|Location:||Near Lichuan, Hubei Province|
|Guided tours:||V=200,000/a |
|Address:||Tenglong Dong, Tel: +86-, Fax: +86-,|
|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.
|1987||survey by Academia Sinica.|
|1988||explored by a Belgian-Chinese Speleological Expedition.|
|OCT-2004||first part of development completed.|
|2007||proposed completion of the project.|
Teng Long Dong (Soaring Dragon Cave) is one of the world's largest caves. However, there are a lot of wrong numbers published on the internet. There is so far no official survey published, the length of 40km given on many websites is a guess, the length of 33,522m given by the Geology and Geography Section of the National Speleological Society is a more conservative guess based on the distance between sink and spring of the cave river. The cave offers extraordinary big passages and one of the tallest cave entrances on earth, 74m high and 64m wide.
The cave is entered at one point by a huge river. This river first drops an almost 10m high waterfall, right before it enters the cave. Here a path was built about 20m above the water along the cave wall, entering the river cave. The concrete path has a good view down to the cave river. The water deepens and calms down, while it is narrowed by the cave walls. However, this path goes into the cave only for a short distance, the path is always lighted from outside. At the first narrow point of the underground gorge a concrete bridge crosses the river, goes back out of the cave on the opposite side and leaves the cave again.
The path continues along the limestone cliff outside and reaches a second, fossil aka dry entrance to the cave. The portal is almost rectangular, 50m wide and 60m high. The floor was leveled and grassed, probably as part of the development works. It seems the water once entered the cave here. There is a small office and picnic tables.
The cave itself is an enormous passage, only slightly smaller than the entrance. The cave is toured on electric open top vehicles, which travel on a concrete path at speeds of some 50km/h. Despite the comfortable temperature of the cave we recommend a sweater for this ride. After 2.2km a sort of theatre is reached, where the visitors sit on wooden benches. The huge passage is filled with artificial fog which is used for a laser show.
On the way back a second stage is passed. On this stage once a day at 15:30 a special show is performed. Dancers perform a sort of Chinese opera, the story is displayed for foreign visitors on electronic signboards beside the stage. The perfomance includes light show, music, multimedia projections, water jets and gas flames.
The cave has been a show cave for many years, but it was renovated during the last years. Free True Group from Hong Kong and two firms from China were investing 150 million yuan (US$18 million) to develop the cave.