Karst Landscape Tour
By: Kane on 6/3/2011 7:22:20 PM Category: Travel Notes
Tags: ,Stone Forest, Karst, limestone rock,
This vast area of southwest china, the size of France and Spain combined, is famous for its clusters of conical hills like giant upturned egg carton separated by dry empty valleys. This is the Karst—a limestone terrain, which has become the defining image of southern china. Karst landscapes are often studded with rocky outcrops, forcing local farmers to cultivate tiny fields.
The people who live here are among the poorest in China.
In neighboring Yunnan province, limestone rocks have taken over entirely. This is the famous Stone Forest, the product of countless years of erosion, producing a maze of deep gullets and sharp-edged pinnacles. Limestone has a strange property that is dissolve in rain water. Over many thousands of years, water has corrode its way deep into the heart of the bedrock itself. This natural wonder has a famous tourist spot receiving close to 2 million visitors each year.
The Chinese are fond of curiously shaped rocks and many have been given fanciful names, but there is more to this landscape than meets the eye. China has literally thousands of mysterious caverns concealed beneath the visible landscape of the karst. Much of this hidden world has never been seen by human eyes and it’s only just now being explored.
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