Jinghong, the city where China meets laid-back Southeast Asia. Lush, tropical vegetation and plantations of banana and rubber trees cover a landscape of mountains. Buddhist temples stand amidst palm trees and rice paddies. Markets, temples, nature, and culture. Check it out...
Dag 1: Friendly arrival in Jinghong
After you met your driver and English speaking guide at the airport, they will transfer you to your hotel in Jinghong, the capital of Xishuangbanna prefecture. Depending on your time of arrival, you have time to pay Jinghong a visit. There are two interesting parks: Peacock Lake Park (locals dance in the evening for many hours at the corner near the roundabout) and Manting Park just one kilometer from the city center (performances are held here). Besides, it is excellent walking along the riverfront; the town is on the Nancang River, a wide tributary of the Mekong. Enjoy the bars, beautiful in the evening, near the riverside.
Jinghong is actually a fairly small town, but the surrounding region is great for walking and exploring the forest reserves.
Day 2: Menghai village & Menghun village
After breakfast, it's a 50 km drive from Jinghong to the daily market in Menghai. Many ethnic minorities sell their products. Besides the market, you will visit the Jingzhen Octagonal Pavilion, the most famous Theravada-Buddhist architectural structure in the region. It was built in 1701. During the Cultural Revolution is was completely destroyed, but was rebuilt in the eighties.
You continue your trip to Menghun with a stop in Bulang. You will discover centuries-old tea plantations, cultivated by the Aini minority.
Day 3: Han-Dai people and Dai people and a visit to Wild Elephant Valley
On your route from Jinghong to Mengyang, you visit several villages of the minorities Han Dai and Dai. Both are descendants from the traditional Dai-people. Every minority has its own dialect, traditional clothing, traditions, and architecture.
Our destination is the Wild Elephant Valley, at around 40 km from Jinghong. From the forest's canopy - where several walking bridges are built - you can enjoy a wonderful view at wild elephants. If you do not mind to enjoy a typical tourist attraction, you can attend an elephant show organized by the elephant school. Approximately 300 wild elephants are left in this area. Wild Elephant Valley is protected since 1996. The valley is enriched with a butterfly garden and a park with tropical birds.
Day 4: The White Stupas and Dai villages
Today you will drive from Jinghong to Damenglong, a small city near the border with Myanmar (Burma) and near to Manfeilong. If you look up, you can see the White Stupas. We visit this Buddhist site that has stood the test of time. The stupas were built more than 800 years ago, in 1204. The origins of the nine-stupa structures, whose main stupa reaches more than 16 meters, are shrouded in mystery. It is believed that Sakyamuni visited the site and left a footprint where the stupa now stands. It is the most important Buddhist structure in Xishuangbanna, where Buddhism is the dominant religion.
In the neighborhood, more interesting Dai villages, where hardly any tourist arrives, can be visited. Life and its culture are still pure and traditional. Slowly prosperity is invading, due to private rubber plantations.
Day 5: Tropical Botanical Garden, the Mekong river and the Hynayana temple
Today we visit the Tropical Botanical Garden in Menglun. The garden contains the greatest variety of tropical plants in Xishuangbanna. After this visit, we take the old road along the Mekong river with astonishing views over the river, Dai villages with houses on stilts, the Hynayana temple, and you will visit the market in Ganlanba. You will be back in Jinghong late afternoon.
Day 6: Transfer to your next destination
We will transfer you from your hotel to the airport. You can fly locally to Kunming, Dali, Lijiang, or another destination of your choice.
- You spend all nights in a hotel in Jinghong
- Getting to Jinghong and away
Jinghong can easily be reached by plane from Kunming, Lijiang, Dali and a few other Chinese cities. Internationally is Jinghong connected to Vientiane and LuangPrabang in Laos and ChangMai in Thailand.
Of course, we can drive you to Jinghong by private car. We can arrange that as a complete tour by linking several modules, for example: Kunming - Jianshui - Yuangyang - Lunchun - Pu’er - Jinghong.