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Shilin Stone Forest Yuanmou Earth Forest Tour - 3 Days

Destination: Shilin,Yuanmou,Kunming
Duration: There Day
Tour Code:
Transportation: Vehicle
Best Travel Time:All Year
Price From
US$600/persons
 
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Visit two geological wonders in the Yunnan Province - The Stone and Earth Forests. The two sites are the result of slow erosion that has literally carved into the rock peaks with strange silhouettes. The nature of the two forest soils are very different and offers two distinct styles of scenery.
Full price of this tour (per person in US$):
Price Price Instruction
US$600/persons 600USD/Person

Day 1 : Kunming - Shilin - Kunming (L,D)
Head to the county of Lunan where we will discover one of the major attractions of the region and a must see, Shilin or literally The Stone Forest. Due to its proximity to Kunming, Shilin can become a bit of a tourist trap. However, only a small part of the 26,000 hectare site is crowded and it is easy to escape the hordes of package holidaymakers. We therefore will take you instead to the quieter and less frequented Black Stone Forest, which is roughly 10km away from the main site but just as impressive.

According to legend, the immortals (divine beings worshipped by Taoists) created the Black Stone Forest by cutting up mountains into a maze of rocks so that they could offer them as gifts to loved ones. This maze of ¡°stone trees¡± is therefore fascinating, but it's also easy to get lost, so it's very important that you follow your guide!

Shilin is an endless maze of rocky peaks in an intriguing array of shapes and sizes that are a result of chemical erosion of the rock over time caused by rain and wind. Depending on the weather, you will be able to enjoy a picnic lunch in the middle of the ¡°forest¡± which will not only give you the opportunity to enjoy the scenery but also to avoid the rather high prices of the restaurants on-site.

Note: The walk inside the forest can take 2 hours or more depending on your pace and needs.

Note: You can book an electric car for your visit (included) to avoid too long walks.

En route back to the Kunming, you will be able to see some of the old French train tracks. China was never fully colonised (at least by Western powers) unlike some of its neighbours in South-East Asia, but Concessions were granted to Western powers during the 19th century, one of the best known being in Shanghai. In 1910 the French launched a mammoth project in order to advance their expansionist desires by linking Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam and at the time a French protectorate, to Kunming. They laid more than 450km of rail track, built more than 3500 bridges and 170 tunnels, requiring a workforce numbering more than 60 000 often working in extreme conditions. What remains of this epic project is one of the most significant traces of the French presence in China and you will have the chance at the end of your trip to ride on a portion of this line still in use by freight trains to this day.

Night in Kunming

 

Day 2 : Kunming - Yuanmou (B,L,D)
Head to Yuanmou Earth Forest, one the ¡°Three Forests¡± that are notable in Yunnan, one of the others being the ¡°Stone Forest¡± that you will have already visited. The third forest is the Sand Forest, and is not as interesting as the first two.

This region is also known for the discovery during excavations in 1965 of humans fossils dating back to 1,7 millions years making ¡°Yuanmou man¡± China's first ancestor. Visit of Yuanmou museum

Night in Yuanmou

 

Day 3 : Yuanmou - Kunming (B,L)
Departure for Earth Forest made up of 50km2 of rocks which for over 2 million years have been eroded down, creating an exceptionally stunning forest of columns of clay and sand. Some people compare these columns to church organs, whilst others think they look like giant natural castles that can reach around 40m in height, equivalent to a building of 10 stories. Just as in the west some people wile away the time by comparing the shape of the clouds to living beings or objects, the Chinese like to give landmarks and buildings imaginative and sometimes slightly offensive nicknames (such as the "bottle opener" in Shanghai or the "Great Underwear of Beijing"). Many of the rock formations have too been given nicknames; some are relatively straightforward such as "Romanesque cathedral" whilst others will probably leave you a bit more confused¡­

Note: The walk inside the forest can take 3 hours or more depending on your pace and needs.

The slow erosion of the rock formations has also left beautiful strips of colour which create a real visual treat; starting with violet at the top, then grey in the middle and yellow at the base. The colours are further intensified by the sun shining upon them.

Head back to Kunming.

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