The Prefecture of Xishuangbanna is a beautuful，fertile and mysterious land lying in Southwest Yunnan．In ancient times，it was called"Mengbalanaxi" ，meaning"an ideal and wonderful paradise" ． In the Dai language， "xishuang" means "twelve" and "banna"means "one thousand pieces of land" ．Thus "Xishuangbanna" can be translated literally as "twelve thousand pieces of land" ．As a matter of fact，the whole title refers to the twelve regions that are under its administration．In China，Xishuangbanna is the only place which has tropical rain forests and is the second hottest place after Hainan Island．For this，it has won such titles as"Kingdom of Plants" ，"Kingdom of Animals" ，"Gene Pool of All Species"and"Green Jade on the Tropic of Cancer"．Meanwhile，it is the hometown of the famous Pu-Erh tea and a rubber base in China．
Bordering on Burma to the southwest and Laos to the southeast，Xishuangbanna has an international border of 1，069 km．In the past it has been inhabited by such nationalities as the Dai，Jinuo，Bulang，and Aini (a branch of the Hani)，among which the Dai accounts for the majority．Since the Dai people are generally pious Buddhists，Buddhist temples and pagodas are popular here．The Water Splashing Festival is the largest local celebration．
As a national scenic region，Xishuangbanna has two national nature reserves (Xishuangbanna and the Naban River)．three national 4A scenic areas (Xishuangbanna Dai Park，Menglun Tropical Botanical Garden and Primeval Forest Park)，two national historical reservations (Manfeilong Pagoda and Jingzhen Octagonal Pagoda) and three national ports (Jinghong Port，Mohan Port in Mengla and Xishuangbanna Airport)．The unique tropical rain forests，the rich ethnic customs and the unforgettable Buddhist landscape and culture have made the prefecture a key scenic region in Yunnan and a tourist resort for visitors from home and abroad．
Xishuangbanna Dai Park
Xishuangbanna Dai Park，a 4A scenic area，is located in the Olive Basin，Menghan Township which is 34 km southeast of Jinghong City．The basin has been reputed as the "Plume of Peacocks"and is a new scenic area known for its typical tropical landscape，its Dai traditional culture and its varied ethnic customs．The Buddhist pagodas and temples in the park and its charming landscape constitute typical Buddhist settings as well as a garden which strike visitors as new and wonderful．
The glittering and splendid gate of the park is a perfect integration of the Dai pillar-railing and the Southern Buddhist architectural styles．Inside the park are five natural Dai villages： Manting，Manjiang，Manga，Manzha and Manchunman．The landscape here is lovely and the local people are friendly．Visitors have chances to appreciate pillar-railing houses，taste barbecue，enjoy the local tea，watch the making of traditional handicrafts and listen to the clicking of weaving looms，all telling the characteristics of an ancient nationalty．Manchunman Temple，Manting Temple and the Buddhist pagodas in the park have a history of more than 1,400 years．In one of the Buddhist temples can be found the famous fresco the "Reincarnation of Zhaodiemi"．Here one can enjoy such scenes as tree-wrapped stupa，princess Well，Peacock Tomb，Mother & Son Island， and many wonderful legends and charming stories．
Menglun Tropical Botanical Garden
The Menglun Tropical Botanical Garden，a national 4A scenic area，is short for Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden of the Chinese Academy of Science. The garden is located in Menglun Township， Mengla County， and surrounded by the Luosuo River (a branch of the Mekong River ) on three sides，it resembles a gourd，thus the name "Gourd Island " .The garden has one gate on each of the east and the west sides with the east gate as the main gate.The west gate leads to the town by a suspension bridge and on the south is a highway bridge leading to the Mengla Road.in 1959，Cai Xitao，a famous Chinese botanist，founede the Yunnan Tropical plant Institute of the Chinese Academy of Science，the research base of which is this botanical garden. This garden is the largest tropical botanical garden in china，has the most abundant and complete plant species and thus serves to integrate and promote scientific research，preservation of species and popular science education.
The 1，000 hectares garden is divided into two major sections：the east and the west.The west section is the main tourist part and the east section is used mainly for scientific research and the preservation of the rain forests in tropical valleys. The garden also has 35 scientific theme gardens，named，Bamboo，Essence，Tree， Rare Flower，Kapur，Banyan，palm， Ethnic plant ，Water plant，Shade plant，Famous People＆Famous Threes，National three＆Flower，Fruit Gardens and Reservation for Rare，Endangered and Transplanting Species from the Tropical Rain Forests in South Yunnan , etc .It has facilities for scientific research and an ethnic holiday resort.As a scientific research institution, the botanical garden also has a plant specimen hall,a germ plasm center for tropical plants, an iron tower for positioning and observing the ecosystem of tropical rain forests and an information management system.
