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4 Days Xishuangbanna Tour with Tropical Flavor & Dai Culture

"Kingdom of Animals & Plants", "Home of Dai People"

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Want to throw yourselves into a fairyland with breathtaking tropical scenery as well as unique Dai culture? Xishuangbanna, situated at the south end of Yunnan province, is the perfect destination well combined with numerous animals, rich plants, tropical rain forest, profound Buddhist culture and Dai folk customs. The must-see attractions in Xishuangbanna are Banna Wild Elephant Valley, Tropical Plants Garden, Dai Minority Park, Mengle Great Buddhist Monastery and Manting Park.

Grand Festival News: the Water-Splashing Festival is the New Year Festival for the Dai and the most important and grandest festival of the year. It is held in mid-April usually from April 13 to April 15 in Jinghong city. Dai people dip branches into the river and sprinkle the water onto others as a way to express their best wishes. Come and join to enjoy this interesting festival!

Basic Trip Information

Price:
from $588
  1. 1. This price is for one person, based on a group of 2 adults sharing one double-bed room in 4-star hotel and traveling in low seasons;
  2. 2. This price is subject to change according your traveling season, group size, hotel class, change of activities and possible fluctuation of currency exchange rate.
Travel Route:
Xishuangbanna
Travel Length:
4 Days and 3 Nights
Tour Code:
CD-YNBN-04
Group Size:
You, your family, friends or group
Experience:
CultureEcologicalFestivalPhotograph
Departure:
Any day you want

Full Itinerary Day by day

Day 1 Xishuangbanna Arrival

Welcome to Xishuangbanna, the home of the Dai people! Upon arrival at Xishuangbanna Gasa Airport, the local guide and driver will meet you at the arrival hall. Transfer to your hotel in Jinghong city. The rest of today is free on your own to explore this southernmost city in Yunnan Province.

Arrival Ideas: You can take direct flights from Kunming (about 1 hour), Dali (about 1 hour), Lijiang (about 70 minutes), Chengdu (about 2 hours), Chongqing, Guiyang and more cities of China to Xishuangbannan. Xishuangbanna Gasa Airport is about 7 kilometers to Jinghong downtown area which needs only 20 minutes. 

Optional night activity: hit the largest night market in Xishuangbanna - Gaozhuang Night Market (or Jiangbian Night Market on the other side of the Lancang River) to savor fresh tropical fruits, sample tasty Dai snacks and shop lovely souvenirs without overspending.

Day 2 Xishuangbanna Dai Minority Park - Manting Park - Xishuangbanna Zongfosi Temple (B, L)

Today, your Xishuangbanna Tour starts with the best of the best highlights of this region!

After breakfast, drive about 30km (0.5~1 h) to Dai Minority Park in Olives Dam. Being the Only Dai Culture Zone and the Soul of Xishuangbanna, Dai Minority Park will introduce you everything of the major inhabitants - Dai Minority People, including their languages, belief systems, dress styles, customs and traditions… Your tour starts from Manchun Buddhist Temple with a long history of 1,400 years. Join worshipers who come to make offerings in return for good luck and learn about Dai’s spiritual beliefs while enjoying murals and sacred statues. And then you will stroll some of the five Dai villages, which are the best-preserved ones in the whole China, to know how the local’s really live on a daily basis. Most significantly, you will experience the extreme pleasure of being the part of fantastic water fights during their daily Water-splashing Festival held at the Water Splashing Square. Treat the visitors by your side a splash or two with your buckets or water guns! If you prefer, rent a typical Die minority suit to dress yourself up like locals!

Notes: 1) Water-splashing Festival in Xishuangbanna, similar to Thailand, is an annual celebration marking the start of the New Year and will be officially held during the 13th day to 15th day of April. However, the water celebrations at Dai Minority Park will be available every day, with one held in the late morning and two in the early afternoon. 2) Take a zip-lock or a small waterproof bag to keep your valuables (like a change of clothes) dry during the water fight.

Zongfosi Temple Then drive to Manting Park, Xishuangbanna’s most famous landmark and the former royal garden of the Dai kingdom. As legend says, the Dai Princess once visited the park and her soul attracted much by its beautiful scenery, hence Manting Park is also called Chunhuan Park by Dai locals, which means “Garden of the Soul”. In this complex with a history of 1,300 years, you will be able to relive the splendor and pageantry of the past in every Buddhist statue, towering spire, vacant monastery and beautifully designed lake. And you will find the best examples of Dai Buddhist architecture in the park - the Jingzhen Octagonal Pavilion and Manfeilong White Tower.

