Stone Forest: A Dizzying and Unique Tourist Spot in China

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China, known for its infrastructural might and study abroad programs China is also the country that houses several unique travel destinations. Shilin or the Stone Forest situated at the heart of Yunnan province in the Shilin Yi Autonomous County is an area flanked with clusters of karst landforms that offer a breathtaking view. The area serves as a popular spot for tourists and has been expanded into an extensive tourism area that is home to varied ethnic customs and recreational spots. For tourists visiting Kunming, this is a favorite inclusion in most China travel itinerary.

Stone Forest is located 86km to the east of Kunming, China

Almost 270 million years ago, major plate and crust movements led to the formation of these karst landforms that took their current shapes after constant erosion and dripping of the limestone. The entire place now has the feel of a forest comprising of “stone” trees thereby inspiring the name “stone Forest”.

While these landforms are also present in other provinces of southern China, the ones of the Stone Forest are reputed to be most well defined and beautiful. Geologists flock to visit the place for their scientific studies and it has often been referred to as the “The First Wonder Under the Heaven” and “the Natural Landscape Museum”.
Recognized as a World Heritage Site and one of the World Geo Parks by UNESCO, Stone Forest”s value extends much beyond just a popular tourist destination. Encompassing a total area of 1100 sq km, the area provides exceptional scenic beauty. The area comprises of eight subdivisions which are the Stone Forest Scenic Area, the NaiGu Stone Forest area, Zhi Yun Cave, Guishang National Forest Park, the Da DieShui area, the Long Lake, the Moon Lake and the Qifeng Lake. Of these eight, the Stone Forest area, the Da Dieshui area, the Naigu Stone Forest Area and the Long Lake are open to tourist visits.
The Stone Forest is also subdivided into the categories of Major Stone Forest and Minor Stone Forest. The former is known for more unconventional shaped and sized landforms than the latter. It offers a plethora of unique looking rock chunks and narrow meandering paths that create a fantasy stone land that stuns visitors with its visual stimulation. In comparison, the Minor Stone Forest is cleaner and acts as a pleasant scenic area. In sync with the legend of “Ashima”, her statue (which also is the symbol of Stone Forest) is located in the Minor Stone Forest. For all its uniqueness and beauty, Stone Forest is a must see component for every China tour.


This post is provided by Minds Abroad, which offers educational travel, study abroad and volunteer travel in China and India.


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