Situated 75 miles southeast of Kunming, the Stone Forest is a wonder of geology. About 200 million year ago the earth's crust shifted and forced the 200 acres of karst limestone stalagmites rise up from what was once a huge expanse of water. Paths wind through its spectacular valleys and around the weird rock formations and its reflecting pools. There are pavilions perched high on these pillars that offer sweeping views. Since the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), Stone Forest has long been one of the most famous scenic spots in China.
The splendor of this place is highlighted by another feature that is the local Sani people, a branch of the Yi nationality. Most of all Sani girls excel at spinning, weaving and embroidering. And these people are born singers and dancers. Each day at sunset, boys and girls gather at the village platform. The boys usually play the three-stringed plucked instruments while the girls dance joyfully at a strongly rhythmic pace.
In the midst of the forest, there is a huge rock screen on which two words--Stone Forest--are engraved in official script (in a calligraphic style typical of the Han Dynasty, 206 B.C.-220 A.D.). Among the scenic sights is the "Sword Peak Pond" with jadeite-colored water so clear that one can see the bottom of the pond. Other astonishing sights include "Figure of Ashima," "Shi Ba Xiang Song" (its name originating in the Chinese love story, "Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai"), and "Lotus Peak."