There are over 4,000 species of tropical plants in the garden. Here visitors can taste "the mysterious fruit" which can turn from sour to sweet. They can also look at the mayten tree that can kill cancer cells and the upas or curare tree that can kill a person instantly．Here are also many rare plants such as the"plant hangman" that lives parasitically on other plants but finally kills these host plants，the jiguaer bean which can increase the production of crude oil，the king lotus that can hold up a child of 20 kg，the anthocephalus that grows ten times faster than a pine tree，the southeast dracaena that helps to promote blood circulation and remove blood stasis，and the black rosewood that is worth 3，000 USD per ton．Meanwhile，plants like cycas revolute，hodgsonia macrocarpa，cashew，mayten，clove，devilpepper，black pepper and daemonorops draco are also found here．No wonder people regard the Tropical Botanical Garden as the "heart of the gem" when they compare Xishuangbanna to "a green gem" ．
Xishuangbanna Primeval Forest Park
As the closest forest park to the seat of the prefecture，Xishuang-banna Primeval Forest Park is a national 4A scenic area located in the mountain valley of the Laiyang River north of the Lancang River and 8 km east of Jinghong．Situated in a river valley of 702 to 1，355 meters above sea level，the forest park has an area of 2，000 hectares of which 98％ is covered by trees，and is thus the largest comprehensive ecological place of interest in the prefecture．The park is highlighted by three major themes："primeval forest"，"wild animal"，and"ethnic folklore"．
The gate of the park is a"one tree forest"―a unique wonder in tropical rain forests．The park per se consists of 10 scenic sections：Tropical Valley Rain Forest，Peacock Breeding Base，Monkey Training Base，Dai Village，Aini Village，Jiulong Waterfall，100-meter Granite Relief，and the Legend of the Jinhu Lake，and more than 50 scenic spots．The park is shaded by a variety of tropical plants，and wonders like datiscaceae，panel roots，one tree forest，flowers blooming on ancient stems，and plant hangmen are found everywhere．
Visitors here enjoy the beauty of the vast tropical rain forests to their hears'content and have chances to encounter rare forest animals．They also enjoy and play a part in the local ethnic activities such as the Dai Water Splashing Festival，Aini capture marriage custom and the grand ethnic performances．With a three-star hotel accommodation and a shopping service，the park is a perfect place for relaxation，recreation and holidays．
Xishuangbanna Wild Elephant Valley Park
The Xishuangbanna Wild Elephant Valley Park，a unique，thrilling and enchanting forest park，is located in the Mengyang Nature Reserve 48 km north of Jinghong and in the valley where the east and the west forest sections of the reserve converge．With an area of approximately 30 hectares，the park has an animal show area，a primeval tropical forest exploring area and a reception center．The park grows a wide variety of plants which lean against each other and thereby add to each other's greenness．The tropical bamboo forest found here offers the most agreeable living environment for wild animals like Asian elephants．By virtue of its unique scenes of tropical rain forests and its relatively large number of wild Asian elephants，the park has attracted a multitude of visitors from home and abroad．Now nearly 300 Asian elephants live here in the park and often groups of three，five or more elephants are found at the riversides，in the dense forests，or even on the roads．At times，they come within the sight of human beings to find food，drink，bathe and enjoy themselves．
In the park，there are a lot of facilities for observing elephants．Along the river in the center of the park is a T-shaped suspended corridor 248 meters long．Where the corridor and ancient trees meet，an elephant observing house has been constructed above ground．Near the pool of the park stands a hidden blockhouse-shaped observing station where one could clearly observe wild Asian elephants or other wild animals drinking and playing on the riverside．In addition，a tourist route of 10 km has been opened in the primeval forest for adventurous visitors to explore the habits of wild animals such as elephants and oxen by tracing their footprints．The park also has the first experimental farm for breeding and raising butterflies in China．The farm displays the complete growth of butterflies and offers butterfly specimens as souvenirs．Also found here are animal exhibition sections such as the Bird Garden and Snake Garden，and the first elephant training center in China where elephant shows are given every day．
Wild Elephant Valley，the most fascinating tropical forest park of all，has been listed and developed as a key tourist forest landscape by both the prefectural and the provincial governments．
The Manting Park，also named "Chunhuan Park"，has a history of more than 1，300 years. As the oldest park in Xishuangbanna，it served as the court garden of Zhaopianling，the feudal lord of Xishuangbanna. Located at the conflux of the Lancang and Liusha Rivers，the park is two km from Jinghong proper. It occupies an area of over 1 10，000㎡and，with natural vegetation as its theme，is a natural forest park.
