Home China Guide Kunming Attractions Jiuxiang Scenic Area — Museum of Karst Caves

Jiuxiang Scenic Area — Museum of Karst Caves

You might have visited karst caves in Guilin or in Halong Bay, but you might not have seen such a large cluster of karst caves combining rivers, waterfalls, gorges, forests, and ethnic minority cultures. Jiuxiang Scenic Area is such an attraction.

  • Chinese: 九乡 Jiŭxiāng 'Nine Villages'
  • Area: 200 square meters
  • Popular activities: explore karst caves, enjoy a boat ride, take a cable car
  • Must-see attractions: Terrifying Gorge, Green Shady Valley, Bat Cave
  • Suited to: anyone with good physical health, especially nature lovers and geological enthusiasts
  • Time needed: 3 to 4 hours

Highlights of Jiuxiang

Kunming JiuxiangBeautiful karst caves in Jiuxiang

Known as the "museum of karst caves", Jiuxiang boasts more than 100 karst caves and is the largest cave group system in China. The cave formations are very varied and the rivers, waterfalls, and natural rock bridges are very enchanting.

Jiuxiang comprises five scenic areas, among which only Diehong Bridge is fully developed and now open to the public.

Terrifying Gorge

Terrifying Gorge (Jīnghún Xiá 惊魂峡) is believed to be the most magnificent underground canyon in China with a length of about 700 meters and a depth of nearly 100 meters. It got its name in honor of the pioneers who tried to open up this tourist pathway with extreme care so as not to fall into the abyss.

Green Shady Valley

Green Shady Valley (Yìncuì Xiá 荫翠峡) stretches for about 1 kilometer, flanked with verdant trees. You can take a boat ride through the valley and hear the voices echoing off the cliffs. It has another name of 'Love Valley' because it was a place for young men and women to sing songs in order to find lovers.

Bat Cave

There were thousands of bats living in Bat Cave (Biānfú Dòng 蝙蝠洞), hence the name. It is impressive due to its stalactites. It looks like an upside-down stone forest.

Lying Dragon Cave

A dragon-shaped underground river passes through the cave, so it is called Lying Dragon Cave (Wòlóng Dòng 卧龙洞). In the cave, two waterfalls cascade down from the rock at a length of 30 meters and meet in a deep pool at a depth of 10 meters.

They look like two loyal lovers jumping from the cliff hand in hand to die for love, hence they were named the 'Female and Male Flying Waterfalls' (Cíxióng Fēi Pù 雌雄飞瀑).

Male Lion Hall

Male Lion Hall (Xióngshī Tīng 雄狮厅), an oval underground hall, got its name due to the lion-like stalactite at the entrance. It covers 15,000 square meters but hasn’t got any pillars in the hall. It is reputed as being the largest underground hall in the world.

The Best Time for a Visit

Kunming Jiuxinag Karst CaveBeautiful karst caves in Jiuxiang

Jiuxiang presents different landscapes in different seasons. It is suitable for travel all year round but summer is the best season, when you can take a boat through the valley and enjoy pleasant weather.

It is recommended that you don't go during peak Chinese holiday periods, such as Labor Day (May 1st to 7th) and National Day (October 1st to 7th); otherwise you will experience a "people river".

Travel Essentials

  • Location: Jiuxiang Yi and Hui Autonomous District, Yiliang County, 90 kilometers from Kunming and 20 kilometers from the Stone Forest Scenic Area
  • Open: 9am–6pm
  • Ticket prices: 90 yuan entrance fee, 30 yuan for one-way cableway if needed
  • Minibus: from Kunming North Bus Station / East Bus Station to Yiliang, then another minibus to Jiuxiang Scenic Area
  • Bus: from the square in front of Kunming Railway Station directly to Jiuxiang Scenic Area

Jiuxiang Access

  • You can ascend/descend using a chairlift and enjoy the breathtaking scenes surrounding you or you can ride a horse.
  • Be prepared to climb steps. Climbing up the 336 steps that lead to the Bat Cave could be a challenge for seniors. Sedan chairs are available and cost about 60 yuan.
  • You should wear comfortable shoes as you will be walking for about 3 hours inside the caves.
  • The path is narrow, so watch where you step.

Nearby Attractions

  • The Stone Forest: Reputed as the "Stone Forest Museum", it is the only karst stone forest in a subtropical plateau region in the world. It is recommended that you go early and link the trip with a visit to the Stone Forest as they are only 30 minutes apart.
  • Xishan (Western Hills) Forest Park: You will have a bird's-eye view of Dianchi Lake and be able to appreciate the groups of Taoist sculptures in the grottoes on the cliff in this scenic area.
  • Yuantong Temple: It is the oldest Buddhist temple in Kunming and it houses the 3.5-meter (11.5-foot) -tall statue of Sakyamuni.

Tour Jiuxiang Scenic Area with China Highlights

Travel with China HighlightsTravel with China Highlights, and you will be taken good care of by your private guide.

Jiuxiang Scenic Area boasts more than 100 caves. It is advisable to travel with a professional guide who will select the most magnificent spots for you and explain their history. Contact us to create a tour including Jiuxiang.

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