The Stone Forest lies about 80 miles to the southeast of Kunming. A geological phenomenon, the Stone Forest was a vast expanse of sea during the Paleozoic era——some 270 million years ago. Later, the movement of tectonic plates altered the earth's crust, causing the sea to recede and its limestone bottom to appear, thereby forming land.Due to the constant seeping ofrain through the cracks in the limestone, some of the stone formation dissolved and the fissures broadened, producing a group of great sculptures of different shapes, all molded by nature.
In the midst of the forest, there is a huge rock screen on which two words——Stone Forest——are engraved in official script (in a calligraphic style typical of the Han Dynasty, 206 B.C.-220 A.D.). Among the scenic sights is the "Sword Peak Pond" with jadeite-colored water so clear that one can see the bottom of the pond. Other astonishing sights include "Figure of Ashima," "Shi Ba Xiang Song" (its name originating in the Chinese love story, "Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai"), and "Lotus Peak."