Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture, a region in the southern part of China’s Yunnan province, is known for its intriguing combination of Dai and other minority culture, incredible biodiversity, delicious cuisine that combines Chinese and Thai traditions, and some of the best Pu’Er tea in China.
Xishuangbanna is easily accessible and provides a haven for the outdoors- and nature-lover. Interested? Here’s how to explore one of Yunnan’s greatest treasures:
1) Access Xishuangbanna via Bus or Plane. Thanks to Yunnan’s great bus network, accessing Xishuangbanna from other parts of Yunnan is fairly convenient and inexpensive. To answer @ClimateStories‘s question, there is a direct bus route from Dali to Xishuangbanna. There are two buses that depart daily from the Dali Long-Distance Bus Station – one at 7:30 pm, and one at 8:30 pm – that arrive in Jinghong, the capital of the Xishuangbanna area. If you prefer to fly, there are plenty of domestic flights that arrive at Xishuanbanna’s Gasa airport daily.
2) Hike through Dai minority villages. What better way to witness the cultural diversity of Xishuangbanna than to hike through local communities? Trekking through Xishuangbanna allows you to experience the area’s mountainous regions, sections of rainforest and minority communities. Incredible views and an intimate look at southern Chinese life, coupled with a great hiking experience, make hiking in the area a must-do activity.
3) Take a tour of the Menglun Tropical Botanical Garden. As the home to many rare flora and endangered fauna, Xishuangbanna is an excellent place to take in the unique beauty of sub-tropical nature and biodiversity in China. Take a visit to the Menglun Tropical Botanical Garden and observe beautiful flowers, shrubbery, and trees in the spacious garden. If you go early enough in the morning, you can see the sunrise cast a dreamy golden glow over the garden.
4) Eat Thai-influenced local cuisine. If you fancy coconut curry and banana leaf rice alongside more traditional homestyle Chinese dishes, Xishuangbanna is your culinary paradise. The infusion of lemongrass and lime into Xishuangbanna cuisine hints at the dining traditions of China’s southeastern neighbors.
Photo credit: Wikipedia
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