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.
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