Xishuangbanna Hotels & Travel Guide

Xishuangbanna Travel Information

The local name for this prefecture, 750km south west of Kunming, is 'Sip song pan na' which is Thai for 'Twelve thousand rice fields.' In fact, there are many connections between this area of southern China and its Lao and Thai neighbours.

More than 50% of Xishuangbanna's 650,000 population are ethnic Tai (or Dai) - close cousins to the Thai people to the south - while only 25% are Han Chinese. Temples in this area have a distinctly Thai feel and look to them, complete with saffron-robed monks.

The April Songkran water-throwing festival and the Isaan rocket festivals are also celebrated in Xishuangbanna. 

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Xishuangbanna Attractions - What to See in Xishuangbanna

Ganlan (Olive) Basin

This area of rain forest and tall bamboo acquired its name from its shape and verdant greenery. 37km from Jinghong, 64 Tai villages are scattered throughout this peaceful part of Manghan.

  • Location: Manghan


Surrounded by tropical vegetation, the district capital of Xishuangbanna is home to the Peacock Lake, Manting Park, Tai Nationality Cultures and Customs Garden, and the Tropical Botany Institute. Ethnic tribes inhabit the outlying areas of the prefecture, and several wildlife reserves have been established around the prefecture's border, offering the possibility of organised trekking in the future.

Menglun Botanical Garden

Menglun Botanical Garden was established in 1959 by the famous botanist Cai Xitao. This 860 hectare garden, on Hulu Island, 96km from Jinghong, is filled with thousands of native and imported tropical and subtropical plants, including many rare and unusual specimens.

  • Location: Hulu Island


Known as Wild Elephants Valley, the 369 hectares of rolling hills and rain forests, 47km north of Jinghong, are inhabited by large numbers of wild elephants, wild oxen, green peacocks, monkeys and many other species. The reserve has animal-watching facilities, an elephant training school, butterfly breeding centre, and an aviary of exotic birds.

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