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Stone Forest

The Stone Forest

The Stone Forest is in Lunan Yi Nationality Autonomous County, which is about 120 kilometers (75 miles) from Kunming and requires only a three-hour drive. An old local saying says that "You have wasted your time if you have visited Kunming without seeing the Stone Forest." Truly, the Stone Forest is one of the most important attractions of Yunnan. Walking through the Stone Forest, visitors marvel at the natural stone masterpieces and are bewitched by the intricate formations.

Stone Forest

Stone Forest covers an area of 2,670 square kilometers and is divided into several scenic areas with names like Greater Stone Forest, Lesser Stone forest, Outer Stone Forest, Underground Stone Forest, Stone Forest Lake, and Da Dieshui Fall. The Stone Forest was formed by karst two million to thirty mullion years ago.

An interesting legend related Stone Forest goes that a heroine Asham of the Sani( the Sani people are a branch of the Yi nationality living in Yunnan province) was bore into a poor family in today's Yunan region. The girl was very clever and she began helping her father herd sheep at the age of 12. One day in the mountains she saved a boy named Ahei who had lost his way while picking wild fruit. Ahei, a 12-year-old orphan, had to toil for the landlord. Sympathizing with the poor boy, Ashma took him home. Ashma's parents took pity on Ahei and fostered him. Ahei and Ashma grew up together and they fell in love with each other. They got married and lived a happy life. But Ashma was later abducted by the man, Azhi, the landlord's son who was eager for the lady's beauty. When Ahei-the husband learnt the event, he killed the landlord and his son and rescued his wife-Ashma. The lovers went into the stone forest and lived happily there ever after, giving birth to fine sons and daughters who are said to be the ancestors of the Sani people.

From afar, Stone Forest really looks like a dense forest but as you walk closer, you will find "trees" are all slender stone pinnacles. The sight is vast covering some 350 kilometers. The Yi and Sani ethnic group who live there are hardworking and good at singing and dancing. Their folklore and culture are colorful and multifarious, backed up by a long history. The altitude of this area is 1760 meters. This results in perennially pleasant weather, with the annually average temperature of 15.6 Celsius. The Stone Forest is connected with Kunming both by highway and railway, enjoying an easily accessible transport.

 

Stone Forest Tour

Among the most dramatic of Kunming's attractions is the Stone Forest was known as the "First Wonder of the World" since the Ming Dynasty (1368- 1644). During the tour, you will lost yourself in the beautiful scenery there.