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Shilin is located at the Southeast outskirts of Kunming, capital of Yunnan province, about 80 kilometres away from the capital. Among all China's mountainous and river attractions within an area of 9.6 million square kilometres, Yunnan's stone forests are unique for its topographic landscape featuring magnificence, strangeness, perilousness and secludedness. Because of its characteristics of large area, high rock posts, beautiful peak shapes and closeness of various scenes, Yunnan's stone forest takes the lead in the world's lava topographic landscape.
Looking at the sea of imposing winding stones, people can not help asking a quesny creation by nature come from? In order to answer this question, many people from the past time till nowadays, both from China and foreign countries have made consistent endeavors to unveil the mystery. Scientists gave an answer like this:It used to be a vast sea here about 200 million years ago. With a long-time geological movement and evolution, the sea eventually became today's stone forests. The locals have another saying: Stone foests were moved here by a strong immortal with a divine whip from afar,just like a shepherd pasturing sheep. The immortal planned to 'pasture' the stones to block fierce floods. It was uncertain whether it was because of the failure of the immortal's divine whip, or whether these supernatural stones missed and loved the land and its people as well, the moving stones promptly stopped their steps, and decided to 'live' here without any remorse.
Bestowed to the mankind by nature, stone forests are an extraordinary masterpeice of arts. In the natural scenic area of stone forests, which has an area of 350 square kilometres, there are several well known scenic spots-Major Stone Forest, Minor Stone forest, Naigu Stone Forest, Zhiyun Cave, Strange Wind Cave, Long Lake, Moon Lake and Feilonpu(flying dragon waterfall). These countless scenic spots can be classified into two types-rocks and water - for separate introduction and better understanding. Major Stone Forest, Minor Stone Forest, Naigu Stone Forest, Zhiyun Cave and Strange Wind Cave, etc. belong to rock- related scenery. Among the rock-related spots, stone forests-'the First Wonder under Heaven'- are the most representative one. Stone forests include the Major Stone Forest and the Minor Stone Forest, covering an area of 40 hectares. In the 'forests' each rock stands majestically, as if surging and rolling like waves. Stone forests are like celestial palaces- with paths turning through peaks. The peaks are in different positions, some with their heads looking up into the sky- broadminded or otherwise depressed. Each of the peaks or stone posts seems to be contending for strangeness, for beauty. Some peaks stand magnificently high, piercing in-making visitors wholly surprised. Under the highly erecting stone posts, clear streams flow between these strange stones, producing a soun 'dingdong, dingdong', wettign the green and freesh flowers. In the labyrinth-like stone forest, you may look around and take up some steps for a further view. You may catch the sights of 'Ashima'as if she will come out of a rock statue once you call her; the vivid and lively-like mother and son travel together', etc. There are so many scenes, half an illusion and half a reality, with a great variety of shapes. Visitors may find that these views come into the sight that your eyes are fully occupied.
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