In the south-west of China, in Shilin, stands a rare wonder. An incredible expanse of tall, limestone formations suddenly juts up From the ground, like stalagmites in a hidden cave, as if an entire forest Had suddenly been turned to stone. The place is genuinely surreal and You can walk amongst the mazes, paths and canyons created By these strange formations that have all been named by The local people and linked to legendary objects, animals or people. The most famous of these is a rock called Ashima. According to local legend, Ashima was a beautiful and courageous girl, born here in the forest, who fell in love with a boy she could not marry as he did not belong to her own people. Refusing to accept her fate, she tried to run away with him, but was immediately turned to stone, along with the entire forest that still holds her spirit captive.
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