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Overview

Be mesmerized by the geographical wonders of Yunnan. Wander amid the maze of rocky peaks that define the ‘Stone Forest’ of Shilin and stand in the shadow of 2-million-year-old sandstone columns at the ‘Earth Forest’. Appreciate mother nature at her very best on this Yunnan adventure.

Trip Highlights

Two Forest In Yunnan, Stone And Earth

Explore the Black Stone Forest

Learn of the legends behind the Black Stone Forest’s rocky outcroppings while wandering among the maze of towering rocks.

Trek through the Earth Forest

Admire the incredible collection of 2-million-year-old sandstone columns, some of which are as high as a 10-story building. 

Visit remnants of French influence

See train tracks laid by the French in the 19th century, when many western countries were given concessions in China.

Itinerary

1

Kunming (altitude 1750m) - Shilin - Kunming

Estimate distance and journey time: Kunming–Stone forest (90 km): approx. 1h15 *Depends on local situation (the weather/construction/traffic jam, etc…), may take longer

Kick off this inspiring Yunnan journey with a visit to Lunan. One of the most notable day trips from Kunming, Lunan is home to Shilin, or the Stone Forest: a 26,000 hectare region housing massive, other-worldly limestone formations. While certain parts of Shilin are inundated with tourists, a visit to the Black Stone Forest (10 km away) reveals its true beauty… without the crowds. A veritable labyrinth of ‘stone trees’ cut and carved from chemical erosion, wind, and rain… following a guide through the forest imperative in order to not get lost! Enjoy a picnic lunch in the heart of the Stone Forest; a great way to both appreciate the surrounding beauty and to avoid the inflated tourist prices of on-site restaurants.

Note: The walk inside can take 2 hours or more, depending on pace. To avoid long walks, an electric car can be hired at an extra charge

Heading back to Kunming, take note of the old French train tracks. While China was never fully colonized (at least by the West), concessions were granted to Western powers during the 19th and early 20th century. In 1910, the French launched a project to link Vietnam’s Hanoi to Kunming, a French protectorate at the time. With more than 450 km of rail track, over 3,500 bridges, and 170 tunnels, a workforce of 60,000+ developed this epic project. It was one of the most significant traces of French presence in China.

Option: For those interested in taking a ride on this historic railway, a trip can be arranged upon request.

Overnight in Kunming

2

Kunming - Yuanmou

Estimate distance and journey time: Kunming–Stone forest (90 km): approx. 1h15 *Depends on local situation (the weather/construction/traffic jam, etc…), may take longer

Day 2 continues on with another fantastic Yunnan tour, heading out to Yuanmou County. Four hours’ travel arrives into this ethereal region, home to another famous “forest.” In addition to this breathtaking ‘spire’ forest, Yuanmou is also famous for its 1965 discovery of human fossils, dating back 1.7 million years. Learn all about the history of China’s first ancestor, the “Yuanmou man,” inside the Yuanmou museum.

After exploring the museum, catch a first glimpse of the Yuanmou Earth Forest.

Overnight in Yuanmou

3

Yuanmou - Kunming

This final day features a full visit to the Earth Forest: 50km2 of kaleidoscopic rocks. For over 2 million years, these spires have been eroded down into unique shapes, creating an exceptionally stunning “forest” of clay and sand columns. Reaching up to 40 meters in height (equivalent to a 10-story building), some compare the rocks to church organs, whilst others think they look like giant natural castles. The slow erosion of the formations has also left beautiful strips of color, which create a real visual treat. Starting with violet at the top, grey in the middle, and yellow at the base, the colors are further intensified by the sun shining upon them.

Note: The “forest” walk can take 3 hours or more, depending on personal pace

After exploring the Earth Forest, transport back to Kunming.

Important Information

Our services include:

  • Accommodation in selected hotel
  • English speaking guide(for other languages supplements apply, sorry to inform that no German or Spanish speaking guides are available in this area)
  • No – shopping arrangement
  • Tours and transfers as mentioned by private air conditioned vehicle.
  • Entrance fees for mentioned visits

Our services exclude:

  • Meals arrangement
  • Other services not mentioned in the program
  • Laundry, telephone calls and expenditure of a personal nature
  • Tips, Travel insurance
  • China visa 

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