The Stone Forest is known as "One of Earth's
Natural Wonders". All
visitors to Kunming from home and abroad never hesitate to come
admire the unique scenes formed by the stones. The Stone Forest is
in Shilin County, 85 kilometres southeast of Kunming. Covering a
hundred square kilometres, stone peaks rise abruptly from the
numerous layers like bamboo shoots, forests and pagodas. If you
the top of one of the peaks, you can behold thousands of peaks and
just like a marvelous vast black forest. The roads wind around
the peaks, taking visitors to ever more unexpected and beautiful
Researches by Chinese and overseas geologists have proved that the
Forest is over 270 million years old. The area used to be an
the Long Geological Period from the late Permian Period 230million
ago to 2 million years ago , the ocean subsided and giant rocks
During this time the rocks were gradually worn away by
water, forming the
strange rock forms seem today.
Wandering in the Stone Forest is a unique experience .The stone
form strange shapes, the peaks are like poems and pictures, like
vertical "Lotus Peak," the majestic "Rhinoceros Admiring the Moon"
the graceful "Pavilion Observing the Peaks". The layers of
to be pressing forward; the curious shaped rocks excite people's
imagination. In the depth of the Stone Forest, numerous lakes are like
mirrors reflecting the rocks and peaks.
Among all the scenic spots in the Stone Forest, the rock of Ashima in
the Small Stone Forest is the most famous. The rock of Ashima
girl of the Sani people, a branch of the Yi ethnic group, with a
on her head, and a bamboo basket on her back. The shape and
both surprisingly lifelike. Ashima was a beautiful girl in a Sani
tale. She is a symbol of the hope for freedom to choose who to
a happy life for the Sani people. This is a story of a young
fall in love, but cannot marry each other. It was first written
the 1940s and performed in Kunming. It has been published several
and was filmed in the 1960s. The national dance drama "Ashima" is
list of the top Chinese dances in the 20th century. Since then "Ashima"
has been translated into eight languages including
English, German, French,
and Russian and has shed its beauty throughout the international
Walking through the Stone Forest, we can still find traces of
Neolithic Age. On the cliffs and peaks we find ancient frescos
using a mixture of animal blood and minerals. This is a beautiful
combining the spirit of the ethnic minorities and natural scenery.
to the Stone Forest are other scenic spots such as the Black Stone
Forest, the Dadieshui Waterfall, the Changhu Lake (Long Lake), and the
(Purple Clouds) Cave. Lakes, mountains, caves and rocks add more
the Stone Forest area. Every year, on the 24th day of the 6th lunar
the Yi people celebrate their Torch Festival . Traditional
including wrestling and bull fighting, and joyous singing and
always last throughout the whole night.
Front Scenery of Stone Forest: As soon as one
enters the Stone Forest scenic area, a crystal-clear lake comes
into focus. By the east lakeside, rise from the water a good array
of fantastic stone pinnacles, pillars, shoots, and stalactites,
resembling a natural potted scenery. A few hundred steps beyond
the lake, there is a pool with a huge boulder in the shape of a
squatting lion. Hence it's given the name of "Lion Pool". Further
on, a couple of tall limestones block the way like a green screen.
Greater Stone Forest: Inside the sea of Stone
Forest, one feels as if were in a bizarre fairyland. The stone
formations standing still resemble a variety of things such as
ancient fortresses, birds, beasts, flowers, trees, human beings,
and whatever else one can imagine.
Lesser Stone Forest: It adjoins the Greater Stone
Forest, and has large lawns, lush growth of bamboos and trees as
well as mountain flowers in Spring and Autumn. Most fantastic are
"The Cluster of Pinnacles Propping up the Sky" and "The Stone
Singing Praises of Plums".
Outer Stone Forest: It's gifted with myriad of
stone peaks of various shapes. The Lion Hill resembles a squatting
male lion on a height.