Longtan Karst Cave Scenic Spot
|Light:||Incandescent Electric Light System Coloured Light|
|Dimension:||A=1,500 m asl.|
|Guided tours:||L=1,760 m.|
|Address:||Longtan Karst Cave, Longtan Karst Cave Provincial Scenery Spot, Miyi County, Panzhihua, Sichuan, Tel: +86-812-814-0888, Tel: +86-812-814-0427.|
|As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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|1992||tourist area discovered, begin of development.|
|1997||opened to the public.|
|1998||rated as provincial scenic spot in Sichuan Province.|
|1999||second phase of development started.|
|DEC-1999||rated as national AA scenic spot.|
|2005||upgrade of the light system.|
|DEC-2006||rated as national AAA scenic spot.|
Chinese people seem to think in aesthetic units, and as such Longtan Cave is just one piece of a huge painting called Longtan Karst Cave Scenic Spot. The development of a walking trail, the construction of a road or a parking lot, has the same importance and value as the development of a show cave. But it fits the fact that caves must be lighted with coloured lights and the size of a cave is given in the number of formations with a name. A strange way to put it, and it makes the evaluation of hard facts pretty difficult. Even the open hours and entrance fees are less important than the aesthetic value. They even tell that the place was discovered in 1992, and we are quite astonished a tourist area can be discovered. As far as we can interpret this, it means that the combined value of the whole area for tourism was discovered by the officials. Or probably the cave was discovered. It's lost in translation and cultural differences.
Longtan Cave was (probably) discovered in 1992, and in the same year the development of the cave and the area as a scenic spot started. This included walking trails in the cave, a new 6.3 km long concrete road from provincial road 214 to the cave, and the new Longtan hotel. This first phase was completed in 1997 after five years and opened to the public. The second phase of development was started in 1999 and included access to the Longyin Gorge with its waterfalls by road and a 3 km long circular walking trail. We are not sure about the renovation of the lighting system in 2005. After less than 10 years there should be no need for renovation, except probably flaws of the original design. But we guess they upgraded to LED light, which was available at this time. Also more signs were erected, parking lots extended and new public toilets built.
Longtan Karst Cave or simply Longtan Cave is the first show cave in Panxi. It contains a cave river with several waterfalls, the highest is 15 m high. There is a wide range of speleothems like stalactites, pillars, stalagmites, curtains, and bulbous calcite locally called stine grapes. The biggest chamber is 40 m long, 80 m high and 30 m wide. The content of negative oxygen ion in the cave is very high. That's a Chines thing: they are that negative oxygen ions are healthy. This kind of esoteric misconception is obviously ineradicable, even under communism.
Longyin gorge or Longbing gorge is famous for its natural bonsai garden. The gorge has its own micro climate and specific plants and animals. There are numerous waterfalls and the gorge is developed by a walking trail.
Other sights in the scenic area are the Guabang Mosque, the May 7th Cadre School, and the Guanyin Hot Spring. We understand what hot springs are for, but have no idea if the mosque actually is a muslim church or if its a synonym in communist china for something completely different. And finally we have no idea what a cadre school is and why it would be a tourist sight. There is a lot of cultural details which are not easy to understand for foreigners. If you have any idea please send us an email.