In my recent visit to Yunnan province in China I spent a few days roaming around, from Kunming, to Dali, to Lijiang and Shuhe, and then back for a final day near Kunming to fly back to Hong Kong. In that last day before going back I was looking to do something a bit different than head back to the hectic city life, and from the airport I could store my luggage and take an airport bus to one of the very busy tourist attractions in Yunnan – the quirky Shilin Stone Forest. A huge area of the most bizarre limestone formations, that make it feel like we’re back in dino era, or some other planet, definitely not something you get to see everyday. You can trust the Chinese to commercialize the hell out of it, and so it’s easy to get frustrated with how the park is set up and the endless hordes of Chinese tourists groups running around with their mega-speakers and selfie stick cams. Yet, once you find your own quiet path and venture away a bit, it become very quiet, almost surreal, and that makes it all worthwhile. I spent over half a day climbing up and down, venturing between the different areas, with different types of stones and views, it was a great experience and at the end I can summarize it far exceeded my expectations.
On the way out I was trying to figure out how to get to Kunming and was offered a ride by a couple of employees who had a private driver, taking me all the way to Wangfujian, just in time to catch the Dynamic Yunnan incredible drum show downtown, and wrap up the wonderful few days in Yunnan Province.
To give you a taste of the strange attraction, here are my visions of Shilin Stone Forest…