九天洞

Jiutian Dong - Jiutian Cave - Nine Openings Cave - Zhangjiajie Sangzhi Jiutian Cave - Jiutiendong


Useful Information

Location: Shuidong village, Sangzhi County, Zhangjiajie, Hunan, Tel: +86 744 679 1234
126 km from Zhangjiajie City.
(29.323586, 110.119243)
Open: All year daily 8-18.
[2021]
Fee: Adults CNY 35.
[2021]
Classification: SpeleologyKarst cave Permian limestones
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System LightColoured Light
Dimension: L=5,726 m, A=380 m asl.
Guided tours:  
Photography:  
Accessibility:  
Bibliography: J. Masschelein, Zhang Shouyue, editors (1990): Teng Long Dong, the Longest cave of China, report on the First Belgian-Chinese Speleological Expedition in 1988, Belgian-Chinese Karst and Caves Association, 46p. (14 fig. et plans, photos couleur) English pdf
Address: Jiutian Dong, Zhangjiajie, Sangzhi 416900, Hunan, Tel: +86-533-3680164. Tel: +86-744-679-1234.
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.

History

1987 cave explored and partly surveyed by the Institute of Geology.
1987 identified as “the first cave in Asia” after three on-site investigations of over twenty experts.
1988 opened as a show cave, listed as provincial scenic area.
1995 declared an Exploration Base of International Limestone Cave Association.

Description

九天洞 (Jiutian Dong, Nine Openings Cave) is often dubbed Asias #1 cave, and is said to be the largest cave of Asia, however largest may be defined. It is rather strange to give the size of the cave in hectares, 250 hectares or 2.5 million square meters, to be correct. However, it is neither the longest cave in Asia nor in China, although it is of impressive size. The whole nonsense seems to be based on an international caving expedition in 1987. According to legend a team of twenty cavers from 17 countries discovered, explored and surveyed the cave. Actually that seems to be a blatant lie. As far as we could determine there was a visit by the Belgian Tenglong Dong Expedition in 1988. In 1987 the cave was explored and only partly surveyed in 1987 by the Institute of Geology from the University Beijing.

And another impressive event happened in 1995. The cave became member of the "International Limestone Cave Association" and was "designed an Exploration Base". We have no idea if the cave descriptions make any sense in Chinese, the translation is sheer madness. However, we have an idea what this means. The show cave became a member of the ExplainInternational Show Caves Association (ISCA) which is a rather weird organization of show cave owners. This cave entered the ISCA with numerous other Chinese show caves.

The cave is really impressive for its wealth of speleothems. There are stalactites, stalagmites, draperies, frostwork, box work and hydromagnesite balloons. With its nine openings it is easily accessible for bats, and thus it is an important home to several species of bats. The coloured light is pretty annoying but actually quite common for Cinese show caves.