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Shilin (石林)National Park,[1] in Karst region, Yunnan province, South of China. In UNESCO since 2007. This is a UNESCO listed site of remarkable Karst geography.

Get in[edit]

Buses from Kunming, East bus station, 34 RMB to Stone Forest, other buses may charge ¥90 for the same trip (note that while this is a short trip, it is in a bus station, as of a new rule in China around 2010 passport or driver licences may be required, however there were only a few who got asked, I personally {non-chinese person} did not take mine and went through with no troubles) if one of the tours working in front of the train station assist you to find your bus their ¥10 commission will be added to your fare. There are also around 8 buses between the Kunming airport and Shilin bus terminal, 45 RMB.

Train, ¥60, takes about 2 hours.

High-speed D-class train from Kunming South (subway line 1) to Shilin West, ¥18, 22 minutes, several per day mostly leaving in the morning or early afternoon and returning in the afternoon/evening. The train is met by a generous supply of local buses, ¥8, 50 minutes through Shilin town to the bus terminal. Last bus back is 18:00, for the 19:00 train (January 2017).

Free back entrance: There is an inofficial way to enter the park. It is located 2-3 km from the main entrance. Follow the road down hill from parking lot 3 (next to the geology museum) until it joins the main road. At the intersection you will find a field road on your left. (24.809525,103.30879). Leave your car here if you have one. On the field road you will see tire tracks as this road is used by taxi drivers to drop of local visitors. Follow them straight to the end. When you see a small cabin on your right cross the small river and walk the path uphill through some fields. Eventually, you will hit the visitor platform next to "The eternal mushroom". Welcome to one of the quietest section of the park. It might be possible to leave through the main gate without ticket and save some walk on the way back. April 2018 update: free back entrance might not be available anymore, as there is a guard house built on the pathway. The guards there wear official uniforms and turn back any visitors trying to sneak in for free. Tickets are checked once at the entrance; once in the park and at the exit, nobody seems to check for tickets anymore. There are multiple cameras throughout the park but it is unsure what their purpose is.

Get Around[edit]

There are small, green electric buses that go both from the parking lots and bus terminal to the ticket office and the park entrance (outer circle), and inside the gate surrounding the park itself (inner circle). Tickets to both cost ¥25 per day.

It's possible to get by on foot, but note that from the ticket office to the park gate is a 30 minute walk along the road (signs say 3000m, but probably less).

See[edit][add listing]

The stone forest near Kunming
  • Stone Forest National Park - Entry is pricey at ¥175 per person per day (¥87.5 for students); ¥10 for Chinese & English map (which is not really necessary, as inside the park there are maps in many places).

Do[edit][add listing]

Good weekend trip and lots to see. Take picture with girls Bai minority dressed in colorful dresses.

TIPs if full of people: Don't spend time in the first part of the park. But go in the back via the main road and come back via path inside the stone forest.

Eat[edit][add listing]

Besides the few stands of locals selling snacks and drinks at high prices, there are no restaurants in the park. Don't forget to bring your own food. Free water is offered at the ticket office. Refill your bottle after the long bus journey.

Drink[edit][add listing]

Sleep[edit][add listing]

Very good Youth Hostel (¥160 for doubles) or can get room at the Summer Hotel inside the nature reserve for around ¥200 for good a/c double room.

Other possibility, sleep in Kunming

Stay safe[edit]

This is a very popular tourist destination, for foreigners and Chinese alike. Thus scamming and con artist abound. Simply keeping your wits about you should help mitigate all these problems. Pick pocketing is a minor problem but does exist. Hagglers pestering you outside of the park are also very common, once through the entrance however you are fairly safe. (Many of the guards are locals and many of the people who are flogging cheap goods and overly priced tours are also local so don't be surprised if they have being let into the park)

If you see a Chinese tour group approaching your location, it is best to move as they will jostle and shove you out of their way. They are also loud and destroy the tranquility which can be found within the park. You can also step back and wait them out as they usually only stay for 5 minutes or so. (allow 10mins for stragglers to take photos)


Some of the paths can be very steep and steps can be very large leaps. Wet weather makes all the paths very slippery. Most of the park is very well maintained, however as with most places in China keep an eye on the ground for pot holes, rickety hand rails and wooden steps that look on the verge of collapse.

Get Out[edit]

If returning by the same bus that got you there it is another ¥34, which will take you back to the eastern bus station. Buses leave when they fill up, but the last bus is at 18:00. If you are not prepared to deal with cabbies and private drivers out the front who insist on high prices and not running their meters, walk back from the main entrance through the subway station, and then around the back of the eastern bus station, (better yet follow the streams of people who are mostly going to the various local bus stations) and either take the subway or the public buses ¥1-3. Bus K9 will take you to Renmin Road, which is the main drag in Kunming, there you can either walk to many hotels or hail an honest cabbie easily. Please note that the buses only accept correct change and the fair is a flat rate of either ¥1 or ¥2. You can use larger notes however no change will be given.

  • Jiuxiang Scenic Area - beautiful gorge and system of caves just an hour away north from Shilin. You can hire a taxi for 100-150 yuan return trip starting in Shilin. It takes less than an hour one way to get there. Entrance ticket is much cheaper than for Shilin Stone Park and the caves are really amazing.
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