just one day trip from shenyang to da shi hu. it have beautiful mountains and valleys with cool water and nice bridges. it is the best place for hiking and camping, also delicious bbq. and because not most people know about it, you will be one of few lucky visitors to enjoy a quiet scenary.
The ticket office for the caves is near to the main road. As of January 2005, admission costs 85 RMB for the caves alone (student 45 RMB) and 2 RMB for the "insurance". If you don't buy the ticket here, you'll have to walk back about 1 km from the cave entrance later, so be warned!
A tour guide costs 80 RMB. Oh well, it was worth it for me -- I got a little scared of the spookiness inside the caves since it was my 1st time visiting any cave. You can buy the ticket either at the ticket office or the cave entrance.
If you get asked to buy the postcards and first-day covers, don't pay more than 20 RMB.
Coming in from Benxi, if you end up on a bus like mine, the driver will be playing one of those irritating gun fight movies and you can't hear the driver yelling the destination. Or even if you can hear him, chances are that you won't understand what he's saying. So try to sit in front near him and be on the lookout!
PingDing Mountain is in Benxi (about 10 mins walk from my flat) and well known because it is the tallest hill/mountain at around 900m. It has an unmistakeable flat top. There are many routes up and in the summer it is a great place to go to have a picnic at the top. Offers views of all the city and beyond... usually hampered by smog, but if you're lucky (especially in the Autumn) it's amazing how far you can see. There's a 2rmb fee once you've got to the top to stay and look around. Also a few concrete temples, a small military base and a couple of tiny shops. It's worth taking the cable car as well, it's 15rmb and a long ride with excellent views, it looks old and dodgy but it's a really great ride!
GuanMen Shan or Closed Door Mountain is a forest park. It is famous for its maple trees which every autumn turn dazzling shades of red. Autumn is the best time to go to see the maples in their finery, but it also sees the most tourists, especially at weekends. It's nice to visit during the summer, for its pleasant pathways, streams and wooded shade, or in winter when the snow lies all around.
Located 30km from Benxi are the Benxi Water Caves, a natural wonder that features a 3km-long river inside stalagmite and stalactite-infested caves. The entry ticket to the caves is Y85 plus Y5 for a buggy cart ride from the main gate to the entrance. Apart from the 45-minute boat trip visitors can first walk through the caves to get a feel of the environment. One can't be fault if one feels that the site is overly commercialized as the caves are not short of plastic replicas of dinosaurs, fossils, cavemen and even a dragon that adorn the inside surroundings.
Located about 30km outside the city, you can visit the Benxi Water Cave. It is said that you can make the longest underground boat ride in the world here. Although I have seen other places claiming the same already, I have to admit that this was the longest for me so far with a length of about 5km.
The start of the tour first leads through some fake dinosaur models (of poor quality) and shows how people used to live in these caves thousands of years ago, but luckily this does not take long. In a very large cave where the underground river starts, a whole bunch of little boats are waiting to travel tourists up and down the river. Along the road you can see some nice stalagmites and stalagtites, almost all named after something that only someone with a lot of imagination could see. My favourites where the "elephant bathing in the water" (which looks best on the way back), and "Snowy Mountains".
long cave great stalagtites new road should be finished soon so acess easier that in the past. sorry could not take good pictures underground but interesting to see albino trout , used to swimming unerground so no need for skin colour - no eagles inside to catch them!