The Stone Forest, China
Have you ever heard of a placed named the Stone Forest before? Do you think that the name is just a metaphor or literal? Well, we’re here to answer these questions.
The stone forest is real. As the name suggests, the stone forest consists of a set of huge rocky peaks, essentially, limestone formations.
Shilin Yi County: The stone forest is a scenic area of geological interest in the Shilin Ye Autonomous County that falls under the jurisdiction of Kunming city (the provincial capital), in the province of Yunnan at the North- East corner of People’s Republic of China.
Climate: Since the place is located at approximately 1,890 meters, it is never too hot there, and the climate is relatively mild and pleasant than the low grounds. The city Kunming is also famous as the “City of Eternal Spring” because of its spring- like weather throughout most of the year. Sounds lovely!
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The Stone Forest: The stone forest or simply, Shilin is famous as a tourist spot because of its unusual and mind- boggling natural scenic area consisting of karst and limestone formations as huge scarps. These large mineral deposits stretch over a vast area of around 500 square kilometers at about 90 kilometers away from the Kunming city.
The stone ridges were formed as the result of endogenous (reason of uplifting the area) and exogenous forces (extreme weathering and mineral erosion) resulting in the geomorphology of sandstones and other dissolving sedimentary rocks over the period of around 270 million years. The area is believed to be a shallow sea before this geological transformation occurred.
The stunningly beautiful scenic area of the Stone Forest, surrounding by natural green beauty is sub- divided into major scenic areas as given below:
The Lizijing Stone Forest (consisting of Major and Minor Stone Forests, differing in density and appearance of grotesque stony peaks), Naigu Stone Forest (also known as the Heisongyan scenic area 8 kilometers from the Major Stone Forest), Zhiyun Cave, Lake Changhu (the name means a ‘hidden lake’ coming from the lake that is heavily surrounded by dense forest and stone ridges. It is located around 26 kilometers away from Major Stone Forest), Lake Yuehu (Located only 12 kilometers away from Major Stone Forest, approximately 1906 meters above sea level) and several more.
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The Stone Forest scenic area is the ethnic culture and hometown of the Sani people that gather on 24th of the 6th month of Yi calendar every year to light torches and to celebrate their ethnicity; the festival is called the “Torch Festival.” It is a recommended time of the year to visit The Stone Forest in China.
The area is so vast and unique that it has been divided into two parts for the declaration of UNESCO World’s Heritage Sites (inscribed in 2007). One is the Naigu Stone Forest, and the other is Suogeyi Village, both famous for the same reasons. For the travel lovers out there, there are two main reasons to visit this place; one, because it is highly recommended by the tourists who have been there already and two, because the place is classified as 5Ath which is the highest of the Tourist Attraction Rating Categories of China (a means to measure the attractiveness of a site based upon its safety, transportation facility, sanitation, and cleanliness, etc.).
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