Sigangli Cave in Cangyuan County, Lincang

Sigangli Cave 

Sigangli Cave in Cangyuan (沧源司岗里溶洞) is 3 km from Menglai Village of Cangyuan County. Sigangli means coming from the cave in Wa language. Geological evolvement for numerous years forms plenty of hall in the hole, stalagmites in the hall, stalagnate in different poses and with different expressions, and rich spectacle combination. Some of them seem petty monkey playing around, lion squatting, tiger looking for food etc. Especially, there is a stalagnate, about 20 m high, 1.6 m root thick, standing upright between heaven and land. The stalagnate is small at the upper part but big at the lower part, decorated with stone pattern on it which looks like one by one stone towers, clean and white, acclaimed as the acme of perfection.

How to get to Sigangli Cave?

Sigangli Cave is located in the Luoshui Cave of Cangyuan County, Lincang  City, Yunnan Province. It is 3 km from Menglai Village. There is no shuttle from the citi to Sigangli. Travelers can rent a car or drive to Sigangli Cave.

Wa Ethnic People

The name of the Wa legend—Sigangli—means “coming from the cave”, referring to the cave in Awa Mountain where the Wa (followed by other peoples such as Han, Lahu, and Dai) originated. This legend records the history of their migration and the origins of their agriculture, use of fire and iron tools and religious practices. It suggests that the Wa people were the original inhabitants of this mountain region. They went through a transition from a hunting-gathering mode of production to agriculture and from a matrilineal to a patrilineal kinship system, and for a long time they have interacted with other peoples such as Dai and Han.

Formation of Sigangli Cave

The Sigangli Cave was originally an ancient underground river. Due to years of geological evolution, the formation changed and the river was diverted. The dry underground river has been eroded by the rainwater on the ground for many years. The limestone gradually dissolves and forms a plurality of cave halls through precipitation and condensation. The stalagmites and stone pillars in the hall are in various poses forming the fantastic view. In particular, there is a stone pillar about 20 meters high and 1.6 meters thick. Like a stone tower, it is white and crystal.

What to See

The fantastic of the cave, except for the name, is due to the accumulation and precipitation of karst for many years, and the stalactites are formed in various poses. A stalagmite rises from the bottom of the cave, like a carved sculpture supporting the entire top of the cave. The dome-shaped cave top makes the cave look magnificent.The hole is not very big, but it is magnificent inside, like a colorful concert hall. This is a natural summer resort with the breeze, because the Mengdong River flows from the bottom of the cave, so it is cool and comfortable even in summer.

When you walk forward, you will see the stalactites, stone pillars, stalagmites, stone slabs, etc., which are strangely shaped by the multicolored lights. They are in diverse shapes, like slim young girls, uneven mountain terraces, Goddess of Mercy, mushrooms etc. When you look back at the hole, the light of the hole is like a sky opened by the ancestors of the Wa people when it is in chaos. The ancestors of the Wa people never stopped their struggles for the pursuit of light, and walked out of the cave, out of the mountains, and into the world.

Nearby Attractions

Wengding Wa Ethnic Village

Wengding Wa Ethnic Village(翁丁佤寨) is an over 400 year-old Wa ethic village. Wengding means where the clouds are floating since mists often cloak the mountains throughout the year. People who live there have been called“ the last tribe of China’’,it has preserved the typical style of Wa residential architecture and primitive folk customs. Surrounded by lush trees, the village consists of 98 households with over 400 residence Of Wa people. The local elder stated that the woods protect the safety of the village. Inside of village has the best preserved cottages, totem, the woods, Village pillars and worship places, which reflects the splendid history and culture of Wa people. Black is auspicious color of Wa people. The elder, men and women, prefer holding tobacco pipe when they are free.

Cangyuan Cliff Painting

Cangyuan Cliff Painting (沧源岩画), the oldest cliff painting of China, enjoys the history of 3000 years. It is painted with red paint with fingers or feathers. Pigments may be made from animal blood and hematite powder. The cliff paintings mainly describe the hunting activities, production activities and entertainment activities etc. There is also a war triumph, a picture of the bamboo house and the people who hold the weapon and get back with victory. The rough and simple painting is an important material for studying the history of the ancient nationalities of south of China.

Useful Travel Tips

It is dark inside the Sigangli Karst Cave, we can pay a deposit, RMB 10, at the ticket booth to rent a flashlight.

We can take the minibus printed with “Rural Transportation” to Sigangli Scenic Spot on the central plaza of Cangyuan County, and the fee is negotiable, around RMB 260.