Shilin, is a notable set of karst formations in the Yunnan province of southwest China. As the essence of the world's karst, the Stone Forest is well-known for "grandness, rarity, danger, elegance, quietness and vastness". Since almost all the typical pinnacle karst types can be identified in the Stone Forest, the park is acclaimed internationally the "Museum of Stone Forest karst."
Covering a few hundred square kilometers, stone peaks rise abruptly from the ground innumerous layers like bamboo shoots, forests and pagodas. Researches by Chinese and overseas geologists have proved that the Stone Forest is over 270 million years old. The area used to be an ocean. During the Long Geological Period from the late Permian Period230 million years ago to 2 million years ago, the ocean subsided and giant rocks appeared. During this time the rocks were gradually worn away by water, forming the strange rock forms seem today.
Stone Forest includes numerous physiognomy types of the world, such as the stone forest of Malaysia, America and Africa. It seems that the stone forests of the entire world assemble here. With well-structured stone teeth, peak clusters, water-eroded caves, karst lakes, waterfalls and underground rivers, it's a typical plateau karst ecological system and a solid panoramic picture. It represents one of the world's most spectacular examples of subtropical karst landscapes
Major Stone Forest, Minor Stone Forest and Naigu Stone Forest, all of which feature stones are in various formations. Animals, plants, and even human figures can be found here. Some are elegant, some are rugged, and each is lifelike with its own distinguishing characteristics.
According to the lay-out and features of the scenery, the scenic area of Stone Forest is divided into eight sub areas: the Stone Forest Scenic Area, Heisongyan (Naigu) Stone Forest, Zhiyundong Cave, Changhu Lake, Feilong Waterfall (Dadieshui) Scenic Area, Kuishan National Forest Park, Yuehu Lake, and Qifengdong Cave. Among these, the Stone Forest Scenic Area (the key scenic area), Heisongyan Scenic Area, Feilong Waterfall Scenic Area and Changhu Lake Scenic Area have been developed and opened to tourists.