All year daily 8-17.
|Classification:||Karst cave Cave Castle|
|Light:||Incandescent Electric Light System Coloured Light|
|Guided tours:||D=1 h.|
|Address:||Yinhedong, Beiye Township, Pingshan County, Shijiazhuang City, Tel: +86-311-82826788.|
|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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银河洞 (Yinhedong, Milky Way Cave) or 銀河洞 (Silver River Cave) is the main attraction at the Yinhedong Scenic Area. It is located on the west side of Tiangui Mountain. Chinese is a quite colourful language which uses many poetic paraphrases and euphemisms. The name of this cave seems to be Silver River Cave, where the Silver River is the synonym for Milky Way. As a result the name is generally translated as Milky Way Cave and as Galaxy Cave. However, it might also be a White River after which the cave is named. We even found two quite similar but different Chinese names. For us westerners it seems sometimes impossible to understand the nuances of the Chinese language, especially for us as we are specialized on caves, not poetry.
The show cave is the center of a scenic area of the same name, it covers "the west side of Tiangui Mountain which is east of Tiangui Mountain". Don't ask, we are at a loss, but that's official and repeated on many websites, probably a mistranslation.
The mountain ridges are composed of limestone and there are numerous quarries. Several mountains form cliffs and escarpments, with shelters and abris. On the mountain is a historic monastery which is also named 天桂山 (Tian Gui Shan, Tiangui Mountain). The cave is located at the top of such a cliff, with a huge entrance portal in the middle of the vertical wall. Inside the entrance are numerous walls, it seems it was used as a cave castle at some point. At this time it was obviously hard to reach, but today there is an elevator which was built in front of the cliff. Looking like a chinese building with the typical roof cladding and a balconies around the tower on each level it looks more like an ancient temple. On the top is a bridge from the tower to the cliff face and the show cave. The show cave is not behind the cave castle, it is entered nearby through an artificial tunnel.
Although it is quite comfortable to reach the level of the cave with the elevator, the trip requires a 2.5 km walk. As a result the tour is estimated to take an hour, while visiting the rest of the scenic area will take three more hours. The scenic spot has no shops or cafés, so you should bring your own water and food, good walking shoes and a jacket for the cave.