Silver Cave, Yangshuo, China

Silver Cave (銀子岩) is one of several limestone caves you can visit in the region. It’s a bit further than some that are right in Guilin, but it is quite spectacular.

You have to follow a guide in, who activates coloured lights at each stop so you can see the amazing stalactites and stalagmites that have formed over the centuries.

Some of the stalactites glimmer like silver, hence the cave’s name.

Opened in 1999, about two kilometres of the cave is open to visitors on a 40-minute walk-through. It was quite cold outside so we had layered well, but the deeper we got into the cave, the hotter and more humid it got, and the more we had to peel off.

Silver Cave, Yangshuo, China

Each highlight has been given a poetic name based on what the formation looked like. I guess to help tourists figure out where they were — or to keep the ole limestone-namers in business.

The Solitary Pillar Propping up the Sky is a column — when a stalactite and stalagmite join. Me smart.

The Heavenly Screen of Music looks like a big pipe organ, and the lights set up around it created a dazzling, deep reflection in the pool in front of it. Once the lights were turned off though, all you saw was some shallow, muddy water. Pretty cool.

There was a section of stumpy stalactites on the cave’s roof with a lyrical name along the lines of “Mother’s Milk” (I’m not sure because Google actually failed me). But when I looked up, I realized they were all shaped like nipples. Good one, limestone-namer.

Chestnuts and taro, street stand, Yangshuo, China

Outside the cave’s entrance are a handful of stands selling taro root, pomelos, fresh sugar cane juice and dried persimmons.

Even though we had just eaten breakfast, my mom couldn’t resist and got a bag of roasted chestnuts. Cave-walking is strenuous, you know.

Silver Cave is located at the foot of Ligui Road in Lipu County about 20 kilometres south of Yangshuo, and 85 kilometres south of Guilin.