The highlight of a visit to this National Park is the Benxi Water Cave system (located about 45 minutes from the major city of Shenyang). This 500 million year old cave is the world’s longest underwater river cave accessible by boat. It is one of this region’s most visited attractions – the temperature is 12C year round – so if you are visiting in the summer its a welcome relief from the heat and during the dead of winter – a huge temperature swing in your favor – from winter’s icy tentacles on the surface.
You enter through a long and sometimes narrow cave – until you ultimately find yourself standing in a huge cavern. The boats are located here – after buying a ticket, jump on board and be dazzled by about a 25 minute ride. The waterway is well lit with both underwater and above water lights – there are a plethora of unique and pretty rock formations as well as thousands of stalactites. The water is super clear – and not that deep so you can always see the bottom. In addition to the cave, there are hiking trails, a geology museum and a “cultural” walkway.