The Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture, located on the southernmost tip of Yunnan Province, is a picturesque, fertile and mysterious land. Covering an area of 19,700 square kilometers (7,606 square miles), it borders Laos to the east and Myanmar to the west. In the Dai language, 'Xishuangbanna' can be directly translated into 'twelve thousand pieces of land'. Actually, it refers to the twelve regions under its administration. The capital city is Jinghong, which means 'the City of Dawn' in the Dai language. It has a total population of 600,000, and more than 13 ethnic groups such as Dai, Hani and Yao, live on this land, all with colorful customs and rich historical traditions.
According to the discovery, the mankind lived in Xishuangbanna as early as 100,000 years ago. After the unifying, Qinshihuang, the first Emperor of China, set up the Xishuangbanna prefecture and it was managed by Jinyang. Some emperors of Tang Dynasty (618–907) expanded the Jinyang city for several times. Therefore, the reputation of Xishuangbanna spread with the name of 'Long Cheng'.
The prefecture sits at a lower altitude than most of Yunnan. Most of the terrain is hilly to mountainous and the entire topography tilts from north to south. The plain area and the mountains are clear distinction. Almost all the streams in the region are tributaries of the Lancang, or Mekong River, which bisects Xishuangbanna from North to South.
Xishuangbanna is the only tropical rainforest nature reserve zone in China. The climate is warm and wet here, ideal for nurturing some wonderful plants and flora and home to unusual wildlife. There are only two seasons here, hot and dry, and hot and humid. Rainy Season is from May to August. The average annual temperature is 18-21 degrees Celsius (64.4- 69.8 degrees Fahrenheit) and annual rainfall is 1,000 millimeters (39.4 inches). Due to its unique geographic and climate aspect, Xishuangbanna contains the richest biodiversity in China.
Xishuangbanna, as a National Scenic Resort, is rich in nature, historical and cultural resources, noted for the multifarious folklore, rain forests, rare plants and wildlife. The prefecture is nicknamed as Aerial Garden for its luxuriant and multi-layered primitive woods and tropical rain forest, which are teeming with animals. The Dai people are good at singing and dancing and believe in the Buddhism. The Buddhism temples are scattering over every village. The famous local scenic spots include Jinghong City, Tropical Botanical Garden in Menglun, Ganlan Basin, Mengla Tropical Rain Forest and so on.
What to see: Xishuang Banna Tropical Rainforest