The Psychedelic Silver Cave in Guilin, China

The Silver Caves near the city of Yangshuo are typical of the karst that dominates this area of China. Karst refers to a type of landscape are made by soluble rocks like limestone being slowly washed away, leaving behind caves, sinkholes, sunken streams and springs.

But this is China, and the natural beauty of the caves cannot be left unenhanced. Some genius decided to light up the cave with a plethora of bright, neon colours. Frankly I’m not sure if it was that bad of an idea. It would have gotten pretty boring to have gone through the whole cave if it were bathed in the same color of light the entire two kilometers of its length.

The lights helped to appreciate the depth and textures of the cavern walls, but scale — that was sometimes difficult to understand in person, and even more difficult to capture with a camera. The area of Guilin, where this cave is located, is a popular tourist spot for both domestic and international travelers. So if your hands are already getting clammy at the thought of spending a couple hours in this dark, claustrophobia-inducing cave, then perhaps you shouldn’t go, as you will spend the entire time navigating a human traffic jam with several bottlenecks along the way. 

Some of the stalactite/stalagmite formations were named for allegedly bearing similarities to objects, people, or scenes. This one was called “Buddha teaching scripture”. I stood in front of it for a long time and could not find him.

Hah! Deep in a natural cave I am free from the shopping malls ubiquitous in China!, you might be tempted to think. Wrong!

Photos taken on April 9 2014.


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