Xishuanbanna is an autonomous prefecture in Yunnan Province, China. The capital city is Jinghong, the largest settlement in the area and one that straddles the Lancang River.
Geography The prefecture has an area of 19,700 km². Xishuangbanna is the home of the Dai people. The region sits at a lower altitude than most of Yunnan, and has a tropical climate. It is fast becoming a sought after tourist destination.
Biodiversity Passiflora xishuangbannaensisXishuangbanna harbors much of the biodiversity of Yunnan Province, which harbors much of the biodiversity of China. Its tropical climate and its remoteness until recent times accounts for this. In addition to an abundance of plants, Xishuangbanna is home to the last few Asian elephants still in China; the species roamed over a large part of the country even as late as a few hundred years ago. The elephants are protected in a reserve, but the plant diversity is threatened by, and has for five decades been threatened by, the proliferation of rubber plantations which completely destroy the rainforest and replace it with a monoculture of trees originally from Brazil. Passiflora xishuangbannaensis is a recently discovered passionflower species that is endemic to Xishuangbanna.
Culture The Six famous tea mountains region located in the prefecture produce some of the most highly regarded Pu-erh tea in the 20th century.
Xishuangbanna is rich in nature, historical and cultural resources, noted for its folklore, rain forests, rare plants and wildlife. Its major tourist attractions include Menglun Tropical Botanical Garden, Manfeilong Pagodas (Tanuozhuanglong), Jingzhen Pavilion, Wild Elephant Gully, Dai people's village at Ganlanba.
The well-known traditional festival is the ethnic Dai's Water-Splashing Festival. It lasts for three days from April 13 to 15. Besides the water festival event it also consists of some other events such as Dragon boat races, firing of indigenous missiles, flying Kongming Lamps.