Seven Star Cave
Cross the Li River at the end of Jiefang Donglu (Jiefang
Road, East) and approximately one kilometre from the downtown area of Guilin you
will find Seven Stars Park. This delightful park that has been landscaped to encompass
hills and natural waterways is a great favourite with the local people and tourists
The park takes its name from the fact that the four peaks
on Putuo Hill and the three peaks on Crescent Hill that form the main part of
the park replicate the pattern of the seven stars in the Ursa Major constellation
(Great bear or Big Dipper). A further hill, known as Camel Hill is another attraction
of the park. This limestone outcrop looks exactly like a camel resting among the
trees. The main entrance to the park is over the Flower Bridge [Hua Qiao], an
elegant arched structure dating from the Song Dynasty that crosses the confluence
of Xiaodongjiang [East River] and Lingjian Stream that passes through the park.
you walk into the park you will find Crescent Hill to your right, so named for
its crescent-moon shaped rock. A notable feature of this hill is the 200 calligraphy
carvings in the caves within it. These are said to be the work of important and
talented calligraphers of the Tang, Ming and Qing Dynasties. A flight of steps
will take you to the top of the hill. Pavilions, kiosks and towers line the path,
each offering excellent views of the Xiaodongjiang River.
choosing the path to the left and heading north you will come to Putuo Hill. Climbing
the steps will bring you to Putuo Jingshe. This is both a living and preaching
place and the tortoise intertwined with the snake in this hall is a typical Chinese
On leaving Putuo Jingshe a further two-minute
walk leads to Seven Stars Cave. Eroded by water over thousands of years, the cave
is a wonderland of stalactites, stone pillars and rock formations resulting from
carbonate deposition. All year, the temperature within the cave remains at a constant
20 degrees Celsius and it has been a tourist attraction since the Tang Dynasty.
However, for all its splendour, the Seven Stars Cave is overshadowed by the awe-inspiring
Reed Flute Cave to be found five kilometres to the northwest of the City. There
is an admission charge of 20 Yuan to enter the caves.
leaving Putuo Hill and walking further eastwards into the park Camel Hill is a
wow of a sight. Being so like a camel, as our picture shows, it is hard to believe
that it is an entirely natural formation. Near to Camel Hill you will find a zoo,
a botanical garden and teahouses.