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Xishuangbanna: Into the wild

01-11-2012 11:40 BJT

In the language of Dai ethnic group, Xishuangbanna means "a land of magic and dreams." And when it comes to tourism, this autonomous prefecture in China's Yunnan province lives very much up to its name.

The prefecture is one of China's most popular travel destinations in winter and teems with tourists seeking a warm and humid climate. With an average year-round temperature of about 20 degrees Celsius, Xishuangbanna is home to expansive subtropical rainforests and wild animals such as elephants and peacocks.

Tourists can observe wild elephants at a close range in the wild elephant valley in
Xishuangbanna. [Photo:]

Yexianggu or wild elephant valley is among the must-see sights in Xishuangbanna. Elephants roam freely in the dense forest where tourists are transported in golf carts to observe the habitats of various wild animals.

The Xishuangbanna primeval forest park is another stop for visitors with an adventurous spirit. The park combines wildlife exhibitions, including a peacock-breeding base and monkey training center with presentations of exotic minority culture in forms of stage performances by local Dai people and ethnic food, all compacted in a natural rainforest.

In addition to its rich wild life, Xishuangbanna is also known as a destination for its religious influence. Bordering Myanmar to the southwest and Laos to the southeast, the prefecture has more than 500 Buddhist temples and pagodas scattered across its mountainous landscape. They serve as the venue where local Dai ethnic people gather for traditional celebrations like the Water Splash Festival and Dai ethnic minority New Year.

Xishuangbanna is about a nine-hour drive from Kunming, capital city of Yunnan Province. The prefecture also has an airport with routes between major Chinese cities as well as cities in Myanmar and Laos. Tourists have a diversified choice in terms of souvenirs, some of the most

The Water Splash Festival is a major celebration of the Dai ethnic group. [Photo:]

Xishuangbanna is home to numerous Buddhist temples and pagodas. [Photo:]

Editor:Sun Luying |Source: CRI

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