This was one of our most unexpectedly favourite family activities in Yungshuo. It was just so much fun and a really great family activity to enjoy together as well as to learn about the Karst limestone mountains that dominate the landscape of this beautiful region.
The Gold Water Caves is a network of karst caves that you walk through on a guided tour, learning all about them and being shown formations that resemble things like an elephant or a bird of prey or a donut (kind of). It’s quite commercial - there are even shops inside the caves - but the stall holders aren't pushy at all so just go with it.
The other special thing about these caves is that the beautiful formations are lit up like Christmas trees with glowing colourful lights and LED rainbows. I did not expect to love this but I did. I mean you just have to forget about all your judgement about messing with natural beauty and just accept what the caves are and then you will find yourself loving it for what it is!
These caves are quite elaborate and while I usually like to see caves in their natural state, I just loved the experience of seeing them under coloured lights and really done up like your old aunty with her extra layer of lippie, heavy blue eyeshadow and 20 gold bangles. It’s just kitch bedazzlement and we loved it. And not in a joking love way, like we actually loved it. Don't judge me!!
When you arrive if you’re a westener they will put you with an English speaking guide. We were so lucky there was just us, but you can have up to 20 people with you. A tour of the caves costs 80 RMB including the mud baths.
After we walked through the caves with our lovely guide who was so patient with us and spoke very good English we arrived at our most longed-for part of the experience.
The mud bath and mud slide.
Oh my gosh what a ripper of an experience. You change into your swimming cosies and then make your way into this big pool of cold, sloppy mud. It is cold, and slimy and just mud. Its so slippery too. I was crawling over to the mudslide to go down with Em, and slipping and falling over - omg it is so much fun. Its kind of scary cause you don't want to fall and slip into the mud but its the fun kind of scary. Then you get to the top of the slide, sit down and slide down into the mud pool. It’s the best.
The guide will make you do all kinds of poses in the mud and he’ll take some pics you can buy at the end, they’re really cheap and worth it to buy one of the mud. And your children will probably push you over in the mud, and throw mud at you and make you go down the slide over and over again so they can laugh and laugh at you.
After the mud you rinse off in the shower and then jump into warm thermal pools. There are two pools and one is around 30 degrees and one is a bit cooler, the water flows in through the rock and its so relaxing.
Then once you've changed you navigate a few shops selling jewellery and alcohol and you're done.
Literally the funnest kitsch activities we’ve done. You have to do it and please tell me how you went!