Applauded as a "wonder of the world" this flooded cave, which was hollowed out 5 million years ago, allows visitors ... More
Benxi Water Cave National Park
Applauded as a "wonder of the world" this flooded cave, which was hollowed out 5 million years ago, allows visitors to enjoy spelunking and boating at the same time. The cave is so vast its entrance harbors an underground wharf, docking up to 40 guide boats. The boats silently drift through the illuminated cave revealing a weird world of stalagmites, stalactites, and bizarre rock formations that would cause even Salvador Dali to gasp. Guides accompany each boat.
The caves are a bit over-developed for my taste. They are obviously dredged to permit boat traffic, and the price is really steep even for China. The coloured lighting is tacky too but overall a fun outing. Don't miss it, we still have laughing fits about it.
I really hate it when you boat 'guide' tries to hose you for a few extra bucks for his 'interpretation'. Washrooms are filty.
We visited in March 2009 and the place was almost deserted.
I would totally recommend this to anybody if you are in the area, coz the caves are simply amazing! the rafting in the Taizi river was a lot of fun & the geological museum was very interesting. If you like a trek there is a mountain to climb too, but remember to go till you get the flag. It was not too crowded and could enjoy as much as we liked!
Easiest way to go there is to take the bus from Shenyang South bus station to Benxi city (20RMB), then take the shuttle bus to caves (9 RMB) Entry fee is 140 RMB including sight seeing bus, caves, rafting, & geological museum.
I really enjoyed it and I do some hardcore spelunking. There can be crowds, but You can go at your own pace and separate yourself a little. The alligator show is ok, but for 5 or 10 RMB you can sit on the big gator before the show. I did not care much for the drag queen musical show. If nothing else it is a great place to cool off in the summer. I recommend that you eat at what looks like a green house across from the geology museum. There are only about six tables and the food is excellent. Just another great part of Chinese culture. I took the bus out to the cave, but on the way back there was some taxi's looking for customers. We Joined another couple for 40 RMB and had a much less crowded ride back to the bus station.the rafting is lame but beats walking to the alligator show.
I fully concur with "Beware the Crocs". The caves were the highlight, however the tickets available were a package deal only, so the Croc show was included, along with a pretty lame rubber dinghy ride down 1km of the nearby river, and free pass to the Geological museum, which was good, but typical of any good North American museum presenting general earth geology, with not much unique info about the Benxi area itself. The price amounted to ~$30 CDN, still worth the price just for the caves. We drove ourselves from Shenyang and went on a weekday in late August and the crowd was quite light. There were only 2 boats running at once, with 18 others docked. Definitely worth seeing if you're in the Shenyang area. Be ready to pay highway tolls and watch out for radar cameras if driving.
The Benxi water caves are truly amazing. Well worth the trip to see them. I have seen a few water caves in France and Austria and these were far superior. It is a 45mins boat ride through the caves. You can easily catch a bus from the South Bus Terminal in Shenyang that will take you directly to the caves. It leaves at 7:30am and returns at 2:30pm. Buying tickets to the different attractions once you arrive can be a bit difficult. There is an English price board that doesn't correspond to the Chinese one. This is how we accidently bought tickets to the Crocodile garden. It was a sad display of mostly alligators with their mouths taped shut. The highlight is a show featuring only drag queens in the "crocodile pit". They dance and sing but have no interaction with the crocs. We were confused. Skip the Crocodile Garden and go straight to the caves!
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