Kunming Fantastic Stone Town
The great market place in Kunming is a treasure trove for collectors interested in stones from southwestern China. Kunming Fantastic Stone Town is a complex of buildings housing over 400 dealers. Most of the shops sell viewing stones and jewelry made from local stones, but there are also a few pet fish shops, an antique shop, and even a shop for making bases for stones. This is the place to come to find excellent examples of Yunnan province stones. Visitors will see iron stones, a large variety of Jinshan and Long River stones, Yellow Wax and Golden Jade, along with a great abundance of stones from the neighboring province of Guizhou. Collectors especially interested in Yellow Wax and Golden Jade should visit this market. Kunming is the capital for these stones. High grade Yellow Wax stones are used to make stone carvings and various types of jewelry that is marketed as Golden Jade. This market place is pleasant and the spacious open setting is conducive to wandering and browsing from store to store. You can easily spend a half day or more here. This market place is also the headquarters for the View Stone Association of Yunnan province and the Huanglong Jade Association of Yunnan province
Kunming Beijing-lu 650244
Dali Picture Stones
Dali City is an ancient city that lies on the western edge of Lake Erhai, the seventh largest lake in China, and immediately east of the Cangshan or Blue Mountains. It lies north of the provincial capital of Kunming. It is a 4.5 hour drive on a new road or a 45-minute flight from Kunming. Dali is composed of “Old Dali” and “New Dali.” Dali is the capital of the Dali Bai Autonomous prefecture. Bai and Yi are the dominant minorities in this region. Dali is famous for its marble production and as scenic area. Visitors should go to “Old Dali” to find Dali picture stones, experience the sights and scenes of the historical section of the city, and to sample the Bai ethic foods. It is a wonderful experience in this major tourist oriented city.
Stores selling Dali picture stones are scattered in different parts of Old Dali rather than clustered together in a central stone market. Visitors can head to “Antique Street” and find several Dali marble vendors located in this area. Dali is not a big city by Chinese standards, having approximately 650,000 people. Old Dali is just a small part of the city. Since Old Dali is a major tourist destination, it is relatively easy for foreign visitors to find a hotel, interpreting services, and arrange taxi service to a Dali stone store. Spend an extra day or two in Dali and take the cable car up into the Canshan or visit the huge Three Pagoda Buddhist temple on the edge of the city.