Xishuangbanna (Xi Shuang Banna)

Xishuangbanna

Home of the famous Pu'Er Tea

Xishuangbanna (Xi Shuang Banna) is the southern most autonomous prefecture of the Yunnan province and covers an area of 19’700km2 which is about half the size of Switzerland. It shares its border with Myanmar to the south-west and Laos to the south-east. The name Xishuangbanna (Xi Shuang Banna) originates from the Thai word Sip Song Pa Na, which means literally “12 rice-growing districts.” Xishuangbanna (Xi Shuang Banna) was once part of the Nanzhao and later the Dali Kingdom.

After a short period of independence, Xishuangbanna fell under the control of the Mongols. The Mongols (Yuan Dynasty 1271-1368) transferred the administrative power to some Dai chieftains, who later divided their Kingdom into 12 rice-growing areas. (Hence: Sip Song Pan Na). These Dai chieftains exercised enormous power over their kingdom, suppressing non Dai minorities by imposing heavy taxes. This tyranny continued throughout the first half of the 20th century under the rule of Ke Shexu, a Han warlord until the People’s Liberation Army entered Xishuangbanna (Xi Shuang Banna) in 1950.

Xishuangbanna has a tropical climate with a wet and a dry season. The wet season runs from June to September and the dry season starts mid-September and lasts until February; it is the best time to visit the area. Xishuangbanna is home to the Dai, Zhuang, Hui, Bai, Yao, Lisu, Akha (Miao), Wa, Hani, Bulang and Jinuo ethnic minorities. Due to its favorable climate, Xishuangbanna is one of the most fertile areas in China. A big array of exotic fruits is produced here and the areas around Pu’er, Mengla and Yiwu are famous for their high quality green tea and pu’er tea production.

Especially the Pu’er Tea has gained popularity around the world in recent years. The climate together with the immense biodiversity and the minority villages make Xishuangbanna a fascinating place for visitors to explore! Xishuangbanna accommodation is plenty and ranges from the simple local guesthouse to the comfortable five star hotel.