Getu River National Park is located in Ziyun County, Anshun, Guizhou Province. It is about 103 kilometers (64 miles) away from Anshun and 164 kilometers (102 miles) away from the downtown of Guiyang. Combining karst landscapes of mountains, water, caves, rocks, and forests along the Getu River, Getu River National Park is an incredible place to enjoy the majestic natural beauty; and it’s also a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts.
The highlight of the national park is the karst caves. In the park, you can enjoy the karst sceneries, experience the thrills of popular low-altitude skydiving, wingsuit flying, and other adrenaline-rush activities, watch the traditional Miao spiderman performance of freehand rock climbing, and visit the fascinating Dahe Miao Village with mysterious King Yalu Culture, etc.
What to see and to do at Getu River National Park
There are countless caves in Getu River National Park, among which Dachuandong Cave is the most worth seeing. Dachuandong, big hole literally, is also called Swallow Cave or Swallow King Palace, since it is famous for the tens of thousands of swallows flying and living in the cave. From Qingming Festival in early April to Chongyang Festival in the mid October every year, you can see flocks of swallows flying out the cave in the morning and returning at sunset. It’s absolutely a staggering scene.
Tongtian Cave – See a beam of light shining down from the karst shaft
Walking along the plank path from Dachuandong, you would reach the Tongtian Cave at the end of the road. It’s called a cave, but it’s actually the deepest karst shaft in China. Formed by the karst land collapse and the erosion with flowing water, it is 370 meters (1,214 feet) deep and about 200 meters (656 feet) wide, which is equivalent to the height of a 120-stories building. On a sunny day, you can get the opportunity to see a beam of morning light pouring down from the karst shaft, just like a beautiful light curtain through a sky window. Isn’t it wonderful?
Spiderman Cliff Rock Climbing Performance
The spiderman freehand rock climbing performance is also a must-see in Getu River National Park. This unique skill is originated from the burial culture of local Miao ancestors. At the ancient times, Miao people lifted the coffin of the deceased and put it in the cave on cliffs. Due to such a cave burial tradition, some Miao people made a living from the freehand rock climbing. Nowadays the skill passed down is for the performances.
The spiderman without any protective measures climbs alone from the ground to the 100-meter (328-feet) cliff with wet moss. After getting the flag and beat the drum on the cliff, he would get back to the ground. The performer is as light and flexible as walking on the ground, which is quite breathtaking. Sometimes, you may meet a spider woman probably.
Located upper of Dachuandong, Chuanshangdong Cave has a height difference of 226 meters (741.5 feet) above the Getu River. It’s the remains of an ancient watercourse with the highest location in China. Chuanshangdong is more like a big hole in the mountains, as an airplane can fly through it. Having a 40-minute walk along the steps from Tongtian Cave, you will reach the viewing platform of Chuanshangdong Cave. The slope outside the cave is covered with varieties of subtropical plants, which is the best site for taking pictures, with the huge hole as the frame. Moreover, in early morning, a beam of light would shine onto Getu River through the Chuanshangdong, which is like a miracle made by God. If you are fortunate enough, you’ll witness the magical scene in person that would appear for merely dozens of days in a year. Do you want to see it?
On the other side of the viewing platform, you can get to the blind valley after passing through a quiet bamboo grove. The blind valley is actually a piece of trough-shaped concave ground for karst collapse. Surrounded with steep cliffs, it might be like a wild dead end. In fact, there are two more blind valleys covered under the dense forests. Getu River flew through there once in ancient time, and now, the virgin forest in the valley is extremely lush with trees, shrubs, vines and other plants. If you are a nature lover, the blind valley is perfect to relax your mind.
Dahe Miao Village
Dahe Miao Village is a small secluded village in the mountains; and it can be reached by the cruise on Getu River of the national park, or hiking along the trails. In both the two way, you will get to the old village soon, but the cruise would be a little faster. If you hike to the village, you may admire the beautiful natural sceneries all the way; and you may come across the hanging coffins on the way, which is the symbol of the ancient burial culture at local.
This original ecological Miao village retains the primitive and simple folk customs. There you can enjoy the intangible cultural show of climbing a high ladder of swords, and join the enthusiastic Miao people for a welcoming bamboo pole dance. As the birthplace of the intangible cultural heritage King Yalu Culture, you can also learn the epic story of King Yalu, the Miao ancestor who developed and fought for his kingdom. You may also walk around the village after meal, to appreciate the natural lake with changeable color. As the weather varies, the color of the lake water would turn to be cyan, yellow, reddish, etc.
How to Get to Getu River National Park
From Anshun East Bus Station, you can take the bus to Ziyun at 08:20, 09:10 or 10:00 in the morning. The bus will take you about 2 hours and RMB 30 for a single trip. When you reach Ziyun Bus Station, you can transfer a bus to Getu River National Park, which takes an hour and RMB 12. Getting off the bus, you can find the park after walking along the road for a while.
During the outbreaks of COVID-19, the bus from Ziyun to Getu River might be halted. You may take a taxi there instead.
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