About Xishuanbanna Travel

Introduction:In many aspects, Xishuangbanna is China's own Mini-Thailand. As far as the population of this southernmost part of Yunnan is concerned, it is indeed more Thai than Chinese. In this ..

Districts: Kunming Dali Lijiang Shangri-la Xishuanbanna Ninglang Tengchong Baoshan Chuxiong Deqin Diqing GejiuCity Honghe Lincang Luliang Luoping Mengzi YiAutonomous Qujing Ruili

Attractions: Olive Dam Ganhaizi Lashi Sea Daluo Baishui River Mandian Water Fall Yunshan Ping Manfeilong Pagoda Tropical Botanical Garden The First Bay of Changjiang River

Xishuanbanna Maps

Xishuanbanna Introduction

In many aspects, Xishuangbanna is China's own Mini-Thailand.

As far as the population of this southernmost part of Yunnan is concerned, it is indeed more Thai than Chinese. In this district, the minority (and by Chinese definition the Dais populating the area are a minority) are actually the majority. Of the district's population of more 650,000, more than half belong to the Dais who is just as closely related to the Thais of Thailand as the name suggests. The Han Chinese make up o­nly about a quarter of the population.

The district's name, too, is more Thai than Chinese. "Sip song pan na" is Thai for "Twelve thousand rice fields", and that's what the fertile district has been called among the local Thai, or Dai, population for centuries.

Xishuangbanna is China's Mini-Thailand, too, because like Thailand in all of Southeast Asia, Xishuangbanna is, among China's provinces, a much preferred tourist destination, though not so much by international tourists but rather for Chinese from provinces further north.

Xishuanbanna Traffic

Jinghong is connected by flights to Kunming (40 min.), Dali (45 min.), Li Jiang (50 min.), and Bangkok (30 min.). Tickets can be purchased at the Yunnan Airlines/CAAC office located at Jingde Xi Lu 8 (tel. 0691/212-7040). Minibuses charge ¥2 (25¢), or ¥3 (40¢) after 10pm; they make runs to the airport every 10 minutes from 7am to 11:30pm. The airport is located about 5km (3 miles) southwest of town, and the minibuses depart from the corner of Jingde Xi Lu and Minzu Nan Lu. A taxi ride between the airport and town will cost around ¥20 ($2.50).

For destinations such as Kunming or Dali, it's much more convenient to take the plane, as bus trips are interminably long and smoke-filled, and you may find yourself caught in floods, mudslides, or bus breakdowns. Still, for the intrepid (or the foolish), there's the bus station o­n Minzu Bei Lu. Express buses run to Kunming (15 hr.; ¥157/$19) at 10:30am, 2pm, 4pm, 6pm, and 7:30pm; ordinary sleeper buses also make the run (19 hr.; ¥146-¥170/$18-$21) every 40 minutes from 8:20am to 7pm. In addition, buses run to Xiaguan (28-33 hr.; ¥150/$19). Buses also leave for Xiaguan from the new and somewhat forlorn South Bus Station (Nan Zhan; tel. 0691/212-3586) o­n Nonglin Lu. Additional buses leave from the City Bus Station (Shi Keyun Zhan; tel. 0691/212-8741) for Hekou (¥148/$19) at 7:30am; for Ganlanba (a half-hour; ¥6.50/80¢) every 20 minutes from 6:30am to 7pm; for Menglun (2 hr.) every 20 minutes from 6:30am to 7pm; for Menghai (¥8/$1) every 20 minutes from 7am to 6:40pm; for Mengyang every half-hour from 8am to 6:30pm; and for Mengla (5-7 hr.; 4-5 buses a day).

Taxis cost ¥7 (85¢) for 2km (1 1/4 miles), then ¥1.50 (20¢) per kilometer until 20km (12 miles), when the cost rises to ¥2.30 (30¢) per kilometer. From 10pm to 6am, the cost is ¥8.40 ($1.05) for 2km (1 1/4 miles).

Xishuanbanna Festivals

Dai festivals, closely related to religious activities, included the "Door-Closing" festival in mid-June by the lunar calendar, the "Door-Opening" festival in mid-September, and the "Water-Splashing" festival in spring. "Door-Closing" started three months of intensive religious activities. "Door-Opening" marked the beginning of normal life. "Water-Splashing," still held every year, is the most important festival, during which the Dais splash water o­n o­ne another, and hold dragon boat races in the hope of chasing away all the illnesses and bad fortune of the past year and bringing about good weather and bumper harvests.
The Dais has a rich, colorful culture. They have their own calendar, which started in 638 A.D. There are books in Dai script for calculating solar and lunar eclipses. Dai historical documents carry a rich variety of literary works covering poetry, legends, stories, fables and children's tales. They love to sing and dance, accompanied by their native musical instruments.

Xishuanbanna Service Telephones

Banks, Foreign Exchange & ATMs -- The Bank of China (open Mon-Fri 8-11:30am and 3-6pm) is at Minzu Nan Lu and Jingde Xi Lu.

Internet Access -- Manting Lu has several Internet cafes, including o­ne below the Mekong Cafe (¥2/25¢ per hour) at Manting Lu 111. Dial-up is tel. 163.

Post Office -- The post office (open 8am-8:30pm) is at Jinghong Xi Lu 2.

Visa Extensions -- The Gonganju (PSB) is at Jinghong Dong Lu 5 (tel. 0691/213-0366; open Mon-Fri, 8-11:30am and 3-5:30pm).

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