In the park are the imitations of the Manfeilong Pagoda and the Jingzhen Octagonal Pagoda，as well as other Buddhist temples and pavilions. Here visitors enjoy the beautiful natural landscape and appreciate the humanistic views strongly flavored with the local ethnic customs.50 meters before the front gate of the park stands a copper sculpture of Premier Zhou Enlai，in commemoration of the Water Splashing Festival he spent here with the Dai people on April 15，1961. 0n the left of the sculpture grow two bodhi trees planted by a princess of Thailand to symbolize the friendship between the two countries. On the southern side of the back garden of the park stands Baji Temple，the prime Buddhist temple in Xishuangbanna and the central worship place for Buddhists from all corners of the prefecture. Near the temple is a Buddhist college. By the park are the Manting Dai Village and the Great Manting Buddhist Temple. The whole park is a tourist attraction which includes a park，ethnic villages and Buddhist temples.
Tropical Flower Garden
Situated in the Tropical Crop Research Institute of Yunnan in Jinghong，the Tropical Flower Garden includes tropical flowers，fruit trees and an economic forest．Established in 1953，the institute itself covers an area of approximately 700 hectares．The garden is one of the scenic spots constructed by the institute for tourists and also a crystallization of its scientific research and achievements．
With an area of four hectares，the garden is divided into the Grass，Palm，Tree Dotted Lawn，Fruit Tree and the Economic Plant Sections．Found here are nearly 1，000 species of flowers and economic plants like flame flower，minor yulan magnolia，frangipani，Pelvetia silquosa and turtle bamboo．Here one can enjoy fascinating tropical flowers and plants of different kinds and taste fragrant tropical fruit．What appeals most in the garden are the various crops planted and developed by the institute over years．Also in the garden is a memorial monument of Premier Zhou Enlai to memorialize his meeting here with the Burmese premier in 1961．The monument is now a provincial historical reservation．
Jingzhen Octagonal Pavilion
Located on the Jingzhen Mountain 14 km west of Menghai County，the octagonal pavilion is named"Jingzhen Octagonal Pagoda" .It is the commandment hall of Zhatan Temple，a local Hinayana temple.
The pavilion is a typical Southern Buddhist building and is thus a part of the central Buddhist temple in Jingzhen. It was constructed in 1701 through joint efforts of the local Han and Dai people. The pavilion is 15.4meters high and consists of three parts：base，body and top. Its base is two meters high and 8.6 meters wide，and its body，which is five meters high，has 31 sides and 32 angles on its surface. Inside it are 24 walls with an area of 36 ㎡ and a copper statue of Sakyamuni. On the east，west，south and north of the pavilion are four doors of which the southem door leads to stairs. The top of the pavilion，a wooden structure eight meters high，is awl-shaped with a pointed tip and plain roofing tiles.
The roof is decorated with brakebar-1ike ornaments and silver chips with flower designs. Also octagonally shaped，the top of the pavilion is comprised of ten layers of eaves tapering toward the top，thus looking like 80 small attics.
Jingzhen Octagonal Pavilion?，so the story runs，was modeled on the golden hat worn by Sakyamuni so as to memorialize him. In ancient times，the pavilion was a place where monks gathered for meetings. According to historical records，it was destroyed during a war in 1852. In 1981，it was restored to past magnificence through a renovation sponsored by the state government. Owing to its high artistic value，the pavilion is a key state-preserved cultural relic.
The small bridge over the Liusha River to the southeast of the pavilion is where the famous tragic story Letters in Gourds took p1ace.According to this story，the prince and the princess of two Mengs (tribes) fell in love and got married.Later，a war broke out between their tribes.In order to save the local people，the prince and the princess passed messages to each other through letters in gourds.The local people were thus saved，but unfortunately the prince and the princess were both killed near the pavilion.
On the western side of the pavilion is the rippling Jingzhen Lake about which there is a legend. The seven princesses of the Peacock Kingdom，as the legend relates，frequently came to bathe in this lake. It was here that the youngest princess Nanmunuona met her beloved prince Zhaoshutun and settled here. On this basis，a beautiful love story has come into being.
Daluo Border Port and "One Tree Forest"
Daluo，a small border town adjacent to Burma and the end point of the Kunming-Daluo Road，is situated in the south of Xishuangbanna and is only three km from Mongla in Burma.The customhouse，the border inspection station and various commercial firms set up in the town have made it a major port for border tours between China and Burma in Xishuangbanna and a market place for trade between the border people from the two countries. With roads leading to Burma and Thailand，Daluo is the most convenient land passageway of China to Thailand and therefore a second-class state port.
"0ne Tree Forest"，one of the typical scenes in Daluo，is situated in the Border Trade Development Zone three km south of the town. As a matter of fact，this is a tropical rain forest scene formed by a large banyan which looks like a forest. The banyan is 28 meters high，and from its branches grow more than 30 parallel aerial roots which，with the trunk itself，constitute something like a forest. As old as more than 200 years，the banyan has survived with luxuriant foliage and vigorous life.