Longmen Waterfall (龙门飞瀑 [Lóngmén Fēi Pù])

Anshun County, Guizhou Province, China

Rating: 2.5     Difficulty: 1.5
Longmen Waterfall in context

TABLE OF CONTENTS



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INTRODUCTION

The Longmen Waterfall (龙门飞瀑 [Lóngmén Fēi Pù]; Dragon's Gate Waterfall or Dragon's Gate Flying Falls) was one of the main attractions of the Longgong Caves (龙宫洞 [Lónggōng Dòng]; Dragon Palace Caves). This was actually an unexpected surprise for us as we had no clue that the Longgong Caves even featured a waterfall. And a distinctive, unusual feature about the falls was that it passed through a natural bridge or tunnel (though it did seem like the uppermost part of the falls had been man-modified for what appeared to be erosion and/or flood control).

From the well-established car park, we walked along a well-manicured paved walkway for about 15 minutes crossing over a couple of bridges, which themselves were perched over some smaller cascades and manmade waterfalls. Actually, the second bridge crossed over what did appear to be an impressively wide cascade that could've been an attraction on its own if not for its vicinity to the Dragon Palace Caves and the Dragon's Gate Waterfall. Anyhow, I remembered there were quite a few young girls dressed in bright red Miao clothing looking for tourists wanting to pose for a photo with them for a fee. There were also a few peddlers selling corn and yam as well.

Cascades beneath a bridge en route to the falls Once at the falls, there was a wet-with-mist viewing area which got a little crowded in waves from the large Chinese tour groups as well as many more of the young girls in Miao attire. The mega groups could be a bit trying on the nerves as I remembered one middle-aged guy rudely shoved me out of the way as apparently I was in his photo. Since I was able to appreciate the fact that a country with over a billion people required a bit of aggressive behavior in order to get by and survive (no place for manners in most circumstances, I guess), the annoyance was brief. But consider yourself warned if you come across this kind of behavior (not just here but throughout the country).

In addition to the main viewing platform, there was also a path that went up a flight of stairs leading to an upper viewing platform. Up there, it was definitely quieter than the often-crowded lower viewing platform. It also provided a different perspective of the unusual Longmen Waterfall.

When we had our fill of the Longmen Waterfall, the path continued by crossing a bridge flanked by stone carvings of dragons, which traversed the stream responsible for the falls. Then, it went up some more steps through caves ultimately leading to a queueing area before some boat docks at a lake that directly fed the Longmen Waterfall. This lake allowed for non-motorized boat trips through the main Dragon Palace Caves (Longgong Dong), which were right at the head of the lake. I remembered Julie and our guide Li would consistently warn me about the low-hanging branches and stalactites as our boat ride would careen beneath them. It was definitely a ride where them watching out for my head was appreciated as I was also trying to take photos!

The cave itself was like many of the other caves we had been to in southern China. The difference here was that it was pretty much exclusively toured by boat, which meant that the constant motion combined with the low lighting conditions made photographing what we were seeing difficult due to the likelihood of them turning out blurry. Nonetheless, the cave featured formations that resembled various things we'd be familiar with in real life though none of them were memorable enough for me to single out let alone identify in this writeup.

After we were done with the boat tour, we had some time to check out the Longmen Waterfall from its top as there was a viewing area with railings to ensure we didn't fall into the sloping waterfall. We also returned back the way we came so we could once again experience the waterfall as well as the pleasant walk between the entrance and the falls itself.

Julie and I spent about two hours in the Longgong complex. I'm sure we could've taken even more time here, but we thought two hours was enough, especially since we were visiting the Huangguoshu Waterfall on the same day.




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PHOTO JOURNAL

Closer look at the impressive Longmen Waterfall, which appeared to be going through a natural tunnelCloser look at the impressive Longmen Waterfall, which appeared to be going through a natural tunnel
Inside the Dragon Palace Cave (Longgong Dong)Inside the Dragon Palace Cave (Longgong Dong)
Tianlong was one of the ancient towns near the city of Guiyang, which was the capital of the Guizhou ProvinceTianlong was one of the ancient towns near the city of Guiyang, which was the capital of the Guizhou Province
Qingyan was another one of the ancient towns near the city of Guiyang, but this one was very charming and picturesqueQingyan was another one of the ancient towns near the city of Guiyang, but this one was very charming and picturesque
On our way to the Dragon Palace Caves from Guiyang, we were on a road that afforded us views of these attractive terraces which I believed cultivated rice or taroOn our way to the Dragon Palace Caves from Guiyang, we were on a road that afforded us views of these attractive terraces which I believed cultivated rice or taro

The entrance gates to the Dragon Palace CavesThe entrance gates to the Dragon Palace Caves

This was the first bridge we crossed, which went over what appeared to be a flood control damThis was the first bridge we crossed, which went over what appeared to be a flood control dam

Looking ahead at cascades in the distance as we approached the cavesLooking ahead at cascades in the distance as we approached the caves

Approaching the cave up aheadApproaching the cave up ahead

A pair of dragon statues fronting the Longmen WaterfallA pair of dragon statues fronting the Longmen Waterfall

Looking down at the upper viewing deck before the Longmen WaterfallLooking down at the upper viewing deck before the falls

Stairs going through some more caves between the Longmen Waterfall and the lake above itStairs going through more caves between the Dragon's Gate Waterfall and the lake above it

The lake feeding the Dragon's Gate WaterfallThe lake feeding the Dragon's Gate Waterfall

The docking area above the waterfallThe docking area above the waterfall

Looking out towards some boats traversing the lakeLooking out towards some boats traversing the lake

Boating closer to the cave entrance for the Dragon's Palace CavesBoating closer to the cave entrance for the Dragon's Palace Caves

This was the best I could do to take photos of the cave we went into under low lighting conditionsThis was the best I could do to take photos of the cave we went into under low lighting conditions

Top down view of the fallsTop down view of the Longmen Waterfall

Crossing back over the bridge above the wide and attractive cascade as we were headed back to the entranceCrossing back over the bridge above the wide and attractive cascade as we were headed back to the entrance

Looking downstream from the bridge above the attractive cascadesLooking downstream from the bridge above the attractive cascades

This person was traveling in styleThis person was traveling in style


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VIDEOS OF THE FALLS


Bottom up sweep of the falls from the lowest viewing deck


Deliberate top down sweep directly of the falls as well as some of the scenery downstream


Top down view of the falls


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DRIVING DIRECTIONS

In our custom tour, the Longgong Caves were combined with the Huangguoshu Waterfall in a day trip out of Guiyang. Even though we stayed at the Huangguoshu Waterfall area on our visit, I could easily envision tours doing the whole thing in a day. And that might explain why it gets pretty busy over here.

From Guiyang, it was about a 2-hour car ride to get here.

For geographical context, we arrived in Guiyang after an hour long flight from Nanning. Nanning was a two-hour flight from Hong Kong, 1,859km (20 hours drive or 2.5 hours flight) southwest of Shanghai, and 2,174km (22.5 hours drive or 3 hours flight) south of Beijing.




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ITINERARIES

For more information about our itineraries involving this waterfall, check out the following links.




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MAP OF THE FALLS



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TRIP REPORTS

For more information about our experiences with this waterfall, check out the following travel stories.




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TRIP PLANNING RESOURCES




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NEARBY WATERFALLS




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