Zhījīn Cave

Cave in Anshun

This monstrously long (10km) cave is the biggest in the country – a visit will satisfy everyone from hardcore spelunkers to wide-eyed tourists with a penchant for subterranean beauty. Pockets open up to 150m high to reveal Zhījīn's organic splendour twisting upward like a stone forest.

Tickets to the cave, which is 15km outside Zhījīn and 125km north of Ānshùn, include a compulsory 2½-hour Chinese-only tour (minimum 10 people). The tour covers some 6km of the cave, up steep, slippery steps at times, and there are English captions at the main points along the way. Solo travellers visiting outside peak summer months or Chinese holidays should be prepared for what can be a tedious wait for enough people to roll up to form a group.

A long day trip from Ānshùn is possible, but you'll need to be on an early bus to Zhījīn (¥34, three hours, from 7am), from Ānshùn's north bus station. Once there, hop a taxi (¥4) to the local bus station on Yuping Jie and catch one of the minibuses that leave regularly for the cave entrance (¥8, 50 minutes). Returning from the caves, buses leave regularly; the last bus back to Ānshùn heads out of Zhījīn at 5.30pm.

From Guìyáng, regular buses (return ¥110, four hours, 6.30am to 5.20pm) depart every 30 minutes to Zhījīn from the long-distance bus station.