Travel, Teach, Live in China

Xishuangbanna - A Pure Land in Yunnan, China
By:Mandy Lee

Xishuangbanna is a Dai Autonomous Prefecture in Yunnan province, China. The climate is pleasant all of a year here. Due to its location near the ocean, it rains a lot and many forests grow here. It is the reason why Xishuangbanna has a reputation of "the Kingdom of Plants". On August 8th, 1993, Xishuangbanna is regarded as an international biosphere protection area. On seeing the map of the world, the places that have the same latitude with Xishuangbanna are almost desert, and only Xishuangbanna is just like a beryl on the earth. It has a lot of minorities here, such as Dai minority, Ha ni minority, Wa minority, etc. Xishuangbanna borders on Laos and Burma.

Transportation

Xishuangbanna is 700 kilometers away from Kunming, the capital of Yunnan province, China. It is very convenient for travelers to get to Xishuangbanna by plane, by bus, and by boat. It has lots of airlines to major cities in the airport. The road may extend in all directions. Cruising to Xishuangbanna is interesting, too.

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.

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.

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.

Travel Tips

First, an umbrella is a must to protect from the sun. Besides, medicines to drive away mosquito are necessary, too.

Second, when you travel in Xishuangbanna, please respect the living habits of the Dai people and other minorities.

Third, there are many kinds of jewelries and jade articles in Xishuangbanna area, so you need to distinguish.

Fourth, 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.

Fifth, if you want to travel along the border area, please pay special attention to your safety.

Folk-Custom Taboo

First, do not touch the 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.

Second, do not peep the bedroom of Dai people. If you are invited to a Dai people's house, remember not to peep his bedroom. If you are found to peep his bedroom, you have to do 3 years' housework at his house.
Third, when you are invited to a Dai people's house, remember to take your shoes off and sit down according to people's generation, age, and qualifications.

Special Local Products

First, 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.

Second, 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.

Third, there are lots of kinds of tropical fruits in Xishuangbanna, such as banana, pineapple, mango, grapefruit, poplar, etc. They grow all around the year.

Fourth, many bizarre medicines grow at Xishuangbanna area. For example, a kind of medicine called "Xue Jie" may cure rheumatism and many diseases of women.

Fifth, 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.

Main Tourist Attractions

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.

Xishuangbanna is an amazing place to sightsee and relax. There is more charm waiting for you to explore http://www.chinaodysseytours.com/yunnan/xishuangbanna.html.


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