exploring the fringes of the stone forest {part 2}

Friday, February 13:  After Alex and I emerge from the dense inside of the Major Stone Forest Scenic Area, we head to the perimeter road to retrace our minibus ride on foot.  The sky is blue, the air is crisp, and wispy clouds are sweeping across the sky, making the Stone Forest more picturesque than it already is.  We enjoy walking around and stopping in the grassy areas to enjoy the views.

Stone Forest

Stone Forest

We learn a lot from the placards in the park: The Stone Forest is composed of stone pillars of varying heights. The higher ones are called stone forest and the shorter ones stone teeth.  The Stone Forest evolves from underground. The carbonate rock was initially eroded by groundwater; and then, embryonic stone teeth took shape underground.  After they were exposed above ground during tectonic uplift, they became stone teeth.  When these stone teeth grew higher, they became stone forest.  We can imagine that the stone forest’s development is a dynamic process; the stone teeth today may become stone forest in the future.

We continue to walk and come to the Bushaoshan Scenic Area on the eastern side of the Major Stone Forest Area.  It covers one and half square kilometers. Bushao Mountain was named after the posts for the patrolling guards of uprising farmers in the late Qing dynasty.  The rock peaks and pillars spread out in picturesque disorder, together with the surrounding pine forest, creating gorgeous natural scenery.  Due to its relatively high elevation (the highest peak at 1,796 m), you can enjoy a panoramic view of the entire surroundings of the Major and Minor Stone Forest.

Buoshan Scenic Forest

Bushaoshan Scenic Area

Bushaoshan Scenic Area

Bushaoshan Scenic Area

Peaks and pinnacles

Peaks and pinnacles

Bushaoshan Scenic Area

Bushaoshan Scenic Area

We’re getting exhausted from our travel this morning from Kunming.  We also did a lot of climbing up and down on the steps in the dense part of the Stone Forest, and now we’re covering a lot of ground as well.  Alex lies down on the grass to take a break.

Alex takes a rest

Alex takes a rest

Bushaoshan

Bushaoshan

stone forest and stone teeth

stone forest and stone teeth

Bushaoshan Scenic Area

Bushaoshan Scenic Area

Lone peaks

Lone peaks

sparsely arranged

sparsely arranged

moody stone forest

moody stone forest

clouds and colors

clouds and colors

Bushaoshan

Bushaoshan

Peaks and bushes and stones

Peaks and bushes and stones

lone figure

lone figure

There are some peaks in the park the Chinese call “imaginal stones.”  They are stones that look like imaginary characters:  This isolated stone column is very like a figure, wearing a cowl-like hat worn in winter, with a packsack on his shoulder and a whip in his left hand, urging the flock of sheep.  This is the “Shepherd Suwu.”  Suwu was the diplomatic envoy sent by Emperor Hanwu to Xiongnu.  He was put under arrest and became a shepherd for 19 years.

Shepherd Suwu

Shepherd Suwu

Shepherd Suwu

Shepherd Suwu stands tall to the right

Shepherd Suwu

Shepherd Suwu

A towering stone column looks like an old man who is hunchbacked, wearing a robe and standing on the field with his hands clasped behind his back.  He looks like a “calm wanderer,” deep in thought and satisfaction.

Calm wanderer

Calm wanderer

calm wanderer

calm wanderer

There is a tall rock column and short one, very like the figures of a mother bringing her child along.  The front one is the mother, looking perfectly calm, kindly and decorous with a youngster of Sani nationality behind her.  They are wandering slowly among the stone columns; the formation is called Wandering Mother with Child.

Wandering Mother with Child

Wandering Mother with Child

Unusual shapes

Unusual shapes

In general, the color of the Stone Forest is light gray. But you may also find red, brown and yellow patches on the rock pillars.  However, these are not the original color of the rock, which is whitish gray.  After the rock is outcropped and exposed, it is subjected to weathering and colonization of microorganisms, in particular the growth of algae.  These processes have changed the color of the rock surface.

the path into the forest

the path into the forest

Panorama view of the Stone Forest

Panorama view of the Stone Forest

Some near-horizontal lines are commonly seen on the rocks in the Stone Forest.  These lines are the bedding of rocks. Bedding is the intrinsic feature of carbonate rock that developed through gradual bottom-up deposition, stratum by stratum, in the process of carbonate rock formation in oceanic water.  As growth rings are to a tree, bedding is to limestone.  A bedding plane generally aligns parallel to water surface, below which the rock deposits.  When the carbonate rock undergoes weathering and erosion, fissures are likely to form along the bedding plane.  They are the horizontal lines we see today.  One of the critical conditions for the stone forest’s evolution is that the bedding plane should retain its original near-horizontal alignment.  In the case of a large inclination angle, the stone pillar will slide and collapse along the bedding plane.

Horizontal lines

Horizontal lines

horizontal lines in the stone forest

horizontal lines in the stone forest

horizontal lines in the forest

horizontal lines in the forest

A sign in the park lists the world renowned sites of stone forest landform as being 1) Stone Forest of Yunnan, China; 2) Bemarsha, Madagascar; 3) Gunung Mulu, Malaysia; and 4) Mt. Kaijende, Papua New Guinea.

The Stone Forest of Yunnan has been inscribed upon the World Heritage List of the Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural Land Natural Heritage.  Inscription on this list confirms the outstanding universal value of a cultural or natural property which deserves protection for the benefit of all humanity.

