World Heritage #1248 – South China Karst

Last modified 26.03.2022 | Published 18.02.1985China, North, Central and East Asia, World Heritage Sites

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There are strange rock formations in many parts of the world. The South China Karst in southern China are really remarkable.

The UNESCO World Heritage List includes more than a thousand properties with outstanding universal value. They are all part of the world’s cultural and natural heritage.


Official facts

  • Country: China
  • Date of Inscription: 2007
  • Category: Natural site

UNESCO’s World Heritage Centre’s short description of site no. 1248:

“The South China Karst region extends over a surface of half a million km2 lying mainly in Yunnan, Guizhou and Guangxi provinces. It represents one of the world’s most spectacular examples of humid tropical to subtropical karst landscapes. The stone forests of Shilin are considered superlative natural phenomena and a world reference with a wider range of pinnacle shapes than other karst landscapes with pinnacles, and a higher diversity of shapes and changing colours. The cone and tower karsts of Libo, also considered the world reference site for these types of karst, form a distinctive and beautiful landscape. Wulong Karst has been inscribed for its giant dolines (sinkholes), natural bridges and caves.”


My visit

On a long journey around China on trains I had arrived in the southern city of Kunming the previous day. This is what I wrote in my 1985 diary:

“I took an early bus to Shilin Stone Forest and walked around in the labyrinths there for some hours. The “forest” consists of oblong or shapeless and large limestone cliffs put on the head, standing tight as trees in a forest. Very impressive and well worth seeing.” I spent a few more nights in Kunming before I moved on. 

Read more about my visit. 

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