Stone Forest, Kunming
| Pictures |
Kunming Stone Forest, Shilin in Chinese, known since the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644 A.D.) as the 'First Wonder of the World', is in Lunan Yi Nationality Autonomous County, which is about 120 kilometers (75 miles) from Kunming and requires only a three-hour drive. It covers an area of 400 square kilometers (96,000 acres) and includes both large and small stone forests, as well as many other scenic spots. An old local saying says that 'If you have visited Kunming without seeing the Stone Forest, you have wasted your time.' Truly, the site is one of the most important attractions of Yunnan.
Walking through the site, 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.
Subterranean Stone Forest in Zhiyun Cave, distributed underground among several caves and occupying a total area of about three square kilometers (720 acres).
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.
Geologists say the Stone Forest is a typical example of karsts 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 appearance.
Kunming East Coach Station (at the East 3rd Ring Road area) has regular buses to the site. The frequency is 20-30 minutes in peak season and about 40 minutes in low season. Bus fare is around CNY 25.
Beside the entrance of Stone Forest, there are regular buses to Naigu Stone Forest Scenic Area every 40 minutes.
Kunming Bus Search
|Entrance Fee:||CNY 175; |
CNY140 during the Spring Festival Holiday (Chinese New Year's Eve to Jan. 6 according to lunar calendar), May Day Holiday (three days around May 1), and National Day Holiday (Oct. 1 - 7);
Time for a Visit:
|3 to 4 hours|
|Opening Hours:||08:00 to 18:00|