The Wannianlingzhi (Eternal Mushroom) Scenic Area sits on the west side of the Major Stone Forest Scenic Area and covers about 3 square kilometers. The area features expansive and undulating landscape. High and low rock pillars are scattered sparsely among haystack hills and corroded depressions. The rocks present distinctive strata due to intensive stratification.  A great many mushroom-like pillars of varying sizes tapering toward the peak were formed as a result of corrosion and rock crush, hence the name Wannianlingzhi (Eternal Mushroom).

We walk briefly into this scenic area, and we can see the “eternal mushrooms” on the hill in the distance, but we’re too tired to walk all the way up to it.  We end our detour in the midst of farmland and rolling hills and return to the perimeter road.

Wannianlingzhi Scenic Area

Wannianlingzhi Scenic Area

One of the “eternal mushrooms” met an early demise.

Wannianlingzhi Scenic Area

a non-eternal mushroom in the Wannianlingzhi Scenic Area

Wannianlingzhi Scenic Area

Wannianlingzhi Scenic Area

Wannianlingzhi Scenic Area

Wannianlingzhi Scenic Area

Wannianlingzhi Scenic Area

Wannianlingzhi Scenic Area

Wannianlingzhi Scenic Area

Wannianlingzhi Scenic Area

Wannianlingzhi Scenic Area

Wannianlingzhi Scenic Area

Wannianlingzhi Scenic Area

Wannianlingzhi Scenic Area

We leave the Wannianlingzhi Scenic Area and head back to the perimeter road, where by now we’re exhausted.  We keep seeing the tour minibuses zip past on the road, going in the opposite direction.  We try to flag several down, but they are all filled to the brim with people and keep zooming past.  Our legs are killing us by now, and we’re utterly exhausted, but we have no choice but to keep walking.

walking back to the entrance along the perimeter road

walking back to the entrance along the perimeter road

The Stone Forest from the perimeter road

The Stone Forest from the perimeter road

more stone forest

more stone forest

reflections

reflections

more reflections

more reflections

Alex takes a rest

Alex takes a rest

cloud halo

cloud haloes

Finally, we make our way back to the park entrance.  We still have to walk the 500 meters back to our hotel.  The whole excursion has been tiring, but it’s been a gorgeous day full of stunning scenery, and we’re exhausted in a good way.

When we return to the hotel, we head immediately to the hotel restaurant and get a kitchen worker’s attention.  We’re the only ones there, but the woman takes our food order after we make our choices using my WayGo translation app.  We’re so happy to finally have a meal to eat, having eaten just some bread snacks in the park.

Tomorrow, we’ll head back to Kunming.  We’ve decided we’re going to have a driver take us back, no matter the cost, just to avoid the bus and that East Kunming bus station.

Advertisements
Categories: Asia, China, karst, Karst landform, Kunming, Shilin, Stone Forest, Travel, Yunnan Province | Tags: , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Post navigation

11 thoughts on “exploring the fringes of the stone forest {part 2}

  1. Thanks for the amount of photos you provided; it’s like being there 🙂

    Like

    • Thanks so much xiaoru89. I’m glad you like all my photos. I know I post a lot, which some people don’t like because it’s just too much, but I really want to preserve the memory of my travels for myself, and thus I try to include a lot! Thanks for your encouraging comment. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. No wonder Alex looks ‘cream crackered’, Cathy 🙂 The place is enormous! Amazing rock formations. And you really have to see them at ground level for the scale. Thanks for taking me on another adventure. 🙂

    Like

  3. I see myself walking quietly in the grasslands when suddenly – a stone tooth erupts right in front of me! Giggles after the initial shock.

    Sent from my iPad

    >

    Like

  4. Such dramatic scenery.

    Like

  5. Gosh I’m exhausted after this! Need a good hot soak…

    Like

    • I needed one too, Jude, but sadly bathtubs are a rare commodity in Asia. I did find one on my recent trip to Shanghai though, and I took advantage of it morning and night! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: Dunedin Chinese Garden | gypsy life

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.

Japan Wonders

Exploring Japan's popular tourist spots and off-the-beaten path

A lot from Lydia

You can learn a lot from Lydia...(It's a song, not a promise.)

Ink Arts by Carol

My site for offering my alcohol ink arts

I see Beauty everyday

Blessed be the ones that see beauty where others see nothing

BOOKING IT

Debra's Excellent Adventures in Reading and Travel

Marsha Ingrao

Traveling & Blogging Near and Far

PIRAN CAFÉ

Notebooks from a trampfest. Travel tips, tales and images, online since 2006.

Word Wabbit

Wrestless Word Wrestler

Cardinal Guzman

Encyclopedia Miscellaneous - 'quality' blogging since August 2011

A Faraway Home

Stories and tips from home and far away

Pit's Fritztown News

A German Expat's Life in Fredericksburg/Texas

Under a Cornish Sky

inspired by the colours of the land, sea and sky of Cornwall

sloveniangirlabroad.wordpress.com/

A blog about expat life and travel adventures written by an Slovenian girl living in Switzerland

Let Me Bite That

Can I have a bite?

Running Stories by Jerry Lewis

Personal blog about running adventures

Finding NYC

exploring New York City one adventure at a time

The World according to Dina

Notes on Seeing, Reading & Writing, Living & Loving in The North

snippetsandsnaps

Potato Point and beyond

Storyshucker

A blog full of humorous and poignant observations.

The Eye of a Thieving Magpie

My view of this wonderful and crazy life - as I travel and explore.

renateflynn.wordpress.com/

A (Mostly) Solo Female Exploring the World

NYLON DAZE

From London to New York, living in an expat daze

Blue Hour Photo Workshops

Photography is a constant travel to new places

Travel Much?

Never cease to explore and tell!

%d bloggers like this: