Kunming Stone Forest: The Top Wonder of the World

As a World Natural Heritage, Stone Forest is a must-visit-place in Kunming, Yunnan. About 78 kilometers from the downtown of Kunming, we need about 1.5 hours driving to the scenic area. Actually, when you drive into Shili Yi Autonomous County, limestone in diversified shapes can be seem along the road. The total area of stone forest is 1100 square kilometers, among which just about 12 square kilometers are opened and developed as scenic area.

And the car can’t drive to the entrance of the scenic area. Tourists have to take shuttle bus and then walk about 500 meters to go into Stone Forest. If you don’t want to pay 25 RMB for shuttle bus ticket, you can walk about 3 kilometers to arrive at the scenic area. The ticket for Stone Forest is 175 RMB per person.


Kunming Stone Forest ranks the first in the world at its age, size and typical formation. Every one whom walk in such an amazing place may wonder how it came into being?

In fact, about 270 million years ago, this land was a seabed. The corpses of oceanic creatures sunk into the silt, piled up layer by layer and fossilized to be limestone. Due to the movement of earth crust, the sea receded. Then the volcano erupted nearby and the lava covered the limestone to be basalt protective layer. About 50 million years ago, the basalt flaked away so that the limestone was exposed to the air. Because of the humid and warm climate here, the rainfall, seeping water and underground water gradually eroded and dissolved the limestone hence the natural wonder. Walking in the Stone Forest just like waking in the ancient seabed.

Moreover, the more imagination you have, the more enjoyment you will get when you travel to Stone Forest. The shapes of these high rocks may like different animals or plants, such as sword-like peak and lotus pond. Just use your imagination and enjoy your time here!


After you go down from view-watching pavilion, you will see some people in special costumes dancing and singing joyfully. They are Sani people, a branch of Yi nationality. This is the traditional dance called ‘three-stringed dance’, which shows Yi people’s passion and hospitality.

You can judge whether a Sani girl is married or not according to her headdress. Two triangular ornaments in her headdress indicates that she is unmarried. One triangular for engaged and none triangular ornament for married. They worship tiger and black color. A boy or girl in black skip is regarded as healthy people.


Stone Ashima

If the Major Stone Forest is a strong man, the Small Stone Forest is beautiful girl because the landscape is more delicate. The most famous stone is called ‘Ashima’, which is related to the epic of Yi nationality. Ashima means beautiful, brave and warm-hearted girl. The skyline of this stone is like a girl looking for distance with a flower basket on her back.