The Very Mysterious Huangshan Grottoes
Trip Start Jan 01, 2005
757Trip End Ongoing
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Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya,
After yesterdays climb full of shambles and storms I slept until mid day.
I then headed a cross the train station car park to find some Bouza for breakfast but instead and surprise to me I actually found Joutza (when I write these two words they are incorrectly spelt but it’s how they are said) so I ordered my first bowl of Joutza for a long long time (how I love the south of China!) and they were more than delicious. I then got to talking to the guy who owned the eatery place and his daughter abut the sign telling of some Grottoes near Tunxi town.
No matter who I spoke to they had never heard of them or been to visit them.
So today I pointed across the car park to the sign and he grabbed a flyer from his fridge and whamo, there they were. So my afternoon was re-planned as I had actually planned to do nothing and head back to the hotel after lunch and do some writing but that would have to wait as I had some 'Mysterious Grottoes’ to visit.
What they were and why they were mysterious were unknown to me.
They were originally known as the Huashan Grottoes but have now been re-named the ‘Mysterious Grottoes of Flower Mountain’ and are located twelve kilometers east of Tunxi City. They are very unique here in China as unlike most caves and grottoes, which are formed by water erosion, these ones are man-made. This gives them more of an air of mystery because no one knows why they were created or who created them. The other large mystery is were the 200,000 cubic meters of rock removed to form them was put.
Inside, the caves are like the huge stone rooms of a stone palace.
You can still see the chisel marks on all walls and ceilings.
So amazingly created/chiseled are they that when I first began walking through them I thought that it was all a big joke but the fact that the Chinese silently listened to their tour guide made me continue to question my negativity. Not only is each room huge but it is also of the strangest shape. None are your normal box shape and each room has a small area where crystal clear freezing cold water can be found. I honestly thought the chisel marks were made by a machine and the fact that each wall and ceilings connection was so perfect also made me wonder so much so that I actually thought of leaving but then I threw that idea out the window and continued to follow the tour group around the caves.
Plus I really loved the coloured lightening.
It made me want to say; I really like what you’ve done with the place!
So far, although a total of thirty six grottoes have been discovered and scattered among the mountains and riverbanks along a five-kilometer stretch of the Xin'an River, The Flower Mountain Grottoes were not naturally eroded by water, but are ancient man-made underground palaces that are believed to be ancient Huizhou Grottoes. There are no historical records about the grottoes but through textual research on a five-centimeter-long stalactite found in the NO.35 grotto, geologists have confirmed these grottoes were built in the Eastern Jin Dynasty (AD317-420), 1,700 years ago.
A unique suspension bridge links the modern civilization with that of the ancient Huizhou.
The caves can be found inside a beautiful park where you can easily spend an afternoon slowly walking not only through the caves but also along the leafy green pathways that take you over small hills and also upon several short boardwalks around the edges of the parks beautiful lake and along the riverside at the beginning of the park.
For those who want a little more you can spend some of your afternoon firing arrows at a target or galloping around on a small Chinese horse. Its also a good idea to bring your own drinks as a normal bottle of coke or whatever has been marked up quite a bit.
The 70 Yuan entry fee will give you entry to three caves of varying sizes.
BUT when it comes to Cave 24 I tried to find it on foot myself and spent about an hour here and there but then gave in and went to the Cave 24 ticket box and asked where I could find it and the girls reply was that I had to pay another fifty Yuan and take a boat ride and she then pointed to the ten Yuan sign. I hope I am wrong but didn’t bother trying to find out as I still had a few more caves to go through but I think it will cost an extra fifty or sixty Yuan to visit Cave 24.
How do you get to the Mysterious Grottoes of Flower Mountain?
I caught a taxi to them which cost 15 Yuan but the bus I caught back cost me 3.5 Yuan. To catch the bus home just stand on the side of the road and wait for a little red bus which you can catch to either the train station or all the way to Lao Jie.
Beers N Noodles toya…..shane
The soundtrack to this entry was by Enigma
The album was ‘Version 3’