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Rock of ages

By Chen Nan (China Daily)

08:44, June 28, 2012

La Haiqing's passion for geology inspired him to open Guide County National Geological Park, Qinghai province, in 2010.(China Daily)

Among all the Chinese myths, La Haiqing loves the story of Goddess Nuwa the most. She is said to have repaired the ceiling of heaven and, feeling lonely at the beginning of the world, created animals and humans out of clay. La, 50, says he used to enjoy watching and listening to the Yellow River, which flowed past his house in Guide county, Qinghai province. And he adds, the stones and soil under his feet have reminded him of Nuwa's story since he was a kid.

This inspired him to build Yellow River Stone Garden in the west of Guide county, in 2000. The 10-yearlong project costs nearly 40 million yuan ($6.28 million) and covers an area of 5,400 square meters, and features 500 rocks collected by La during the past decade, the biggest weighing 5 tons.

La also opened Guide County National Geological Park on June 23, 2010.

The 340,000 square meter park costs 350 million yuan and features the seven-colored Danxia landform, comprised of red sandstone and conglomerate and formed primarily by tectonic activity and water erosion.

"Isn't it a perfect place to tell the story of Nuwa," he says.

La enjoys nothing more than walking in Yellow River Stone Garden and Geological Park, despite the extremes of temperature - the afternoon heat and chills after sunset.

"I walked in the park for hours every day when construction started. I kept on thinking about the stories behind each mountain. How did they appear in this place and shape themselves?" La says.

La says one of the mountains impressed him in particular, as it has rocks that "look like arms and legs. To me, they look like leftover creations of the Goddess Nuwa when she made humans."

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