Maotianshan Shales and Zoolites Site in Chengjiang County, Yuxi

Why is Maotianshan Shales and  Zoolites Site So Special?

Chengjiang biota, located near Maotianshan Mountain帽天山, Chengjiang, Yunnan Province, is a intact early Cambrian paleontological lithosphere.

She vividly reproduced the magnificent landscape of marine life and the primitive characteristics of living animals 530 million years ago, providing valuable evidence for the study of the origin, evolution, ecology and other theories of life that lasted 5370 million years in the early period of the Earth. The study and discovery of Chengjiang biota not only provide scientific facts for the sudden and nonlinear evolution of Cambrian life, but also challenge Darwin’s theory of gradual evolution. As of 2012, Chengjiang biota covered 16 species and more than 200 species fossils. On July 1, 2012, Chengjiang fossil site was officially listed in the World Heritage list.

Where is Maotianshan Shales and Zoolites Site?

The fossils of Chengjiang biota are widely distributed, located in Chengjiang County, Yuxi City, Yunnan Province, near Maotianshan Mountain, 6 kilometers form the east of Chengjiang County. It is 56 kilometers from Kunming City and 87 kilometers from Yuxi City. The Maotianshan fossil belt is zigzag distribution, which is 20 km long, 4.5 km wide and is buried more than 50 meters deep.

Features of Maotianshan Shales and Zoolites Site

Chengjiang fossil site, which is rare in similar fossil sites in the world, shows the early Cambrian marine communities and ecosystems. The early Cambrian Chengjiang fauna in eastern Yunnan is a rare fossil treasure house in the whole world, characterized by the special preservation of floppy fossils of multi-phyla. There are more than 120 species of fossils found in Chengjiang fauna, belonging to more than 10 phyla like sponges, coelenterates, linear animals, branchial animals, Lobopodia, brachiopods, mollusks, arthropods, chordates, etc, and some strange groups with unknown taxonomic position. There are also a variety of symbiotic algae. The diversity of early Cambrian organisms is fully demonstrated.

Nearby Attractions

Fuxian Lake

Fuxian lake is a holiday paradise! Authority personage evaluated Fuxian lake like this, she is a big outdoor bathing place, a big oxygen bar! There are 42 tourism enterprises with a set of tourism, scientific research, entertainment, meetings and holiday reception. Part of the lakeside resort tourism facilities set hotels, beaches, entertainment, such as Xiangshan Hotel象山宾馆, transport training center, Yurong resort玉融度假区, Bijia mountain笔架山, Boxiwan resort波息湾度假区 and so on. Fuxian Lake is the first choice for vacation leisure and conference.

How to Get There

Bus is the main means of transportation to Chengjiang County. After arriving Chengjiang Bus Terminal, You can take a taxi to the site, it takes about half an hour. Surely, you can also drive from Kunming to Maotianshan Mountain.

Kunming-Chengjiang County

There are midibuses from Kunming South Bus Station to Chengjiang County. It takes about 1.5 hour to Chengjiang Bus Terminal. Ticket price is about 20 yuan each person. The phone number of Kunming South Bus Station is 0871-67361722.

Best Time to Visit

Enjoying a subtropical monsoon climate, tour is possible all the year round. However, Maotianshan Shales and Zoolites Site is in the mountain, you are supposed to avoid rainy season(around June to October), because the road could be dangerous. Winter with clear weather and warm temperature should be better to visit.

Accommodation at Maotianshan Shales and Zoolites Site

Since Maotianshan Shales and Zoolites Site is not far from county seat of Chengjiang County, you can stay in Chengjiang County for overnight. Or you can stay around Fuxian Lake, which is a beautiful fresh water lake.

1. Fuxian Lake Taiyangshan Resort Hotel抚仙湖太阳山度假酒店

Address: No.10, Huanhu East Road, Chengjiang County, Yuxi玉溪市澄江县环湖东路10号

Tel: 0877-6688706

Starting Price: 410 CNY

2. Fuxian Lake Guanlan Resort Hotel抚仙湖观澜度假酒店

Address: No.8, Huanhu North Road, Chengjiang County, Yuxi玉溪市澄江县环湖北路8号

Tel: 18108879725

Starting Price: 129 CNY

3. Fuxian Lake Junlin Holiday Hotel抚仙湖君临假日酒店

Address: No.8, Huanhu North Road, Chengjiang County, Yuxi玉溪市澄江县环湖北路8号

Tel: 0877-6222077

Starting Price: 128 CNY

Useful Travel Tips

1. Cherish the cultural relics, do not touch the articles at random.

2. Know the opening hours of scenic spots in advance and plan the tour according to the time.

3. Before entering the site, please look at the signs and learn about all matters needing attention.

4. Do not use a flash when taking photos. There are many precious cultural relics which are “afraid of the light”. Under the irradiation of strong light, they will accelerate their “aging” and even form permanent damage.

5. During the visit, you should pay attention to the instructions next to the articles. In this way, you can not only know the basic information of it, but also make a judgment on their value. You should pay attention to the “No Touch” sign that will be visible in the description of some articles.