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Tang Dynasty Caves and Longqingxia Ice Festival, 2014/02/08

In Brief: Photos from an outing in Yanqing District, where we visited a valley where people used to live in caves before heading on to the Longqingxia Ice Festival.

During winter, the Longqingxia park holds an ice festival that is a smaller scale version of the big ice festival in Harbin.

The festival is best after dark, as many of the sculptures are lit up with beautiful colours.

Also in the area is the Tang Caves, a set of cave dwellings hollowed out of the hills in a valley. No one is quite sure who lived there, and when, but the local story is that the caves were dug out during the Tang Dynasty (618-907AD).

No matter the actual history, the place is a great spot to look about.

After we investigated the caves, we headed on to a local restaurant to warm up with some soup and drinks before heading on to the ice festival, spending two hours looking around before coming back home.

A view of the caves hollowed out of a big rock, exposed after an earthquake in 1976 - Tang Dynasty Caves and Longqingxia Ice Festival, 2014/02/08

A view of the caves hollowed out of a big rock, exposed after an earthquake in 1976.

More caves higher up, 137 in total - Tang Dynasty Caves and Longqingxia Ice Festival, 2014/02/08

More caves higher up, 137 in total.

Hikers taking photos - Tang Dynasty Caves and Longqingxia Ice Festival, 2014/02/08

Hikers taking photos.

“I’ll stay in this one.” - Tang Dynasty Caves and Longqingxia Ice Festival, 2014/02/08

“I’ll stay in this one.”

A dragon lantern at the Ice Festival - Tang Dynasty Caves and Longqingxia Ice Festival, 2014/02/08

A dragon lantern at the Ice Festival.

Ice sculpture of the big gate at Tian’anmen Square - Tang Dynasty Caves and Longqingxia Ice Festival, 2014/02/08

Ice sculpture of the big gate at Tian’anmen Square.

A temple of ice - Tang Dynasty Caves and Longqingxia Ice Festival, 2014/02/08

A temple of ice.

Another view of the ice temple - Tang Dynasty Caves and Longqingxia Ice Festival, 2014/02/08

Another view of the ice temple.

A wall of ice - Tang Dynasty Caves and Longqingxia Ice Festival, 2014/02/08

A wall of ice.

Ice dragon boat - Tang Dynasty Caves and Longqingxia Ice Festival, 2014/02/08

Ice dragon boat.

A wall of icicles - Tang Dynasty Caves and Longqingxia Ice Festival, 2014/02/08

A wall of icicles.

Red lanterns - Tang Dynasty Caves and Longqingxia Ice Festival, 2014/02/08

Red lanterns.

The Longqingxia dam, festooned with lights - Tang Dynasty Caves and Longqingxia Ice Festival, 2014/02/08

The Longqingxia dam, festooned with lights.

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