Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture
Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture is located at south end of Yunnan Province with Jinghong City, the largest settlement in this area as its capital. Bordering Laos, Myanmar and close to Thailand and Vietnam, it is regarded as a vital pass and transportation node from China to Indo-China Peninsular. This is a magical paradise famous for its tropical rain forests and unique ethnic custom, especially the Water-sprinkling Festival, which make it one of the most attractive destinations in China.
The whole Xishuangbanna covers an area of 19,582 sq. km. (7,560 sq. mi.) with a population of about 1 million, it has been a dwelling place for 13 ethnic groups since the ancient time. Most people living here are Dai minority, who regarded this land as a miraculous and incomparable utopia. It has a tropical monsoon climate with plentiful sunshine and an annual temperature of 21 ℃, which make it an ideal destination for tourists at any time of a year.
Natural reserve in Xishuangbanna is very rich and diverse with 1/4 of the animals and 1/6 plants in China, being regarded as the Kingdom of Plants and Animals. If you are traveling here, you may find beautiful peacocks, hornbills dancing in the sky, elephants walking leisurely by the roads and antelopes, deer and rabbits running across the forests, which give you a feeling of returning to the nature. Because of its humid and rainy weather, it is covered by green forests all the year round with more than 800 natural scenic spots on this land. If you look at other places at the same latitude in the world, you will find nearly all of them are covered by deserts, which make Xishuangbanna look like a green emerald on the crown.
Maybe you are wondering if Xishuangbanna is such a wonderful paradise for tourism, what you can see here. Well, Xishuangbanna is the only rain forests scenic spots in China with old high trees stabbing into the sky and rare animals living in it freely. If you are in Xishuangbanna, the Tropical Botanical Garden, Olive Dam, the Wild Elephant Valley, Lancang River, Aerial Walkway and Daluo One Tree Forest will surely be on your traveling plans. All these natural scenic spots enable you to savor great virgin land of the tropical area.
Xishuangbanna is a convergence of all kinds of ethnic groups, as a result, the lingering charm of the ethnic architectural buildings, life style and custom are surely worthy of noting. This is a foggy, mysterious and tranquil land with Buddhist temples blending with Dai residences and the natural landscape, which can seldom be found in other southeastern countries. The most outstanding cultural heritage includes: Manfeilong Pagoda, Jingzhen Octagonal Pavilion, Mange Temple, Manting Park and so on. All these attractions can perfectly reflect the local custom and unique culture in this land and if you are traveling here, don't miss these attractive spots.
Another thing that make Xishuangbanna stand out is the Water- Sprinkling Day, which is the New Year's Day of the Dai ethnic group and is the most grandest festival of the year. Unlike many other festivals, there are not only dancing and singing but Dai people will also sprinkle water to others as a way to express their best wishes. It lasts three to five days in the middle of April and is appealing to many people from other places. Local products includes tea, coffee, tropical fruit, herbs and Yunnan tobacco and if you like, you can buy any of them from the local people. If you have never had the experience of living in the tropical area, all the wonders in Xishuangbanna will surely glut your eyes and what are you waiting for?