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108 braids... the devotional representation of a sacred Tibetan number. Photo by Rebecca Thom, China Semester.

Itinerary for Xishuangbanna Weekend Trip

This weekend, Bridge Year China is setting off on an excursion to Xishuangbanna! With its rich rainforests and sizeable Dai minority population, this prefecture in southern Yunnan province is considered a a cultural and scenic hotspot in China. By experiencing both a Dai village and the capital city (Jinghong), we’ll get a taste of two contrasting ways of local life. Our adventures will end at a tropical nature reserve that is a leading establishment for biodiversity research and conservation.

Our itinerary is as follows:

Friday, March 30th:
– We’ll be leaving Kunming (our homebase in China) on an overnight bus headed to a Dai village called Manzhang.

Saturday, March 31st:
– We’ll arrive in Manzhang in the late morning. The villagers will take us to the Mekong river nearby where we will make and eat a barbecue lunch together.
– We‘ll spend the rest of the afternoon hiking through the rainforest and interacting with locals.
– We’ll eat dinner in the village with a local family that will also be hosting us for the night.

Sunday, April 1st:
– We’ll leave Manzhang in the morning for Jinghong.
– We’ll spend the day exploring the city and its Manting Park, which is known for its Buddhist temples, shrines, gardens, and elephant shows.
– In the evening, we’ll eat dinner and spend some time at the local Gaozhuang Night Market, which is popular for its tasty food and handmade arts and crafts. Afterwards, we’ll head to a local hostel where we’ll be staying the night.

Monday, April 2nd:
– We’ll spend the day at the Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Gardens in Menglun.
– In the evening, we’ll take an overnight bus back to Kunming and arrive early Tuesday morning.