This is the China of old-- smaller town, more character and certainly more quirkiness.
The quirkiness is most apparent in the Reed Flute Cave. The Chinese have some incredible limestone caves in Guilin and there are many limestone jettisons surrounding the area. While the caves are interesting on their own, they're made even more intriguing due to the multi-color lights that the Chinese use to light them.
It's an odd experience exploring these caves—you'll feel like you are at a concert with an incredible light show. There are blue, red, and green flashing lights over these beautiful formations, and it is a unique way to view the caves—certainly nothing that you would see in the US! It was fun seeing these once, but I certainly prefer the way that formations like the Carlsbad Caverns are naturally lit.
You can catch a great number of sights in the area by going on a quick day tour here. A few notable destinations and explorations include the Longji Rice Terraces, a chairlift ride to the top of Yaoshan Mountain, and a trip to see Elephant Hill, a natural stone arch along the waterside.
At both Elephant Hill and the Longji Rice Terraces, you can capture some great reflections on a good day.
Weather permitting, the view from the top of Yaoshan can be spectacular at sunset. There is also some nice sightseeing on top of the mountain itself during the day.
These are places in China where you can see the stark differences between a fully developed country and one that is still on the rise. Instead of protecting these caves to let them grow and develop, visitors are allowed to touch all of the formations. This is a tragedy, because it is slowly destroying the caves. This isn’t something that would happen in America; I would advise visiting here before the caves are unintentionally demolished.
- Head to the top of Yaoshan for sunset if the weather is good!
- Bring a tripod for the Reed flute cave to capture the reflections
Photography Gear Recommended
- 24-70mm lens
- 70-200 lens
The Nature Conservancy is a worldwide nonprofit with a focus on a variety of environmental issues. Their current areas of work in China include land preservation, fresh water, and climate change.
They helped establish the first ever national park in China (Pudacuo) back in 2007, and are currently working on creating nine new parks by 2020.
Their agreements with government organizations and major hydroelectric corporations give them an important role in guiding sustainable dam policy, and their projects aim to provide power for people and save aquatic wildlife.
Within the field of climate change, the organization is implementing immense reforestation projects that will assist with carbon reduction as well as restoring habitats for the endangered giant pandas.