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San Yuan Cave


San Yuan Cave, the biggest oneamong the five caves inside Caishi Cliff, enjoys a reputation as a GorgeousScenic Spot along the southern bank of the Yangtze River. There is a sayinggoes like this: in the early Ming Dynasty, three students from Hunan went tothe capital for the national exam by boat. When they passed by Caishi Cliff,they were curious to hear someone calling them on the cliff. To find out whatwas happening, they rowed to the cliff and stopped at the cave. Just when theystopped, there was a sudden change in the weather. A violent storm lashed theriver into monstrous waves and overturned all the boats on the river. The threestudents barely escaped from the disaster. They believed it were faeries thathad protected them and saved their lives. Thereafter, they restarted their tripto the capital. Luckily, they took the top three positions (namely, ZhuangYuan, Bang Yan and Tan Hua) during the national exam and were appointed tooffice by the emperor. In order to thank the faeries, they went back to theCaishi Cliff and built a pavilion under the cave where they had ported theirboat. That is how the San Yuan Cave gets its name. (In China, “San Yuan” means“Three Zhuang Yuans”)

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