Shilin Yi Autonomous County with altitude between 1500 meters - 1900 meters, featuring subtropical low-latitude mountain plateau monsoon climate with annual average temperature at 16 ℃. With fame of “no bitter-cold winter and no scorching-hot summer and enjoys spring all year round”, it is the only subtropical karst scenic spot of plateau region in the world. Known as “the First Wonder of the World" and "Stone Forest Museum", it is one of the first group of parks awarded “National Key Scenic Spot”, “National Geo-park”, and “World Geo-park”.
Yunnan Stone Forest is famous for its tree-like rocks. The scenic area is big with numerous attractions, such as Stone Forest, Naigu Stone Forest, Dadieshui Waterfall, Changhu Lake, Yuehu Lake, Zhiyun Cave, Qifeng Cave, Guishan National Forest Park, ect. With those now renowned as open tourist sections listed hereunder: Stone Forest, Naigu Stone Forest, Dadieshui Waterfall, Changhu Lake.
270 million years ago, a vast “forest” composed by rocks of thousands of square kilometers rose on the earth. It is an ocean gathered with rocks, a forest carved from the stone.
The Stone Forest is the forest made up of rocks and stones. You can see strange rocks in different shapes standing everywhere, while walking inside the Stone Forest. Because of the impact of limestone, the stone pillars are separated from one another; after years of weathering of wind and water, various kinds of stone peaks, stone pillars, stalagmites, stone buds gathered and formed a vast stone forest in thousands of postures with rare stones, waterfalls, lakes, karst caves, cone karst and hills all rolled into one. Yunnan Stone Forest ranks highest in same karst type areas in the world for its diversity of karst types, uniqueness of karst development, complexity of geological evolution, aesthetics of rock fractures, convergence of human customs, and accessibility of interior sightseeing, etc. The unusual geological feature with limestone and basalt overlapping each other in parts of Stone Forest, is rare in the world.
Geological science called it karst landscape, and said this is the footprint left by three hundred million years of geological change and denudation. Yunnan Stone Forest is famous in the world for its unique geological science value; it is one of China's top four nature landscapes. Among the limited stone forests in the world, Yunnan Stone Forest is not only typical, representative, and unique for its vast area, various types, singular features, complicated origins, and long developing history; but also counts the high scientific research and science value, for it is the only karst landform area that can present the evolution history of the earth gradually with the remains of stone forest development and the stone forest landscapes.
Stone Forest, famous in the world with mountains
The spectacular karst geological features of Yunnan Stone Forest distributed in a vast area of more than 1100 square kilometers. It is majestic in various morphology types and rich construction patterns, and its protective zone covers an area of 350 square kilometers; it arouses high interests of visitors with its high aesthetic value. There are magnificent tower karst, lakes, waterfalls, karst caves in the vast land of Stone Forest, which boosts the top wonder of extremely beauty. Stone Forest can imitate different people and objects vividly with the peculiar sword-shaped, mushroom-shaped, tower-shaped, column-shaped, castle-shaped stone buds in the valley, or overspread in the basin, hillsides, wild fields; the stones are either marvelous and dangerous or slim and graceful, they are the concentrated reflection of the biggest surprise the world could give to human beings.
Stone Forest, enchant people with folk customs
Yunnan Stone Forest, enchants people with its unique folk customs. On the land of colorful Stone Forest red earth, lives the Sani People of Yi Nationality, who enjoys the most authentic joy and happiness in the world. They worship here, work here, fall in love here and have carnival here, created Ashima art and joyful songs and dances among these picturesque peaks and rocks, and create the art and poetry which is as amazing and touching as Stone Forest at every moment.
Stone Forest area not only maintains a lot of Vertebrate Paleontology fossils, and it is listed as China Vertebrate Paleontology protection zone with paleolithic and neolithic site about 800000 years ago, it is one of the most abundant site in Yunnan. In the scenic spot, the petroglyph and stone carving at Li Ziyuan valley is a reflection of Sani People’s life in ancient times to show how they worship with fireworks, how they hunt animals, how they fight, etc; The historical trace of ancient war in Qing Dynasty still can be seen at Dushi Hill of Changhu Lake, Minor & Major Stone Forest, and Bushao mountain.
Stone Forest is both natural landscape and humanities scenery. The Sani People of Yi Nationality lives here not only created a rich historical culture, but also created the colorful "Ashima" (“A beautiful girl of gold” in Yi language) folk arts and culture; its unique language and rich connotations of literary works, the beautiful legend of national costumes, the fiery uninhibited and ethnic songs and dances, of primitive simplicity of wrestling competition, straightforward style peculiar weddings, all without exception show ancient ethnic cultural charm and regional characteristic. Long poem "AShiMa" is the classic ethnic narrative long poem, has been translated into more than 20 kinds of languages and spread worldwide; Film “AShiMa" enjoys a high reputation at home and abroad.