The Magnificent Stone Forest in Kunming
2014-12-19 Jenny Huang Tours Kunming 635
Stone Forest, known as the ‘First Wonder of the World', a geological heritage is situated in Kunming in Yunnan Province north of Dianchi Basin of China with an area of 400km2 . It is surrounded by mountains on three sides and one side is opening in to Dianchi Lake. This Province is the famous stone topography of Shilin, the “stone forest.” The present-day limestone formations are due to the seismic activity and water and wind erosion over a millennia. In the geological past it was a shallow sea. Through the disintegration of soft rocks like limestone the terrain, Karst is formed. Shilin is divided into smaller stone forests caves, waterfalls, ponds, a lake with an island, and also an underground river.
Let us get through the history
It was existed since 1368-1644 A.D. when the Ming Dynasty ruled China. Shillin’s most famous attractions is the Ashima Stone, which the history says was formed after a beautiful Sani girl, Ashima, who ran into the forest and was turned to stone after being forbidden to marry the man she loved. Sani people are a branch of the Yi nationality living in Yunnan province.
Kunming is at almost-tropical latitude but with a 2000 m (6600 ft) altitude, which gives a temperate climate. December to February is the winter. There are strong winds from August to November, gales lasting two to three minutes.
• Walking through the site itself gives immense pleasure to the visitors. The steep and unusual landscapes are splendid in nature creates unimaginable complex vistas of different types of stone forests namely Major Stone Forest, Minor Stone Forest and Nigue Stone Forest. The unusual formation can be reflected in the shape of lakes and even the caves are really labyrinthine in nature.
• One can visualize animals, plants, and even human figures. Some are elegant, some are rugged, and each is lifelike with its own characteristics. Strange Wind Cave composed of Penfeng Cave, Hongxi Spring and an underground river. Long Lake is a karsts lake is about three kilometers long and 300 meters wide. The lake features underwater stalagmites and stalactites and a small island in the center of the water.
• "Dynamic Yunnan" show is very famous. It includes the different energetic dance styles of the minority tribal natives in colourful traditional attire. On June 24 the Sani people celebrate Torch festival - the National Festival. Handicrafts, folk paintings are the main Tourists attractions for shopping.
• The Stone Forest Scenic Spot has limited catering facilities however the tourists can relish the delicacies such as the edible wild mushrooms and Yi people's Tofu feast.
Visiting time: The best time to visit is September to May.
Mode of transport and entry fee
Plane: Kunming Changshui International Airport (KMG) has flights from all major cities.
Train: Overnight sleeper trains to Xiaguan (Dali New Town, about 8 hours) and Lijiang is an attractive mode.
By bus: There are four bus stations for each of the cardinal directions (N,S,E,W). One should go to the bus station in the direction which he wants to travel.
Entry fee: CNY 175
Visit to this Natural Park is a treat to oneself for leisure and family trip!