Sunday, 6 January 2013

A Trip To Kunming, China - Part 2


Most tourists to Yunnan province do not stay very long in Kunming. The three Malaysian ladies whom we met briefly on the plane were not even staying the night. They were going to catch the 10pm sleeper train down to Lijiang City from where they will visit fascinating places like The Tiger Leaping Gorge, the Snow Mountains and Shangri-la over in Tibet.

We did not have the luxury of time so our trip was limited to places within two hours of Kunming by road.

The first day we took in the Stone Forest, 120 km. away.


"Located in the east of Kunming City, Yunnan Province, Stone Forest is an undoubtedly unique natural phenomenon.   In an area of 400m², there are hundreds of differently-styled giant stones scattered in random fashion and giving the appearance of a deep   and serene forest. Stone Forest began to take shape in the Carboniferous Period some 280,000,000 years ago. The forest was formed by successive natural and geological upheavals-firstly due to the erosion of limestone in the sea, resulting in countless stone channels and columns; and later, due to the rising of the Earth’s crust, the area became a land-mass. The stones themselves were fashioned as a result of these processes, as well as millennia of weather exposure and natural upheavals such as earthquakes. All of these factors have made the stones a truly wondrous sight.  When viewed from a distance, the stone columns seem to form an impenetrable black forest-hence the name-”Stone Forest”.  (Taken from http://www.chinatouronline.com/china-travel/kunming/kunming-attractions/stone-forest_382.html)





Actually these Yunnanese, they really have heads for heights. They have carved/engraved/built at their tourist attractions countless steps, mostly steep, winding and narrow to reach the spots that offer the most spectacular scenery.

Alhamdulillah hubby and I still have our climbing legs to take them on, not without some huffing and puffing, which is saying something about our cardio fitness.

If only working-out is as simple as placing one's hand on a rock shaped like a heart-and-lungs combo found in the Stone Forest near Kunming. These folks, they look at a rock formation and they see shapes of various things like an elephant, a soaring eagle, a wife waiting for her husband *roll-eyes*, lotus flowers, a mushroom etc. By just touching them they believe will bring strength, virility, good health, good luck.

Given how they tend to think visually, even their writing are in picture symbols, my guess is the Chinese in general are right-brainers which is said to be associated with higher levels of creativity and language skills.... which is nice to have in a way, but if you start believing things like certain numbers are lucky/unlucky because of how they sound... haiiyah that's really illogical to the max.

Oops...I have meandered far enough... here are some pictures we took at the Stone Forest and see if you can discern a few of the shapes I mentioned.
 





After the tour we stopped for lunch at a Muslim restaurant at the nearby town. The meal was sumptuous, and the calligraphy inspirational.


It means “There is no greater wealth than wisdom, no greater poverty than ignorance; they will not enter Paradise who is isolated".



 We returned from our trip before sunset. After solat and some rest, we went for a stroll at the city park known as the Green Lake Park and simply watched birds and people partaking their leisure.



Although the locals didn't seem to smile that easily, it was good that they didn't really mind their pictures being taken.

to be continued

5 comments:

Al-Manar said...

It is fascinatingly beautiful of a different kind from one sees visiting developed counbtries. It is ancient as against medernity and archiecture.

Kak Teh said...

One day, one day - i will go there , Insyaallah. Thanks for sharing.

Zendra-Maria said...

Salam Pakcik Hassan, my apologies for the late response but yes, China with it's very long history of inventions, wars and dynasties, is indeed unique. A must-visit if you love to travel to foreign destinations.


Salam Kak Teh, thanks for dropping by.

Shane Hayes said...
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