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It is said that once seven stars fell to earth and formed the wooded Seven-Star Rocks that lie in a lake 118 km west of Guangzhou and north of the Xijiang River. Causeways and bridges have been built to provide better views of the scenery. The slopes of the seven hills are covered with peaches, plums, pineapples, mangoes, tangerines, pines and cypresses.
More than 40 restaurants and pavilions on the lake serve the public. The Moon-in-the-Water Palace, a temple built long ago, has been restored and turned into a splendid exhibition hall for paintings and ancient relics unearthed nearby. The area has been known for its rocks, caves and scenic beauty for 1,000 years.
Double Opening Cave in one of the hills has mouths on both the northern and southern sides of the hill. These are connected by a subterranean river 300 meters long on which one can ride in a boat to view the fascinating rock structures inside.
Stone House Cave, on another of the hills, is the biggest karst cave in Seven-Star Rocks and has more intriguing formations than the others. Poems in all kinds of Chinese calligraphy from the Tang dynasty onward are carved on the cave ceilings and rock faces a dozen meters high.
Conghua Hot Springs
80 km north of Guangzhou is Conghua Hot Springs, an ideal resort for people who want peace and quiet. Several dozen hotels, guest houses and sanitariums have been built here, some in western style and some in traditional Chinese style. The area is surrounded by mountains and orchards of lychee, groves of bamboo, plum trees and flowers. Boat rides can be taken on a man-made lake.
The springs contain sodium, calcium, magnesium carbonates, flourine and some radioactive elements useful in medical treatment. Eight springs (four in the Liuxi River and four on land) supply the area's daily water. The water is generally about 40° C, though some springs reach 71° C. Mineral water is piped to every hotel and sanitarium room.