Naigu Stone Forest, Kunming

About Naigu Stone Forest

In the Naigu Stone Forest, oddly-shaped stones in dark shadow pierce into the sky like angry waves, with full of power and grandeur, or stand there like frightening ancient battle fields, which may arouse visitors’ all kinds of thoughts and imaginations. Some precipices are hundreds of meters high, as flat as knife-cut, some stone posts pierce into the sky, some are as big as mounds, some are like Zhuge Liang’s Eight Diagram Formations, or ‘Taishang Laojun in front of a pill oven’, or a castle, mushroom, elephant, field, pig and goat, etc.

The Name of “Naigu”

“Naigu” means old and black in the Sani language of the Yi People. It is about 10 kilometers from the Big Stone Forest and covers an area of 10 square kilometers, which is composed of the east area, west area, Baiyun Lake, Baiyun Cave and ancient battlefield, etc.

Legend & Minority Culture 

Story about Ashima

Many beautiful legends originate in this magical place, passed along by  the native people known as Sani, a branch of the Yi ethnic group. One particular story about the faithful love of Ashima, a beautiful, clever and warm-hearted Sani girl, is the most popular and has been told for thousands of years. As the legend goes, Ashima was kidnapped by an lanlord’s son and forced into marriage. Her lover, Ahei, made every effort to save her. However, on the way home, Ashima was swept away by a flood and turned into what is known as the Ashima Rock, which can be found in the Minor Stone Forest. Her passion and perseverance for freedom and true love still encourage today’s Sani people.

Torch Festival of Sani People

The Sani people celebrate their national festival – the Torch Festival – every lunar year on June 24. They take part in traditional performances such as wrestling, bull fighting, pole-climbing, dragon-playing, lion-dancing and the A-xi Moon Dance. During this time, the Stone Forest is alive with a particular0ve atmosphere, making the area even more attractive than usual.

Attractions in Naigu Stone Forest

The rocks are ancient, simple and black, giving visitors a feeling of mystery and vastness under such a mysterious atmosphere. In the scenic area, there is an exotic and beautiful underground cave, which is called white cloud cave or crystal palace, and is belonged to underground lava topography.

The scenes inside are of different kind of shapes, such as terraced paddies, peasants’ cottages, and animals and plants. Some can produce chimes with percussion. At the bottom of the mountain is the White Cloud Lake which is extraordinarily tranquil.

Nearby Attractions

● Minor Stone Forest(小石林)

The Minor Stone Forest is also call Ashima Scenic Area. The big and thick stone walls like a screen deliver this scenic area into several parts. Of all, the most famous scenic spot is ‘Ashima’. When the night comes, it is colorful and charming under the glittering lights.

● Major Stone Forest(大石林)

The Major Stone Forest consists of intensive stone peaks, just like a stretch of stone basin. The stone forests here have straight shapes and smooth lines, among which the highest stone pillar is more than 40 meters in height.The magnificent, strange, and steep landscape creates countless sights, including Lotus Peak, Ashima Rock, Sword Peak Pond, Shilin Lake, and ‘a Gleam of Sky’.

● Long Lake (长湖)

Long Lake is a karst lake that is three kilometers (two miles) long but only 300 meters wide. The lake features underwater stalagmites and stalactites and a small island in the center of the water.The source of the Dadie Waterfall, Ba River, is a branch of Nanpan River. In the rainy season, up to 150 cubic meters (196 cubic yards) of water per square inch plummet down the 88 meter (288 feet) drop.

Best Time to Visit

March to October. The temperature at that time is warm. From September,  cosmoses  bloom  and last for about one month. Try to avoid Chinese public holidays, such as Labor Day (May 1st to 7th) and National Day (October 1st to 7th). It is recommended that you start your day early so as to avoid tourist crowds.

How to Get there?

By Long-distance Bus

1. You can take a regular bus from Kunming East Coach Station to the site, CNY 25 per person.
2. From Kunming Changshui International Airport, travelers can take the travel bus to there, and it will take about 2 hours. Shilin Yi Autonomous County also has a train station, and it has trains to Kunming, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Nanning, Zhanjiang, Guiyang, Hongguo, etc. Shilin Train Station is only about 4km from Naigu Stone Forest, so traveler can get the spot easily.


Another way to get to Stone Forest is taking a private car, and this is the fastest and most convenient way. It only takes about 1 hour. If you book tour with us, we will provide you the private car with a private driver and a tour guide to make your trip worry-free.

Recommended Stone Forest Tours

Top 3 Naigu Stone Forest tours chosen by most customers to explore Naigu Stone Forest in the best way. Check the detailed itinerary, or tailor your own trip now with us. We provide some tour routes for tourists to choose.

Travel Tips: 

1. Naigu Stone Forest dosen’t have any services, or food or water for sale. Please prepare before coming.
2. Torch Festival: June 24th in Chinese lunar calendar is the traditional Torch Festival of Yi people. At this time, Stone Forest will hold grand bullfight, wrestling and song and dance activities to celebrate. Yi people will dress in their traditional costumes to anticipate the celebration. At nightfall, the bonfire and torches will be lit up, and people will dance and sing around the bonfire. This is the best time to experience the ethnic culture of Yi people.