Driving 85 km from Kunming, we reached the town of Shilin. (Shilin means ‘stone forest’) This is home to the Sani ethnic minority people. Here, the Stone Forest sits on 350 sq. km area. The GPS location 24 49′ 27.95″ N 103 19’24.41 E will put you at the entrance.
My friend Rose was my guide through this amazing place. It took us about 4 hours to explore about half of this Unesco World Heritage site. It is also considered the first natural wonder of the world, being formed over 270 million years ago.
Walking through these giant stone karsks is a sensation for both your eyes and ears. The rock itself is an extremely hard stone. It feels like steel. Some of the stones make a musical sound when struck, while others make no sound at all. With our trusty map in hand, we worked our way through to the various points of interest along the way. The typical Yunnan weather of clear blue skies and sunshine only added to the unique lighting environment inside the stone forest.
I would consider this a must see stop during your tour of China. The park area has it’s touristy feel to it, but not to the extreme. It is easy to find yourself along exploring this unique forest of stone. After leaving the park and returning to Kunming, we stopped in Yi Yang and ate the best Peking Duck ever. I always stop in there when I am going in this direction from Kunming.