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  1. The Stone Forest,Kunming

  2. The Stone Forest,Kunming

  3. The Stone Forest,Kunming

  4. The Stone Forest,Kunming

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Keywords: Karst Landform, World Natural Heritage, World Geopark

Location: It is located in the Shilin Autonomous County, 78 kilometers from Kunming City

Scenic Area: 350 square kilometers

About Stone Forest:

Kunming, the capital of Yunnan Province, enjoys great fame among tourists not only because the region features a consistently warm climate, but also thanks to its wonderful vistas and landscapes. Among the most dramatic of these attractions is the Stone Forest (Shilin), known since the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644 A.D.) as the 'First Wonder of the World'. An old local saying says that 'If you have visited Kunming without seeing the Stone Forest, you have wasted your time.' Truly, the Stone Forest is one of the most important attractions of Yunnan.

Geologists say the Stone Forest is a typical example of Karst topography. Approximately 270 million years ago - during the carboniferous period of the Paleozoic era - the region was a vast expanse of sea. Over time, the movements of the lithosphere gradually caused a retreat of the waters and the rise of the limestone landscape. Due to constant erosion by the elements, the area finally developed into the present-day Stone Forest.

The Stone Forest in Kunming

Stone Forest in Kunming

Main Attractions in Stone Forest

Walking through the Stone Forest, visitors marvel at the natural stone masterpieces and are bewitched by the intricate formations. The magnificent, strange and steep landscape creates countless labyrinthine vistas, including:Major Stone Forest, Minor Stone Forest and Naigu Stone Forest, all of which feature stones in various formations. Animals, plants, and even human figures can be found here. Some are elegant, some are rugged, and each is lifelike with its own distinguishing characteristics.

Minor Stone Forest(小石林)

The Minor Stone Forest is also call Ashima Scenic Area. The big and thick stone walls like a screen deliver this scenic area into several parts. Of all, the most famous scenic spot is 'Ashima'. When the night comes, it is colorful and charming under the glittering lights.

Major Stone Forest(大石林)

The Major Stone Forest consists of intensive stone peaks, just like a stretch of stone basin. The stone forests here have straight shapes and smooth lines, among which the highest stone pillar is more than 40 meters in height.The magnificent, strange, and steep landscape creates countless sights, including Lotus Peak, Ashima Rock, Sword Peak Pond, Shilin Lake, and 'a Gleam of Sky'.

Zhiyun Cave(芝云洞)

Subterranean Stone Forest in Zhiyun Cave, an underground stone forest distributed among several caves and occupying a total area of about three square kilometers (720 acres).Strange Wind Cave, composed of Penfeng Cave, Hongxi Spring and an underground river. From August to November, gales lasting two to three minutes sweep out of the cave every 30 minutes.

Long Lake(长湖)

Long Lake is a karsts lake that is three kilometers (two miles) long but only 300 meters (zero point two miles) wide. The lake features underwater stalagmites and stalactites and a small island in the center of the water.The source of the Dadie Waterfall, Ba River, is a branch of Nanpan River. In the rainy season, up to 150 cubic meters (196 cubic yards) of water per square inch plummet down the 88 meter (288 feet) drop.


Story about Ashima

Many beautiful legends originate in this magical place, passed along by the native people known as Sani, a branch of the Yi ethnic group. One particular story about the faithful love of Ashima, a beautiful, clever and warm-hearted Sani girl, is the most popular and has been told for thousands of years. As the legend goes, Ashima was kidnapped by an lanlord's son and forced into marriage. Her lover, Ahei, made every effort to save her. However, on the way home, Ashima was swept away by a flood and turned into what is known as the Ashima Rock, which can be found in the Minor Stone Forest. Her passion and perseverance for freedom and true love still encourge today's Sani people.

Torch Festival of Sani People

The Sani people celebrate their national festival - the Torch Festival - every lunar year on June 24. They take part in traditional performances such as wrestling, bull fighting, pole-climbing, dragon-playing, lion-dancing and the A-xi Moon Dance. During this time, the Stone Forest is alive with a particularly joyful, festive atmosphere, making the area even more attractive than usual.

Others Attractions in Kunming:

Dongchuan Red Soil: a magnificent red land famous as 'God's Palette'.

The Western Hills and Dragon Gate: boasts an excellent environment with flourishing flowers and dense forest, providing tourists an excellent environment to enjoy the tranquility and marvelous scenery.

‣‣‣ Stone Forest Travel Guide

‣‣‣ Kunming Travel Guide

‣‣‣ Tours Including Stome Forest

• 1 Day Kunming Stone Forest and Jiuxiang Cave Tour

• 2 Days Kunming Karst Landform Tour to The Stone Forest and The Ancient A-Lu Cave

• 3 Days Kunming Spring City-Jiuxiang Cave and Stone Forest Tour

Admission Fee:¥175

Opening Hours:7:00~18:00

Attraction Transportation:

You can take a regular bus in Kunming East Coach Station to the site, CNY 25 per person. The frequency is 20-30 minutes in peak season and about 40 minutes in low season.

Attraction Travel Tips:

Best Time to Visit: March to October
The Stone Forest Scenic Region is open all year round. As it is an outdoor area, it is better to avoid rainy days. You are recommended to check the weather forecast before setting out. 
The Torch Festival, one of the most important festivals for the Yi People, is usually celebrated on June 24 of every lulnar year.
Try to avoid Chinese public holidays, such as Labor Day (May 1st to 7th) and National Day (October 1st to 7th). It is recommended that you start your day early so as to avoid crowds.

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