The earth forest is a typical topographic formation by piles of earth accumulating over millions of years. The earth crannies caused by crust movement were deepened and widened by natural force, eventually giving birth to earth pillars. These earth pillars look vividly like a forest from the distance thus the name “earth forest”. Yuanmou, about 200 kilometers away from Kunming, is Yunnan’s most famous place for the earth forest.
The Earth Forest of Yuanmou covers a total area of over 50 square kilometers and mainly includes three parts: Banguo, Xinhua and Hutiaotan. It astonishes lots of visitors with its exotic and erecting earth pillars of which the highest one is nearly 40 meters or as high as a 10-storey building.
The Earth Forest has been there for at least 1.5 million years, and survived frequent earthquakes. When the substances on the upper surface were taken away by the exogenic force, the cementation agents containing calcium and iron etc got exposed and kept the top from being further eroded while the lower part was deepened by rains and winds to eventually form high peaks. Like the stones (Stone Forest) in Kunming, the earth pillars in Yuanmou have been given various names by the locals. Some popular ones are Sword, Dali Three Pagodas, Dunhuang Grottoes, Pretty Girls, Labyrinth, Golden Pagodas and Writing Brush etc. Yuanmou Earth Forest deserves to be called “another natural miracle in Yunnan”. In 1985, it became a new tourist site in Yunnan Province. - in: http://en.ynta.gov.cn/Item/679.aspx