductions during your exploring. Professional and experienced expedition is suggested. If you have children, we advise that each child equip with a guide to guarantee their safety.

Never Travel Alone

Never go caving alone. Although caving is a relatively safe sport, you never know what could happen. Even a sprained ankle or simple disorientation can be a big enough injury to need assistance out. Not to mention cell service might be extremely limited underground. So whatever you do, go caving with at least a friend or joining a group.

Specialized Equipment

  1. Helmet with headlamp is necessary since it is very dark in the cave, it can help you see the route and the things alongside.
  2. A suit of quick-drying sportswear is helpful for you. Sportswear is the most suitable clothes for cave exploring. And the caves are wet, so quick-drying sportswear is more comfortable.
  3. Wading shoes which are non-slip is necessary, since visitors should pass through the underground river and the inner environment is wet in the cave. Wearing wading shoes is safe and efficient when caving.
  4. A few snacks and a bottle of water is needed because the journey will take about 2 hours.

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