I already shared one post about my trip to Wulong County, which began with a visit to the Three Natural Bridges and the Saturday night staging of Impression Show of Wulong. Well, day 2 of this field trip did not disappoint when we went spelunking (what a great word!) in Furong Cave, which sits along the picturesque Furong River.
I was the only native English speaker on this trip, so naturally the tour guide explained everything to our group in Mandarin. My Chinese has improved drastically since I arrived, not even knowing how to say ni hao (hello). Nowadays, my enormous vocabulary allows me to pick up bits and pieces of a conversation when I hear words like “toilet” and “delicious” but I won’t even waste my time trying to grasp a lengthy historical dialogue during an hour-long bus ride. Lucky for me (and you!), I had a translator, so I can share a little secondhand knowledge about this super cool destination.
As the story goes, this gigantic cave was discovered in the 1990’s when a farmer fell deep into a hole, almost losing his life. Luckily, he survived to tell the story and report his findings to local authorities. Today, Furong Cave is part of the South China Karst UNESCO World Heritage Site and is the only cave in China to make any UNESCO list. It’s said to have formed over 500 million years ago! Suddenly, my impending 29th birthday doesn’t make me feel so ancient.
The cave itself is impressive. The multi-colored lights create a sort of haunted house, psychedelic environment and the constant 80-something degree temperature provides a nice respite from the outside chill. You’ll easily spend a few hours wandering through the underground mansion and marveling at the various formations, but if you get bored, excitement awaits you outside.
Just to the right of the cave’s entrance, you can jump on the cable car for a ride down to the banks of the beautiful Furong River. For the more adventurous, you can zipline across the river and back. Obviously, I would have loved to do this, but simply ran out of time. Maybe I’ll be back one day!