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Kunming's Eternal Spring

sunny 18 °C

Kunming, a small city (in Chinese terms) in the mountains of Southwest China, is much like any modern city with skyscrapers, lofty hotels, wide roads and a ton of upscale shopping malls. There is nothing cheap about China these days even in this rural backwater and every other building seems to be a mall or a bank...
Old Kunming, with its ancient tea shops and silk manufacturing, has virtually disappeared, but attempts are being made to preserve and revive some of the last remaining historic streets...
The tea shops and noodle houses of old have been replaced by sushi bars, pizza joints and Thai restaurants, but it is the thought that counts.
Modernity has also taken over the streets where the iconic sit-up-and-beg bicycles have been replaced by hundreds of thousands of electric scooters which glide silently, (and cleanly), through the streets. Unfortunately, the riders ignore most traffic signals and treat pedestrians with contempt – especially when it comes to parking on the sidewalks...
There are far fewer cyclists, but the government is promoting ride-sharing in a big way with bike rental schemes....
Kunming's major claim to fame is its year round temperate climate and it is called 'The City of Eternal Spring' with good reason. But it's not a pretty city and its major tourist attraction lies about 75 kilometres away in Lunan Yi. These are some of the karst limestone formations in the Stone Forest - the Shilin - at Lunan Yi...
We visited the Stone Forest on an ordinary Friday in February and expected it to be quiet. But it seems that thousands of Chinese tourists had the same idea and we enjoyed watching them dress in local ethnic costumes for a photo with an unusual backdrop...
Fortunately, most of the Chinese were ushered around the vast site in tightly controlled groups so we were able to get some good clear shots of this pre-cambrian oddity by dodging around between them...
The Stone Forest in Lunan Yi Autonomous County covers some 400 square kilometres and was described as The First Wonder of the World in the Ming Dynasty (1368 -1644 AD)...
An old local saying says that 'If you have visited Kunming without seeing the Stone Forest, you have wasted your time.' We didn't waste our time and got many great pictures of the rocks and the spring flowers...

Posted by Hawkson 04:17 Archived in China

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It looked pretty ugly at the beginning but the photos at the end were good. I am getting tired over trees with no leaves or flowers here. Bring some back!!!!

by Jean McLaren

Our wondrous world again. Thanks for sharing with us!

by Alison fitzgerald

Spring! So that's what it looks like. I'd almost forgotten. That last photo, btw, is a winner.

by R and B

Enjoyed seeing the Stone Forest. Bitter sweet change. I hope they do preserve some of the past.

by Sue Fitzwilson

wow what a stunning show and the last picture with blossoms in front of the stone would make a wonderful card.

by Janet

What wonderful pictures. The stone forest looks amazing!

by Pippa

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