Stone Forest

27th August 2017

Ducks in a rowOn our way to visit the Stone Forest we had an added bonus to our itinerary, which was lunch at a famous duck restaurant, however being Sunday and also very popular this meant that we had to queue. Still we passed the time by visiting the cook house and seeing the prepared ducks being cooked. The person showing us around is fifth generation of the family owners.

The whole duckThe duck was delicious although having the head and rear end served up was a bit disconcerting. The presentation and cooking was surprisingly familiar – it came with huge slices of cucumber and large spring onions, only the pancakes were missing. I am glad I am well practiced with chopsticks as there is no chance of a knife and fork and I would hate to miss out on all the great Chinese food we are trying.

Stone Forest viewThere is a sword in there somewhere, apparentlyReplete, we headed on to the Stone Forest which took some finding as the tourist attraction is being expanded and the entrance has moved since our guide last came. (At least that is Teddy’s excuse). Eventually we parked  in a massive car park and caught the electric vehicle to the ticket office, such was the size of the place. Also, being Sunday it was quite busy but there were still paths to explore off the main tourist group trail.

An excuse for the locals to dress up and take more photosThe stone forest was made may years ago when wind and rainwater eroded the limestone into many weird shaped pillar like rocks known as karsts. Dave saw something similar in Borneo on our round the world trip called the Pinnacles, deep in the jungle and a steep climb/scramble of five or so hours. This was far more civilised and accessible.

Elephant looky likeyThere is an opportunity to dress up in Sani-Yi local costume, which many Chinese did and there was no shortage of selfie-sticks to record this (not by us I hasten to add!) We did however picture one lady in traditional costume carrying a  basket of flowers in front of the rock that is supposedly shaped similarly. Hmmm.

I also liked the elephant shaped rock, which just had to be right at the top of the rocks. There were many paths though the rocks and in the centre was the heart shaped rock which called out to tourists to be touched for good luck.

Traditional dancingHearing music, we headed for the arena in the rocks to watch some traditional dancing. There were a group of men and ladies all in traditional dress putting on a show. The men are playing the local traditional three stringed guitar and when we found a large replica guitar in the park Dave just had to try it out.

Dave enjoying a play on the guitarThat evening, we headed out of the hotel and the street had been transformed into many little restaurants with barbecues on the pavement cooking kebabs and other meats and some with fish laid out to be cooked to order. These were surrounded by low tables and stools for all fresco dining. Inside was a display of fresh vegetables for you to chose what you wanted them to cook for you. No sign of a menu and even if there was we would have no chance of reading it, so once again we relied on Teddy making some decisions for us.

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