In the afternoon after visiting the Lijiang River, we headed underground to a fascinating limestone labyrinth known as the “Silver Cave”. Running through 12 mountains the subterranean tour covers approximately 2 km and takes about 1 hour to complete with a guide giving copious information about each rock formation (great if you understand Chinese, not so great if you don’t!).
The cave has been well adapted for tourists with concrete floors and stairs so the able-bodied will have no problem getting around. Creative lighting has been used to highlight the cave with its many stalactites (the ones hanging from the roof) and stalagmites (those built upon the floor of a cavern). There are a number of natural pools which are so perfectly still that they act as giant mirrors and make the enormous space appear even larger.
Funnily enough one of my Chinese colleagues commented during the tour “do you think these are real?” which I think pretty much encapsulates a lot about China right now. They were, of course, the genuine article but as with so much in China, it’s always hard to tell!