ESCAPING THE COLD? TRY WARM, AMAZING XISHUANGBANNA!
WNIC has teamed up with the HUNAN OVERSEAS TRAVEL COMPANY to bring you easy access and unbeatable prices to the XiShuangBanna (Yunnan) area: we can help book flights, hotels and incredible trips of a lifetime! Limited places!
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A tropical spread of rainforests, plantations and paddy fields nestled 750km southwest of Kunming along the Burmese and Laotian borders, Xishuangbanna (西双版纳, xīshuāngbănnà) has little in common with the rest of provincial China. Foremost of the region’s many ethnic groups are the Dai, northern cousins to the Thais, whose distinctive temples, bulbous pagodas and saffron-robed clergy are a common sight down on the plains, particularly around Jinghong, Xishuangbanna’s sleepy capital. The region’s remaining 19,000 square kilometres of hills, farms and forest are split between the administrative townships of Mengla in the east and Menghai in the west, peppered with villages of Hani, Bulang, Jinuo, Wa and Lahu; remoter tribes are still animistic, and all have distinctive dress and customs. Cultural tourism aside, there are plenty of hiking trails and China’s open border with Laos to explore.
Xishuangbanna’s emphatically tropical weather divides into a dry stretch between November and May, when warm days, cool nights and dense morning mists are the norm; and the June–October wet season, featuring high heat and torrential daily rains. Given the climate, you’ll need to take more than usual care of any cuts and abrasions, and to guard against mosquitoes (see Health). The busiest time of the year here is mid-April, when thousands of tourists flood to Jinghong for the Dai Water-splashing Festival; hotels and flights will be booked solid for a week beforehand. Getting around Xishuangbanna is easy enough, with well-maintained roads connecting Jinghong to outlying districts. Place names can be confusing, though, as the words “meng-”, designating a small town, or “man-”, a village, prefix nearly every destination. Source
Main Tourist Attractions: Xishuangbanna itself is the main attraction. This sub-tropical region is a wonder for travelers to explore. Visiting various villages of different ethnic groups, who still live in a very traditional way and are very welcoming to travelers.
Xishuangbanna Wild Elephant Valley: Situated some 47km north of Jinghong, the Mengyang nature reserve is home to Xishuangbanna' s native wild Asian elephants, it's the last remaining refuge of wild elephants in the whole of China. The valley of the Sancha river and the hills to the west and east are covered in dense tropical rain forest and are well watered by numerous streams.
Daizu Garden: It is a famous tourist attraction in Xishuangbanna. There are 5 well-deserved natural Dai villages in the Daizu Garden. In this garden, tourists may not only enjoy the beautiful tropical landscape but also learn the splendid culture of Dai people. Girls must be absorbed in the famous dance - “peacock dance”.
Olive Dam (Ganlanba): This place has an altitude of 530 meters. It is the lowest point of Xishuangbanna area, so the weather is hot. The hot weather brings abundant tropical fruits here. Besides, preserved fruits are loved by tourists very much.
Chunhuan Park: A thousand years ago, the Chunhuan Park was an imperial garden. It has a famous bronze of Premier Zhou Enlai, memorizing that Premier Zhou took part in the Water-Splashing Festival in Chunhuan Park in 1961. There is a Dai Palace and peacock garden in the park, which blends natural landscape and humanity sight together.
Tropical Arboretum: This garden was built in 1997. There are large amount kinds of tropical flowers in it. It was tropical plants science research institute. Tourists may not only enjoy the beautiful flowers but also get scientific knowledge about it.
The origin of the name “Xishuangbanna”: In Dai people’s language, “Xishuang” means twelve, and “banna” means one thousand units of area. Xishuangbanna has 12 units of area, so this name comes.
Xishuangbanna Climate: Xishuangbanna has pleasant climate all of the year. In summer, the average temperature is 28 degrees centigrade. In winter, the average temperature is 16 degrees centigrade. From November to April next year is the best time to travel there. Tourists may enjoy not only the amazing landscape but also the splendid culture of Dai Minority.
Culture: It has a long history of Dai Minority. Dai people have been creating brilliant Dai culture during the last centuries. The dance of Dai people is famous throughout the world. The dance movements are imitation of animals, such as the popular “Peacock Dance”. The sculptures and paintings are also famous. The houses of Dai people – bamboo houses with classic elegance are the traditional minority buildings in China.
The Dai New Year Festival (Water Splashing Festival) - Xishuangbanna. Every year on April 13th/15th the city of Jinghong, the capital city of Xishuangbanna, and neighboring villages celebrate the coming of the Dai New Year. Commonly known as the ‘Water Splashing Festival’ or the ‘Festival for Bathing the Buddha’, it’s the most important festival for the Dai people.
Cuisine: Dai Cuisine wins a high reputation in Yunnan. It fully shows its special folk flavor. Visitors may have everything delicious that one expects to find at the night market. The most famous cuisine is sticky rice, barbecue, lichen, herb chicken, and insect dinner. There are lots of cuisines waiting for visitors to discover.
Special Local Products: Xishuangbanna is one of the oldest cradles of tea in China. The famous Puer tea is grown and produced in this area. In Ming and Qing dynasties, Puer tea had been exported to West Asia area and other countries.
Granule coffee is an important kind of coffee in Xishuangbanna area. It is especially sweet. It is the best gifts to give to friends and relatives.
There are lots of kinds of tropical fruits in Xishuangbanna, such as banana, pineapple, mango, grapefruit, poplar, etc. They grow all around the year.
Many bizarre medicines grow at Xishuangbanna area. For example, a kind of medicine called “Xue Jie” may cure rheumatism and many diseases of women.
The man-made weaving carpets are popular in the craftwork field in China. The carpets are made of high quality fell. The designs show originality and Dai people’s splendid culture.
Xishuangbanna is an amazing place to sightsee and relax. There is more charm waiting for you to explore.
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Travel Tips >>>
An umbrella is a must to protect from the sun. Besides, medicines to drive away mosquito are necessary, too.
When you travel in Xishuangbanna, please respect the living habits of the Dai people and other minorities.
There are many kinds of jewelries and jade articles in Xishuangbanna area, so you need to distinguish.
Bring T-shirt and short pants because the temperature during the day is high. Besides, a thin coat is necessary because the temperature in the early morning and at night is lower.
If you want to travel along the border area, please pay special attention to your safety.
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Do not touch a monks’ heads. Many men in Xishuangbanna will experience several years’ religion life. When they are 8 years old, parents will send them to temples to be monks. During that period, they will learn Buddhism knowledge, and accept strict religion education. After 2 or 3 years, they can leave the temple and live a life as a normal man. The one who touch a monk’s head is thought to be an enemy of his.
Do not look in the bedroom of a Dai person. If you are invited to a Dai person's house, remember not to peep into his bedroom. If you are found to peep his bedroom, you have to do 3 years’ housework at his house.
When you are invited to a Dai person's house, remember to take your shoes off and sit down according to people’s generation, age, and qualifications.