As you walk further to the back gate of Manting Park, awe-inspiring golden monasteries of Zongfosi Temple will leap to your eyes one after one. Zongfosi Temple isn’t your usual Buddhist temple, indeed, it was once an exclusive temple of Dai Kings in history. And it has long been the vital heart of Xishuangbanna Buddhist worship, ranking higher than all other temples in Xishuangbanna. The temple worships more than 25 states of Buddhas, including a remarkable 2.5-meter-high golden statue of Sakyamuni Buddha. More than 80 monks now study here. As you approach those mystical monasteries, you will hear tranquil sounds of their chanting.

After the day tour, you will be transferred back to your hotel at Jinghong downtown. This evening is free for you to explore at leisure.

Optional night activity: feast your eyes to appreciate a wonderful Dai Ethnic Show Night on Lancang Mekong River at Manting Park (usually performs for 3.5 hours during 18:30~21:30) and then enjoy happy dancing at the Bonfire Party there.

Dai Minority Park in Olives Dam Zongfosi Temple Manting Park
Day 3 Wild Elephant Valley - Jinuo Ethnic Village (B, L)

Today, get ready to date with the great giants - elephants and to visit the Jinuo Minority Village.

Your exciting morning starts with an invitation to visit the only sanctuary of wild elephants in China - Wild Elephant Valley, where inhabit about 300 elephants. Drive about 30km (0.5-1h), you will be at the south gate of the valley. Skip the small theme gardens near the entrance, you will seize the time to catch a cable car to find the wild elephants first, because they prefer to show up in the early morning (except the midnight). The cable car ride takes about 35 minutes and will take you to the best observation platform by the river deep in the jungle where you are most likely to see them. And then your tour continues with a lush jungle trekking for a descent. Immerse yourself in this adventurous tropical forest trekking experience with opportunities meeting wild elephants coming toward you or playing at the nearby bushes. About half an hour later, you will pass by the Museum of the Asian Elephant. Step into this first elephant museum in China to learn the origin evolution and protection of these giant creatures. Then continue your way back to the Butterfly Garden, Bainiao Garden (Hundred Birds Garden), Monkey Park and Python Park near the entrance to greet more adorable tropical animals.

Notes: It is said that wild elephants prefer to show up at the mid-night most, and then the early morning or at nightfall. However, there is no fixed time. So sometimes you may miss the chances to see them.

This afternoon you will say goodbye to the animals and jungles and then be escorted to Jinuo Ethnic Village, which is inhabited by the 56th group in China called Jinuo Ethnic Group. A lively Jinuo Ethnic Show awaits you. You’ll enjoy the show while trying some typical food of them.

After the day tour, you will be transferred back to your hotel at Jinghong downtown. This evening is free for you to explore at leisure.

Optional night activity: hit the busy Gaozhuang Night Market (or Jiangbian Night Market on the other side of the Lancang River) to savor fresh tropical fruits, sample tasty Dai snacks and shop lovely souvenirs without overspending.

Wild Elephant Valley Jinuo Ethnic Village
Day 4 Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden - Xishuangbanna Departure (B)

A Xishuangbanna tour is not complete without a visit to Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden! On the last morning after breakfast, its time to meet with China’s best tropical flavor at Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden!

Drive outside the city for about 62km and 1 hour, you will arrive at Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, the largest and most beautiful botanical garden in China with the largest collection of flowers and plants. This vast area is consisted of three parts, and today, you will visit the most beautiful West Area. Kick off your visit with a sightseeing battery car to lush patches of flora, with stops at every garden for short trips. You will lose track of time getting up close to the various collections of palms, Orchids, ferns, bonsais, lotus, bamboo... You will also hit a small museum to learn tropical forest species and culture of this region.

Your Xishuangbanna tour ends after the visiting of the garden. Your guide will escort you to the airport for your flight to next destination or home.

Notes: Most of the highlights of this vast garden gather at its West Area, while some visitors also like trekking its East Area and Green Stone Forest Area, which are more primitive. If you have 3.5~4 hours more left in Xishuangbanna, you can try a forest trekking there.

Tropical Plants Garden

Recommended Add-on Options

+4 more days to Lijiang Ancient City and Shangri-La

In this trip, you will explore two of the most charming places in Yunnan: Lijiang - the Kingdom of Naxi People and Shangri-La - Garden of Eden! Here, you are in a world of minority people, temples, old towns, ancient streets, lakes, rivers, mountains…splendid culture and breathtaking scenery are waiting for you to explore.

In this 4 days Lijinag & Shangri-La highlights tour, you’ll graspe every second to enjoy yourself on the incredible land – have panoramic view of Lijiang Ancient City, explore the authentic Naxi Village to feel the special Dongba Culture, visit Ganden Sumtseling Monastery, and take a light hike to Tiger Leaping Gorge that is the world's deepest gorge. You will just find the tour fabulous every moment!

Lijiang Old Town Full View from Wangu Tower

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Kunming / Dali / Lijiang / Shangri-La

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