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The Stone Forest Overview

Shilin Yi Autonomous County  is an autonomous county, under the jurisdiction of Kunming, Yunnan, China.The Stone Forest or Shilin  is a notable set of limestone formations located in Shilin Yi Autonomous County, Yunnan Province, People's Republic of China, near Shilin approximately 90 km (56 mi) from the provincial capital Kunming.

Where is The Stone Forest

It is located in the east of Yunnan Province,which is close to Qujing City and Luliang County in the north.It borders Yiliang County of Kunming City in the west.

‣Basic Information

Chinese Name:石林

●Key Words:World Natural Heritage

●Coverage:1680 square kilometers

‣What to See in The Stone Forest

Major Stone Forest

                                 Major Stone Forest

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.

Minor stone Forest

                                  Minor stone Forest

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.

Naigu Stone Forest

                                     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, 

‣The Stone Forest Culture

According to legend, the forest is the birthplace of Ashima (阿诗玛), a beautiful girl of the Yi people. After falling in love she was forbidden to marry her chosen suitor and instead turned into a stone in the forest that still bears her name. Each year on the 24th day of the sixth lunar month, many Yi people celebrate the Torch Festival (火把节 ), which features folk dances and wrestling competitions.

‣Minority Culture in The Stone Forest

Sani People

There are Sani People in Shilin County. As a branch of Yi, they are mainly distributed in Shilin County, Luxi County, Mile County, Qiubei County, Yiliang County and Luliang County.Sani People call themselves “Ni”, meaning happy people.  They are diligent, brave and good at singing and dancing. Sani People have deep feeling for almost every hill and stone. There is a touching story concerning every scenic spot and the most popular is The Story of Ashima. 

‣Festivals in The Stone Forest 

Mizhi festival,exclusive to the Sani ethnic branch of the Yi people, usually lasts three to seven days. However, the date of Mizhi festival differs. For the Sani, Black, and Ahwu branches of the Yi people who live around the Stone Forest, it is normally spent on lunar 2 February; but lunar October for the Yi people who live in the mountainous areas.

‣Where to Stay in The Stone Forest

  ▪Shilin Yinruilin International Hotel(石林银瑞林大酒店)

‣The Stone Forest Travel Tips

Best Time to Visit The Stone Forest: March to October
The Stone Forest Scenic Region is open all year round. As it is an outdoor area, it is better to avoid rainy days. You are recommended to check the weather forecast before setting out. 
The Torch Festival, one of the most important festivals for the Yi People, is usually celebrated on June 24 of every lulnar year.
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 crowds.

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