Swallow Cave, Huishui – Ticket, Opening Hours, Location, and Highlights

swallow cave huishui

Swallow Cave (燕子洞), nestled in the heart of Huishui County, Guizhou Province, stands as a testament to nature’s grandeur and awe-inspiring beauty. With its vertical entrance towering at a staggering 215 meters, surpassing even the renowned Mulu Caves in Sarawak, Malaysia, it has rightfully earned the title of “the tallest cave in the world,” a distinction recognized by the Guinness World Records.

The name “Swallow Cave” finds its origins in the multitude of white-bellied swifts that call this cavernous sanctuary home. Each spring, an estimated 400,000 to 500,000 swallows return to nest within its depths. As autumn approaches and the swallows depart, coupled with the newly hatched offspring, the population can swell to nearly a million.


Table of Contents


Basic Information

Estimated Length of Tour2 hours
Ticket PriceFree
Opening Hours24 hour a day

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Location and Transportation

Swallow Cave is nestled in Xiantang Township, Huishui County, Qiannan Buyei and Miao Autonomous Prefecture, Guizhou Province. It lies approximately 74 kilometers from the county center. Visitors can reach Swallow Cave by either driving themselves or taking a minibus from the county’s bus station. However, vehicles can only reach the entrance bridge, from where it takes about an hour’s walk to reach Swallow Cave on foot.


Highlights of Swallow Cave

Enchanting Structure

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The cave is structured in three tiers: the subterranean caverns, the mid-level rock formations, and the towering cliff faces. At its zenith reside the largest populations of white-bellied swifts. Within its labyrinthine chambers lie a plethora of natural formations, each more enchanting than the last. From stalactites to flowstones, the cave is adorned with formations resembling roaring lions, pouncing tigers, spreading phoenixes, and grazing rhinoceroses.


Magnificent Spectacle in Spring

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As one traverses the cave’s depths, the sounds of murmuring swallows above and the gentle flow of the River Ba Wang below create a symphony of nature’s melody. The river, crystal clear and teeming with life, adds to the cave’s allure as fish dart and play in its waters. During the spring bloom, tens of thousands of swallows dot the cliffs and caves, their aerial dances reminiscent of flowing clouds. The echoes of their chirps reverberate through the valley, creating a spectacle so magnificent that it inspired the cave’s name, “Swallow Cave.”


Qilong Mountain

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Standing sentinel before Swallow Cave is the majestic Qilong Mountain, its peak piercing the heavens. At its base lies another cavernous wonder known as Qilong Cave, through which the Yin River, originating from within Swallow Cave, flows, its cascading waters crashing against the rocky walls like thunder. Nestled within the western walls is another cave, Xiniu Cave, named after the colossal rock formation within its depths that bears an uncanny resemblance to a rhinoceros.


Reputation

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Swallow Cave isn’t just a natural wonder; it’s a conservation marvel. Recognized as the inaugural “Asia-Pacific (International) Geographical Indication Park” and listed among the “Top 100 Ecological Wonders of China,” it also holds the prestigious title of a “World Karst Landform (China) Exemplar” and was featured in the inaugural edition of the “World Wonder Gold Book” for its natural marvels. Moreover, it has been designated as the “International Swallow Conservation Headquarters” by the International Swallow Conservation Conference.


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Useful Tips Summarized from Reviews

Prepare for “Guano Mountain”: As you enter the cave, be prepared for a significant amount of swallow droppings, commonly referred to as “Guano Mountain.” It’s advisable to bring a mask and gloves to protect yourself from the odor and potential contact.

Navigate through Tight Spaces: After crossing “Guano Mountain,” you’ll encounter a section of the cave where you’ll need to bend your body to progress, with approximately 30 meters of narrow passage. Additionally, there’s a small hole of around 10 meters where you’ll need to crawl slowly on your stomach.

Safety in Numbers: It’s highly recommended to explore the cave with a group of people. Unexplored sections of the cave rely solely on individual headlamps or other forms of lighting. Claustrophobic individuals should exercise caution before entering.

Mind the Cliffside Paths: The paths inside the cave often run along cliff edges. If you enjoy taking photos while walking, be extra cautious of the ground beneath your feet. Falling while taking photos could lead to irreversible consequences.

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