China: Kunming and the Stone Forest

«Chengdu and Dali Yangshao»

6 – 7 October 2001

After a 4 1/2 hour minivan journey from Dali we arrived in Kunming at mid-day on Saturday. After we checked into our hotel, we took an afternoon stroll down the Dongfeng Donglu. The city was very nice. For dinner we decided to try Across-the-Bridge-Noodles, the Yunnan Province’s best known dish. We had a lot of trouble finding the restaurant and no one spoke English but a man helped us with our orders. For 10 Yuan (about $1.20) each, we received thin slices of meat, quail eggs, noodles, vegetables and a fish head to cook in our hot soup bowl. The finished product, along with some added spices, was very good. We visited an English Corner after dinner and spent about 1 1/2 hours with mostly high school and college students, having them try their English out on us and answering their questions.

On Sunday, we boarded a train for a 90 minute ride to the Stone Forest. It consists of a series of stone pillars rising up among trees and lakes. We expected somewhat of a wilderness experience and were unprepared for paved paths and tours and vendors at every turn. We eventually found a path heading out of the major forest and followed it. Soon the crowds thinned out and we had the area to ourselves. We hiked for about two hours and enjoyed the scenery. After spending five hours total here, we went back to the train station and into Kunming, where we had dinner near the hotel.


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