Huangjing Tiankeng Scenic Area
huangjing tiankeng scenic area is located in huangjing tiankeng forestry park in the northwestern geopark, and it mainly consists of huangjing tiankeng, qixiannü cave, tiankengdong shaft, fengyandong shaft, xiongmao huanshidong cave, diaojin tiankeng, longtuo tiankeng, lilang tiankeng, ladong tiankeng, xiangdang tiankeng, laowuji tiankeng, xuanya tiankeng, zhongjin shaft, dayanping shaft, and national orchid reserve as well as forest around.
huangjing tiankeng is opened so far, hiking trail around the tiankeng and two overlooking platform as well as rock climbing and fast falling have been set up. also outside huangjing tiankeng baiyun villa has been built to provide food, accommodation and local dance show.
because of geosites are scattered distribution, the trails are predominant by hiking. the bus trail is from orchid natural reserve to orchid breeding center and to huangjing tiankeng; the hiking trails include one from huaping township to changcao village, and southward lanjiawan tiankeng, huanjing tiankeng, then eastward longtuo tiankeng, diaojing tiankeng, ladong tiankeng, lilang tiankeng, and getting to dashiwei tiankeng finally, the other from huaping township, direct southward longtuo tiankeng, diaojing tiankeng, ladong tiankeng, lilang tiankeng, and getting to dashiwei tiankeng or turning left to shuijing’ao gate of daoshiwei scenic area.
huangjing tiankeng is named from the muntjac which feed in the tiankeng. it is situated in a shallow depression and is the result of roof collapse in xiayandong underground river cave, a branch of bailang underground river system. it formed in lower permian grey thick limestone of the maokou formation, and the strata are horizontal. both the entrance and the floor are irregular pentagons in plan. the entrance is at an elevation of 975m asl and 225m above the active underground river.
the floor of the tiankeng is very flat with lots of debris deposits, and very steep around the perimeter with 130-150m high cliffs in perfect form. the entrance is 320×170m in diameter, with a maximum depth of 161m and an average depth of 140m. the area is 51,700 square meters at the entrance and 38,200 square meters at the floor, with a volume of 6,293,800 cubic meters.
there is an overhanging cliff on the southeastern side of the tiankeng, collapsed pieces of which are useful for research on tiankeng evolution. it is open to the public.
giant panda fossils cave site
giant panda fossils have been discovered in xiongmao huashi cave at 800m asl. on a hillside near xinchang village, leye. the cave entrance is 3m wide, 8m high, and faces west. no secondary mineral deposits have been found in the area less than 6m from the entrance; however, travertine and stalagmites have been discovered 6~10m from the entrance. 50m inside the cave on the northwest side there is a 2 m-high, 2.5 m-wide alcove in which a well-preserved giant panda skull fossil was found.
chinese and american paleontologists studied the fossil skull and published their findings in proceedings of the national academy of sciences of the united states of america, 18 june 2007, confirming the age of the fossil as >2 ma bp. it’s the most complete skull fossil of the early-stage giant panda (ailuropoda microta) discovered so far. this kind of giant panda had already become preferentially herbivorous, with a smaller body size and longer bear-like face than modern pandas.
the forest around huangjingdong tiankeng
orchid nature reserve
in 2008, the china wild plant conservation association awarded it a title of orchids land in china.
to date 130 species representing 44 genera of orchids have been found here, that is, three fifths of china’s orchid genera and one fourth of china’s orchid species, mainly terrestrial and epithetic orchids. the wild populations of cymbidium cyperifolium wall.ex lindl (with around 12,000 plants distributed over 6,000 square meters) and vanilla siamensis rolfe (with around 2,000 plants distributed over 5,000 square meters) as well as the only wild population of paphiopedilum hirsutissimum pfitz in china (with more than 100 thousand plants) are the largest of their kind found worldwide so far. there is also one species newly recorded in the world, one genus newly recorded in guangxi and fifteen species newly recorded in guangxi province, all found in the yachang reserve. both the numbers of orchid species and their populations here are great and rarely seen elsewhere, which makes yachang a major habitat and gene pool of wild orchidaceae, with great value for both scientific research and sightseeing.