Friday 26 July 2013

Exploring untouched China in the tropics of Yunnan with Crowne Plaza Resort Xishuangbanna

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Straddling the Lancang River and borderingMyanmar and Laos in China’s southernmost region, Xishuangbanna in Yunnan Province is one of China’s best kept secrets. 

China’s last Wild Asian Elephants
And among China’s largest ecological system and the country’s best preserved tropical rainforests, sits the newly-opened Crowne Plaza Resort Xishuangbanna nestling into the local landscape.

The Resort is an ideal base to explore the very best of the local Dai traditions, nature reserves and wild animals in what is now a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve. A series of packages, tours and experiences are offered by the Resort to ensure that guests get the most out of exploring the local area. These include trips to Menglun Tropical Botanical Garden, Manfeilong Pagodas, Wild Elephant Valley, a traditional Dai village at Ganlanba plus tea-picking in the mountains, river rafting on the Lancang River(RMB 220 per person) and night cruises on the Mekong River (RMB 300 per person).

Crowne Plaza Resort Xishuangbanna offers an ideal base for exploring the very best of Southwest China
Xishuangbanna is home to the last few Asian elephants still in China, a species that only a few hundred years ago roamed across large parts of the country. Day trips from the Resort are available to the vastWild Elephant Valley (RMB 200 per person), a wildlife reserve teeming with oxen, peacocks, monkeys and elephants. The park also offers animal shows, tropical birds and a cable car with views across the whole rainforest.

Day trips to the Single-Tree Forest (RMB 300 per person) near Xishuangbanna offers a chance to live among history by visiting a 900-year-old banyan tree in Daluo Town. The tree covers an area of 120 sqm with over 30 roots anchoring the 70-meter-high tree at the center of the forest. The nearby Menglun Tropical Botanical Gardens (day trips: RMB 300) are also home to the most diverse range of flora and fauna in the region while closer to the hotel, the Xishuangbanna Primitive Forest Park’s (day trips: RMB 180) vast gardens are a great way to spend the afternoon in nature.

One of the most popular experiences offered by the resort is to visit the traditional Dai village atGanlanba (RMB 680 per person for groups of 4 or more). Inside the village, guests can experience a day in the life of a local Dai village through its customs, crafts, cooking and trying the foods from the local area including tropical fruits like coconuts, bananas, pineapples, lychee, jackfruits and oranges. Xishuangbanna is home to 13 ethnic minorities who have lived in tight-knit communities and villages such as Ganlaba for generations, with Jino ethnic minority specifically from this area. There are also shows at night by the town’s Rivers including Naxi culture dance shows and a Lancang River bonfire show.

Short trips can also be taken to the White Menglong Pagodas (RMB 120 per person). Situated on the top of the neighbouring Manfeilong Mountain, the nine white Hinayana pagodas have gold rising roofs housing colorful paintings, sculptures, and other relics. Other pagodas and Buddhist Temples can be seen throughout the region as well as a temple at the heart of the Crowne Plaza Resort Xishuangbanna’s grounds.

All of the day trips organized through the hotel include round-trip transport, attraction ticket admission, guide service, lunch and insurance. Crowne Plaza Resort Xishuangbanna’s experienced Concierge also offers full ticketing services to all of the local area’s attractions, day trips, car hire and onward travel.

Xishuangbanna is a place with tropical monsoon climate, abundant sunshine and rainfall. It has dry season and wet season each year and the annual average temperature is 21C - a real land without winter. The dry season is from November to April while wet season is from May to October.

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