5 Best Underground Attractions
One anonymous stranger once said “To reach a great height a person needs to have great depth.” He has a point. Well, if we need depth, then let’s help you. It’s all about depth again today, but as a diversion, we’ll give you the 5 Best Underground Attractions.
1. Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor
Buried under an almost 30-story-tall funeral mound at the center of a city-sized necropolis near Xi’an lies the Qinshihuang Mausoleum – remains of the first emperor of a united China – guarded by the incredible Terracotta Army, one of the world’s most visited ancient ruins. No two of the once brightly painted clay reproductions, modeled after real people, are alike—down to the armor, facial features, even hair and clothing, all standing with horses and weapons at his majesty’s command for thousands of years.
2. Batu Caves
The popular limestone hill located in Selangor, Malaysia has many caves and is a sacred spot, visited by the locals as well as tourists. The temple complex is spread all over the hill. The underground caverns feature stunning limestone formations and rare animal species. The site is only 13 km (8 mi) north of Kuala Lumpur. The train route to the caves is said to be beautiful.
3. Waitomo Caves
The real-life setting for a glow-in-the-dark sci-fi spectacular is two hours south of Auckland and the same distance west of Rotorua under its rolling green hills. Here, caves are filled with arachnocampa luminosa (that’s New Zealand’s indigenous glowworms to you) that give off a subtle blue glow due to a chemical reaction occurring in their abdomen. Enjoy a boat ride that will take you through this galaxy of living lights, strong on sticky webs above.
4. The Greenbrier (Bunker)
Indulge in a little espionage while visiting the Allegheny Mountains’ posh Greenbrier resort, where a bunker was secretly built in 1956 to house members of Congress should nuclear war break out. The Greenbrier is located in West Virginia, United States. Now declassified, the fallout shelter could have accommodated more than 1,100 people behind 25-ton blast doors; today, it’s a time capsule of Cold War hubris. The unused bunker came equipped with a power plant, decontamination chambers, communications equipment, meeting rooms, and a great hall for joint sessions—all over two football-field-size levels.
5. Salina Turda
Excavated by hand since the 13th century—although perhaps as early at 1075—the massive Salt Mines in Transylvania, Romania is now a subterranean museum and recreation center with basketball hoops, a mini-golf course, Ferris wheel, and even an underground lake you can go boating on. Salina Turda is staggering 368 feet underground. Those with allergies and asthma will be especially interested in the mine’s halotherapy spa facilities, which use ionized air, pressure, and humidity in the salt-lined caves to treat persistent respiratory problems.
Pro Tip: If you’re planning to visit these 5 Best Underground Attractions, make sure to do your research first; also try looking to book your flights using online travel agencies as they tend to, on average, reduce airfare costs by about 43%, a few good ones being Flighthub.com, Travelocity.com, JustFly.com or Expedia.com.