Xishuangbanna is anything but flat with over 95% of the Xishuangbanna area covered in mountains and hills. Largely because of its land formation, most of the populations live in small villages nestled between the hills.
It is a place to head to for a flora and fauna experience, especially as it has the only tropical rain forest reserve in China. The diversity is astonishing with a massive third of China’s bird population living here. Other fauna include the Chinese wild elephants which can only be seen in the Wild Elephant Valley.
There is an incredible spectacle found in Xishuangbanna, one you will not want to miss. The single-tree forest is just as it sounds; a single tree that has created a forest with its outstretched strand roots. This 900 year-old banyan has over thirty strand roots that surface creating a forest of 120 square metres.
Another attraction is the Mandian Waterfall, a lush cascade of water combing down the side of the cliff.
The climate here is considered winterless as the temperatures in the coldest months are similar to that of the lower Yangtze River. This is largely due to the mix of continental and oceanic climates. Because of this, travelling can be done comfortably year-round, though November to April is the most popular.
Getting to Xishuangbanna can be done by flying direct from Kunming. Its airport is found in the town of Gajiu in southern Jinghong, just 5km from the city centre. From here you can easily take a bus or taxi to your hotel or hostel.