Stone Forest near Kunming

The Stone Forest near Kunming

Who does not want to guard mountains like sheep? One could simply move them from A to B and change entire landscapes. I would immediately move some of the most beautiful mountains next to my house and go climbing. Jinfen Ruoga possessed this ability. Like a flock of sheep, he led the mountains of Luliang to the north of Yiliang. But he did not rightfully possess that ability. For that he staged a magical whip and a magical spell. He wanted to build a dam for his village to protect them. At dawn, however, the crows of the magical rooster discovered him. The mountains then froze near the Napan River. For the people of the Sani he is worshiped as a hero.

Since then the meter-high rock formations are now near Kunming and form the fairy-tale stone forest labyrinth of Shilin. They differ in their form considerably from the stone pillars in Zhangjiaje. This stone forest does not claim to reach for the clouds. I do not have to climb 1000 steps to get a peak view. The paths are narrow though. Sometimes I have to squeeze through narrow niches. But behind every curve is hidden a new landscape. Sometimes a further rock blocks the view, sometimes I have to climb up or down, sometimes I stand in front of a wide meadow with a stream or a pond. It is varied and the area covers about 500 square km. The main part of the National Park is densely covered with stone rocks. Especially in this part pf the park the tourists gather. It is overpopulated and a guidance system leads the visitors through one-way streets to enjoy the rocky landscape from the top of a pillar system. To visit the main sights in the center of the national park a lot of patience is needed. But the views are phenomenal.

With Kunming my circular journey through China comes to an end. I decided to go back to Yangshuo a little earlier. Traveling in this vast country with its countless sights and spectacular landscapes has drained me. I found myself at a point where I can no longer appreciate the beauty of Chinese architecture, the landscape and the culture as I would like it to do and how it would be appropriate in my opinion. Seldomly I have experienced such a stimulus overload as in China. It is a gigantic land with exceptional sights, landscapes and national parks. The history, culture, myths and legends is feeding continuously the imagination and can be overwhelming. However, I need a break from hotel check-ins and check-out every third night. I need a break from sightseeing in general.

I long for staying in a place for a while to recharge energy. What would be better than climbing in Yangshuo. At first that seems not the best decision to slow down, but the climbers among you, will know what I am talking about. So my last stop in China leads me back to Yangshuo.