Less famous than the Great Wall or the Terracotta Army in Xi’an, Sanyou Cave (三游洞)—”Cave of the Three Travelers”—is still a noteworthy scenic spot that welcomes visitors with not only its great nature and cultural heritage, but also an extremely peculiar restaurant.
Surrounded by the great gorges and tributaries from the Yangtzhe River, the cave is located about 10 kilometers away from Yichang (宜昌) city. This dazzling place became well known only after the three great Tang poets’ visit. Bai Juyi (白居易), his brother Bai Xingjian (白行简), and Yuan Zhen (元稹) once roamed into this wonderland and became deeply touched by its scenery.
It became the inspiration behind many of their works, which are still inscribed on the wall there. Moreover, Bai Juyi’s ‘Preface’ to the cave even became the origin of the cave’s name, San You Dong Xu (三游洞序/three people traveled in the cavern). As a hidden resort for intellectuals, the venue has attracted many writers including the so-called “latter three visitors” of the Song Dynasty—Su Xun (苏洵), Su Shi (苏轼), and Su Zhe (苏辙). The accumulated pieces of inscribed writings number more than 60.
Along with the cultural and historical significance, this location is now known for an exotic restaurant attached to the surface of a steep cliff. The Fangweng Restaurant thrillingly hangs around several hundred feet above the ground, offering diners a view of the flowing water of Yangtze River.
Those questioning the altitude of the restaurant should note that on the opposite side, there is a famous bungee jumping spot. Height fearing customers should also tread carefully on the way to the restaurant as the pathway is nauseatingly narrow.
However, attracted by its risky yet worthwhile view, the number of visitors from all over the world keeps increasing. Eating spicy Chinese food on such a occasion would add to the sweat you’re already producing from the heights.
Wonder how you travel in China? Here you go!
Cover image from gigazine.net