Initially, I thought that Huanglong (Golden Dragon) Cave was just like any other cave that I have visited before. Shitloads of stalactites and stalagmites throughout the cave.
Boy was I so wrong.
Huanglong Cave is HUGE. It is the largest cave system that I have ever been to so far. Spanning 15 kilometres in length, if I remembered right, only about a third of the cave is accessible to the public. There are two underground rivers within the cave system as well. And at some point within the cave tour, you’ll need to take a boat at the jetty within to traverse the tunnels in the cave system. Check it out:
It is no tiny jetty mind you. The underground river has enough space for 3 boats to pass each other side by side. It is that wide. And if you are wondering, the boats pictured above can sit 20 people.
According to wikipedia (because I obviously wasn’t paying attention to the cave tour guide; plus my Chinese sucks):
Covering a total area of 48 hectares (120 acres), the cave system extends to 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) in length and is divided into dry and wet levels. The are four levels, thirteen chambers, three underground waterfalls, two underground rivers, three pools, ninety-six passages, as well as an underground lake. The largest chamber in the cave is 4,000 square metres (43,000 sq ft) and the highest of the three waterfalls is 50 metres (160 ft) high. The guided tour through the cave lasts about two hours and includes a boat ride down one of the underground rivers.
It really is very huge. The largest chamber is called “The Dragon King’s Palace (黄龙洞龙宫)” and the place is probably the size of the Esplanade Concert Hall, Esplanade Theatre and Esplanade Concourse area combined… or maybe even slightly bigger.
I do not deny that the stalactites and stalagmites were a little boring (it really looks about the same everywhere in the world) but this cave is definitely worth a visit for the sake of seeing for yourself how amazingly massive this cave system is.
Furthermore, it has a really pretty garden outside so you can easily spend half a day or a bit more to chill out there.