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Stone Forest

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Kunming Stone Forest is a typical case of South China Karst feature, which is listed as a World Natural Heritage status by UNESCO.

One can™t help but feel awed by the Stone Forest, a natural wonder 83km southeast of Kunming. Spending the day there is a perfect way to see some of Yunnan™s amazingly stark landscape. This place is breathtaking-a lake, caves, gorgeous vistas of the surrounding countryside and stone formations projecting from the ground provide the feeling of being in a primeval forest. 

Joining a tour is worthwhile as it provides historical and cultural context to the natural beauty of the place-just get there early be sure to find a group with an English-speaking guide. There are numerous different areas where one can see the rock formations, including Long Lake which has underwater stalactites and an island in the middle. 

The forests come in all sizes, large and small, but some of the more interesting ones are the Major Stone Forest, Minor Stone Forest and Naigu Stone Forest. The stone formations are imaginatively likened to all kinds of animals, plants people and other earthly creations. The stalactite studded Zhiyun Cave offers an underground version of the stone forests. Although not providing the same contrast of the sky against the stone, its containment within a vace gives it a surreal, awe-inspiring feeling. 

This bizarre natural wonder formed around 270 million years ago when the area was underwater. The movements of the earth™s plates caused the limestone formations to rise then rain gradually wore down the limestone to make the peaks. 

There are many folk tales and customs surrounding the individual stone peaks-very year the Sani people gather here to celebrate the Torch Festival, which involves traditional performances, wrestling, bullfighting and ceremony where young men propose to women by moonlight.