On 31 st of March, Shaolin Temple Kunming Kung Fu Department organized a trip to the Shilin (石林) – Stone Forest. It is a Karst landscape known since Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) as the “First Wonder of the World”. To visit Yunnan Province without visiting Shilin it is considered you missed the most impressive landscape in China!
Stone Forest is located in the Yi Nationality Autonomous County and is about 80 km away from Kunming. The park covers about 400 sq km and present the following major attractions:
Stone Forest was formed about 270 million years ago in the carboniferous period of Paleozoic era. It was covered by water which over time retracted and exposed beautiful formation of limestone landscape. There are many legends from this magical place about the Sani people, a sub-branch of Yi ethnic minority. The Ashima story is about faithful love and you can admire the Ashima stone in the park. 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 place is alive with a particularly joyful, festive atmosphere, making the area even more attractive than usual.
Students had a great day out being guided by the local Government representative. At lunch they also offered us a great meal in a very traditional restaurant.