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“Great weather but city lacks substance”
Review of Xishuangbanna

Reviewed February 9, 2014

Overall, a chilled out place with some decent cafes (Mekong and Meimei on Menglong Road) and awesome weather. There's definitely potential for this place to be a real tourist destination (Westerners not just local tourists) but needs a lot of real investment into its infrastructure.

The city itself is going through a lot of transition - lots of housing developments and empty buildings. A lot of money has been pumped in but the city lacks any genuine substance - there are hundreds of shops selling jade (from neighbouring Myanmar), coconut trees lining every street, real locals (mainly from the Dai minority) are very polite but there is no soul, even an artificial one.

Although the weather feels like South East Asia, the food here is lacking - the BBQ food is not as good as random street food I have had in other parts of Asia, their Chongqing Hotpot is not especially unique and the potential for fresh fruit is not taken advantage here - just sold on dirty street stalls. If you've been to Thailand, Vietnam and Malaysia you will know they have excellent cuisine - nothing stands out here (hence my mention of the two cafes above!)

There are a number of attractions (rainforests and parks) but again, these all lack any substance and are just tourist traps with extortionate entrance fees. I stayed for 10days (way too long) and only enjoyed the visit to a very beautiful temple, one of the forests and a museum and 'village' across the river (came across a great little bar).

If developed properly, this would be a real nice destination - just needs a few more years.

3  Thank Mokkey8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed December 28, 2013 via mobile

This is a new area across the river from the main city. It was under development still when we were there but still enough to do. Very relaxing area only 5 mins to the main city I you really wanted to go there. An amazing dai BBQ restaurant. Really busy but worth the wait for the most amazing tasting food.
A visit to the local dai village was ok not overly exciting but worth a visit. The people are friendly and it's good to find out about the culture. There is also a huge woman carved into the mountain

A night show in the city includes dinner the show is great. Dancing of all different nationalities that surround the area but the food was terrible. Worth seeing the show with some floating lanterns and fire dancing later on.
No English is spoken anywhere I went but you get the idea.

A beautiful place to see very unique blend of so many cultures.

Thank Jasonkneo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 4, 2013

beautiful rainforests, elephants, monkeys, the feel of thailand vietnam & China mixed in a blender, lush vegetation & traditional ethnic villages, relaxed friendly atmosphere.

These would be the keywords to describe this little corner of China that is dipping its toe into S.E. Asia. The local Dai culture is displayed in the architecture, sculptures, markets and villages nestled in the rivers, forests and hills surrounding the towns.

Make sure you try the local fruit, particularly the pineapples as they are beautifully fresh & sweet. A real slice of nature in industrialised China, Wildlife, lush tropical vegetation, nature and plant reserves, vast fields of agriculture, the twisty winding Mekong river snaking its way through forested hills

Thank Ricardoblanco99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 5, 2013

One of the greatest experiences, a real travel adventure.
I was part of a foreign group invited by China Radio International, who did all the arrangements of our tour, spending 6 days in Xishuangbanna region, including Jinuan village, Hanji village and Dai Village. The trips were organized by cars and where possible by Electric assisted bicycles.
Every step was a great experience, and we discovered so many new places and cultures. The visit in the Wild Elephant Valley was a fantastic one, as we had the chance to meet some wild elephants. Also the visit in the Peacock Manor resort was great.
To conclude, Xishuangbanna is a great region for a friends tour. It surprises every hour with something new and interesting...

3  Thank Egli R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 2, 2013

We did an 8-day cycling tour of Xishuangbanna and its surrounds during the October National day holidays and were delighted to find the usual Chinese holiday crush of people absent from the Chinese border town. In its place was beautiful rice terraces, lush banana plantations, refreshing tea hills and unbelievably warm hospitality from the locals we home-stayed with.

As a town, Xishuangbanna (or Jinghong in Mandarin) is pretty with none of the usual gray industrial landscapes one would find in other Chinese towns. You'll notice a lot of Southeast Asian influences as you go about town, although most, I suspect are put up for the benefit of tourism rather than cultural reasons. While it is nice to stay in some of the larger resorts in the town area, some of our best evenings were spent in the local homes of Xishuangbanna's minority tribes, where we bonded over delicious home-cooked meals and cups of local maize wine. So if you find yourself in this part of China, try to organize a trip out of the city and into the countryside, which will present the best that Xishuangbanna has to offer.

3  Thank Mei L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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