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Wonderful Journey to Yunnan's Xishuangbanna

 2013-12-01    Ada    Tours    Yunnan    1043  

Xishuangbanna is an autonomous prefecture in the south of Yunnan province. To the Dai people, Xishuangbanna was known as 'Mengbanaxi' in ancient times, a name that means a miraculous and nice utopia. It had been a settlement where 13 ethnic minorities have lived in tight-knit communities for generations. As one of the key resorts in China, Xishuangbanna is located in the deep east of Yunnan Province close to the Burmese and Lao borders.

The Jino ethnic minority is peculiar to the prefecture. The prefectural seat is Jinghong, the largest settlement in the area and one that straddles the Mekong River, called the Lancang River in Chinese. Sightseeing in Xishuangbanna worth the long days of tired bus trip. The mystic rain forest, for example, is a rare oasis on the tropic of cancer. The stretch of vast and fantastic green world is of tremendous vigor. As the only tropical rain forest nature reserve in China, the area has surprising biological diversity in the virgin forest, particularly because it is so far away from central China and considered isolated, which also make it famous at home and abroad.

Olive Dam is the lowest and hottest place in Xishuangbanna. However, its torrid climate brings rich tropical fruits and products. It consists of two stockaded villages, each of which is highlighted by an eyeful of typical Burma styled Buddhist pagodas and bamboo building of the Dai minority. As for the interesting Single-Tree Forest, you may call it a miracle. A tree does not make a forest. But a nine hundred year old banyan in Daluo Town here is exception. It covers an area of 120 square meters (143.6 square yards) with over thirty stand roots. This 70-meter-high (230-feet-tall) banyan is an attractive and marvelous forest in itself. You can find many rare animals and plants there. Wild Elephant Valley, a valley located in the Mengyang Nature Reserve, 45 kilometers (28 miles) from Jinghong, is the only place to find Chinese wild elephants in the virgin forest.

There are hostels in the elephant park. Cabins in trees on riverbank are the most perfect localities to admire the elephants.
Manfeilong Buddhist Pagoda is a Hinayana Buddhist architecture complex consisted of nine masonry pagodas of all sizes. It is also known as the White Pagoda due to its pure white structure. During the Water-Sprinkling Festival, crowds of the Dai people in Manfeilong Village will gather in front of the pagoda to celebrate the New Year of the Dai Calendar.

Apart from those, the featured Water-sprinkling Festival also deserve your highly expectation.
It is New Year's Day for the Dai, and is the most important and grandest festival of the year. It lasts three days from 13th to 15th, April (the sixth month of the Dai Calendar). Dai people dip branches into the river and sprinkle the water onto others as a way to express their best wishes. In addition, the festivals of the Hani, Jino and Yao ethnic minorities are also delightful part of local ethnic customs.

Although it is an all-year-round tourist destination, the weather is most favorable from November to April. However since the roads conditions are excellent, Xishuangbanna is also a popular destination during the rainy season. 

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