Featured in the January 2012 issue of Travel + Leisure as one of the “Hottest Travel Destinations for 2012“, AsiaTravel’s journey in Xishuangbanna, Yunnan made the cut!
Xishuangbanna (pronounced she-shwang-ban-na), in the southern part of China’s Yunnan Province, is in many ways overlooked by the Western tourist, cowed by the gems of Lijiang and Shangri-la to the north. In fact, Xishuangbanna is one of the province’s hidden gems.
Nestled between Laos and Myanmar in Yunnan’s south, Xishuangbanna seems a world away from the popular tourist destinations in the north. Home to a wide variety of tea plantations, and boasting the oldest tea tree in the world, Xishuangbanna was once the beginning of the ancient Tea and Horse caravan road, which brought tea from southern Yunnan up to Tibet. Tea production and cultivation has been part of Xishuangbanna’s history for hundreds of years, which can be seen throughout the minority villages that dot the countryside.
When traveling to Xishuangbanna and planning your trip, there are a few important highlights to keep in mind. First and foremost, it is important to get a sense of the minority culture in the region through visiting minority villages and interacting with the people. The largest ethnic minority in the area are the Dai people, and there are many easily accessible villages around the capital of the region, Jinghong. The region offers miles of excellent hiking through tea plantations between villages, and homestays can be arranged in various villages, for a more authentic experience. Another of Xishuangbanna’s highlights are the markets that dot the villages and towns. These range from animal markets, fruit and vegetable markets, and areas to buy goods. Just meandering through the aisles of these markets is an eye opening experience, as is purchasing some of the fares and sampling the local cuisine (anything from dried chilies to local pastries, to various cooked meats). AsiaTravel is thrilled
with the opening of the Anantara Xishuangbanna Resort & Spa and cannot wait to send guest there!
Trips can be arranged in Xishuangbanna any time of year, with spring, winter, and autumn being the best times to visit – just email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information!
Interested in traveling to Xishuangbanna? Take a look at Pushing China’s Southern Boundary: Trekking in Xishuangbanna, a six day trips that starts and ends in Jinghong or Ancient Tea and Horse Road, an expert led trip by Jeff Fuchs. If you book Ancient Tea and Horse Road before December 30th, 2011 (11:59 PM EST) you will receive a fantastic promotion!