Stone Forest, Shilin, China

We were in Vientiane, Laos when I found pictures of the Stone Forest, Shilin, China. As kids, we had visited limestone caves in Virginia, but I've never seen a limestone formation above ‘ground‘. The Stone Forest is an extremely popular tourist attraction so I wanted to get there ‘before‘ "they" do. It was Oct 2013, the rains have subsided and it is still cool, so we caught an 1.5 hour flight to Kunming, China on Oct 9, 2013 we flew from Laos to the airport in Kunming, China.

Stone Forest, Shilin, China
  • Geology MuseumJust past the entrance and ticketing facility is the Geology Museum. They explain how this rock formation got here and why it looks as it does today.
  • Ticket Receiving TurnstilesWith the ticket turnstiles behind her, Naran is standing on a bridge apron.
  • Entrance BridgeFrom the bridge you can see algae rich water and the high water level on the rock.
  • MapJust over the bridge is a cool tool. The map ties everything together and provides a measure of size. Next is a series of signs and information so you get on the correct path and/or catch the correct ride.
  • Large Forest Entrance
  • Lodged Rock OverheadThis is the first of a few of these unnerving things.
  • A Stone Forest
  • Nice Touch
  • Lodged Rock Again
  • Adjacent WeatheringA close look reveals a variety of erosion results, very close together.
  • Really!At first I thought they cut the hole to form the elephants trunk. I was told, not so.
  • Beautiful Contrast
  • Exiting the Large Stone Forest
  • Senior CitizenA local coming to work. Look at the broad smile on the mans face. He's loving the moment.
Geology Museum1 Ticket Receiving Turnstiles2 Entrance Bridge3 Map4 Large Forest Entrance5 Lodged Rock Overhead6 A Stone Forest7 Nice Touch8 Lodged Rock Again9 Adjacent Weathering10 Really!11 Beautiful Contrast12 13 Exiting the Large Stone Forest14 Senior Citizen15

At 7:30am, Oct 10, 2013 we met our cab in front of the hotel. Our driver could not speak English, but he understood the word "Shilin". A minute we were doing plus/minus 95mph on a freeway east to the Stone Forest, Shilin, China. About an hour later our driver escorted us to the ticketing area at the Stone Forest.

The stone forest was born about 2 million years ago when a 270 million year old, 96,000 acre piece of sandstone was pushed up through the earths surface. Rain, heat, cold, wind and plant life, has given these rocks their own personalities .

Most of the local people are from groups known as Sani or Lolo. They perform traditional dances, sell goods and act as guides.

This park is vast with numerous lakes, water falls, underground rivers, caves, mountains and specific tours. You do not need tour guides, things are clearly marked and you can wander for as long as you choose.

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