Yunnan Shilin Karst

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Yunnan Shilin karst
The Stone Forest National Park is located in Shilin Yi Autonomous County of Yunnan Province, 80 kilometers southeast of Kunming City. It covers 350 square kilometers and consists of Major Stone Forest, Naigu Stone Forest, Changhu Lake, Grand Waterfall, etc.

Over the past 300 million years the Stone Forest area has experienced a vicissitude from sea to land, from lowland to plateau as a result of earth movement. The initial carbonate rock which formed in ocean was wizardly shaped into "stone forest" landform. During its evolution the Stone Forest were once covered respectively by fiery volcanic lava and lake water, in this sense the formation of the Stone Forest is truly a geologic legend in the world.

The Stone Forest displays the richest morphological features. Due to its unique geological evolution, numerous stone forest clusters that formed in different geological periods coexist in varied topography, each with its particular features. There are pinnacle-shaped, column-shaped, mushroom-shaped, and pagoda-shaped groups. Since almost all the typical pinnacle karst types can be identified in the Stone Forest, the park is acclaimed internationally the "Museum of Stone Forest karst".

Walking through the Stone Forest, visitors marvel at the natural stone masterpieces and are bewitched by the intricate formations. The magnificent, strange and steep landscape creates countless labyrinthine vistas, including:

Major Stone Forest, Small Stone Forest and Naigu Stone Forest, all of which feature stones in various formations. Animals, plants, and even human figures can be found here. Some are elegant, some are rugged, and each is lifelike with its own distinguishing characteristics.

Subterranean Stone Forest in Zhiyun Cave, an underground stone forest distributed among several caves and occupying a total area of about three square kilometers.

Strange Wind Cave, composed of Penfeng Cave, Hongxi Spring and an underground river. From August to November, gales lasting two to three minutes sweep out of the cave every 30 minutes.

Long Lake is a karsts lake that is three kilometers (two miles) long but only 300 meters (zero point two miles) 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.

Every year, around the 24th and 25th day of the sixth lunar month, the Sani people gather in the Stone Forest to celebrate their "Torch Festival". Visitors are welcome to enjoy the folk dances and the wrestling competitions of the Sani youngsters.

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