Fengjie Xiaozhai Tiankeng – Ticket Price, Opening Hours, Location, and Highlights

the fengjie xiaozhai tiankeng

Tiankeng, a term commonly used to describe a karst landform known as a “sinkhole,” stands as a significant example of Earth’s Quaternary geological evolution. Among these natural wonders, Fengjie Xiaozhai Tiankeng (奉节小寨天坑) in Chongqing, China, stands out as the largest of its kind in the world. Often referred to as the “living fossil” of the Three Gorges formation and a testament to the unique karst landscape, Xiaozhai Tiankeng is a spectacle that captivates the imagination and has become one of the world’s most remarkable cave wonders.

Table of Contents

Basic Information

Estimated Length of Tour1 day
Ticket Price100 RMB
Opening Hours8.30 – 19.00; Last admission: 17.30
Telephone Number0086-023-56789228

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Location and Transportation

Situated within the boundaries of Fengjie County in Chongqing, Xiaozhai Tiankeng is nestled in the village of Xiaozhai, approximately 91 kilometers from the county’s center. Its geographic coordinates place it at approximately 30°44’23” North latitude and 109°29′ East longitude.

Tourists from Chongqing can first take a high-speed train to Fengjie (There are numerous trains commuting between these two places, which typically cost around 150 RMB and take 1 hour and 50 minutes) and then transfer to a local bus to cover the remaining 67 kilometers.

Formation and Dimension

In geographical terms, a tiankeng is referred to as a “karst doline.” It takes the form of an elliptical, funnel-like depression located between several mountain peaks. These tiankengs are geological marvels formed by the long-term erosion and collapse of carbonate rock layers due to the actions of underground rivers. They are a significant characteristic of karst landscapes, with Fengjie Xiaozhai Tiankeng being a prime representation of this phenomenon. This tiankeng boasts a diameter of 622 meters at its rim, 522 meters at its base, and an astonishing depth of 666.2 meters. The steep walls surrounding the tiankeng create an awe-inspiring spectacle, with narrow paths leading to the bottom, particularly in the northeast direction.

Highlights of Xiaozhai Tiankeng

Complex Subterranean Ecosystem

complex subterranean ecosystem in fengjie xiaozhai tiankeng

Inside the tiankeng, a complex network of underground rivers and interconnected passages awaits. The diversity of unique flora and fauna within these underground waterways remains a subject of intrigue and mystery. Scientists and explorers from around the world have embarked on numerous expeditions since the 21st century to study the caves, but many aspects of these subterranean ecosystems remain undiscovered. Fengjie Xiaozhai Tiankeng’s cave system is often regarded as a world-class example of mystical underground landscapes. Moreover, researchers have discovered rare species of plants and animals, as well as prehistoric fossils within these caves.

Tianjingxia Fissure

tianjingxia fissure in xiaozhai tiankeng

On the tiankeng’s surface, there is a natural crevice known locally as the Tianjingxia Fissure, measuring a total length of 14 kilometers and divided into upper and lower sections. The upper section spans approximately 8 kilometers and represents a concealed underground crevice, with a navigable length of 3.5 kilometers. The fissure reaches depths of 80 to 200 meters, with a width at the bottom ranging from 3 to 30 meters. The steep, knife-edged walls give rise to the characteristic “thin sky strip” canyon landscape. The fissure features sinkholes that carry water after heavy rainfall. The lower section extends for about 6 kilometers and was successfully explored by British cave explorers in August 1994.

Diverse Color Palette

diverse color palette in xiaozhai tiankeng

Not only is Xiaozhai Tiankeng colossal in size, but it also boasts an incredibly diverse color palette. The rock patterns on the towering cliffs display a mesmerizing blend of red, yellow, and black hues, resembling a masterpiece of traditional Chinese painting. Birds gracefully dart in and out of the rock crevices, adding life and melody to this colossal natural canvas.

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