Stone Forest, Kunming
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Kunming Stone Forest, Shilin in Chinese, is a spectacular set of limestone groups and the representative of south China’s karst landscape. Known since the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) as the 'First Wonder of the World', it is one of the most important attractions of Yunnan. An old local goes that if you have visited Kunming without seeing the Stone Forest, you have wasted your time.
China Stone Forest Facts
Location: Shilin Yi Nationality Autonomous County, 120 kilometers (75 miles) and 3 hours’ drive from Kunming.
Area: 400 sq km (150 sq mi)
Major Attractions: Greater & Lesser Stone Forests, Naigu Stone Forest, Zhiyun Cave, Long Lake, Moon Lake, Dadie Waterfall, Qifeng Cave, Guishan Mountain
Sightseeing Route & Top Sights
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:
Greater Stone Forest, Lesser 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.
How was the Stone Forest in China Formed?
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.
How to get to Stone Forest
The return buses to airport leave at 8:20, 9:50, 11:10, 12:20, 13:40, 15:10, 16:10 and 17:50.
It costs CNY45 for a single trip.
2. From Kunming South Railway Station: Take a bullet train to Shilin West first, which takes about 20 minutes, CNY29 for a first class seat, CNY18 for a second one. After arrival, you can take Bus 99 to the scenic area directly. It takes about 50 minutes and costs CNY8-10. The bus is available from 7:50 to 22:30 with an interval of 30 minutes.
3. From Kunming East Coach Station (at the East 3rd Ring Road area): The regular bus is available from 8:00 to 18:00 and costs CNY34.
Kunming Bus Search
|Admission Fee||CNY175 for an adult; |
CNY130 for seniors from 60 to 70 years old;
CNY87.5 children from 6 to 18 years old;
Free for children under 6 years old or 1.2 meters (3.9 feet) and seniors over 70 years old.
|Dance Show||Free; available during 14:00-14:30 and 15:00-15:30.|
Time for a Visit:
|3 to 4 hours|
|Opening Hours:||07:00 to 18:00|
|Naigu Stone Forest||CNY60; |
Beside the entrance of Stone Forest, there are regular buses to Naigu Stone Forest Scenic Area every 40 minutes.
|Dadie (Feilong) Waterfall Scenic Area||CNY18, not available currently and the opening time is unknown.|
|Long Lake Scenic Area||CNY10|