Jinghong Travel Guide
Situated north of the Golden Triangle in Yunnan province, Jinghong is the first stop for backpackers who choose to veer off the Banana Pancake Trail in favour of a foray into China.
With plenty of relatively well-preserved tropical rainforest surrounding the city and villages containing minorities and hill tribes, it is a great introduction one of Asia’s most significant countries.
Come check out our Jinghong travel guide as we cover the best things to do in Jinghong, China.
By virtue of its location in far southern China, the Jinghong area is home to plenty of lush vegetation. During your visit, dedicate an entire day to exploring Jinghong Tropical Rainforest. Within a short drive of this city, you’ll find a park which protects one of the largest remaining tracts of primitive tropical forest in China.
Walk its trails, especially through the tea tree and bamboo forests – in a country filled with dense, crowded cities, engaging in this simple activity will help you relax and recover from the toll these hectic places can have on travellers.
Close by to the primitive forest park, you’ll find a number of hill tribe villages where indigenous peoples have lived for countless generations. There are many you can visit, but make time to at least see Jinuo Mountain Village if you are short on time.
Perched above the valleys of Jinghong, this peaceful place is constituted of buildings made from bamboo, a strong and resilient material. In them, several generations of the same family live, with the size of units approaching 100 in some cases.
During your time here, take in a musical or dancing performance, or watch as farmer harvest leaves off Puer tea bushes, a variant of this popular plant that is common in the Jinghong region.
Like most parts of China, Buddhism has a lot of adherents in the Jinghong area. There are many amazing temples, but Mengle Buddhist Temple is the most noteworthy in our opinion. Built by the king of the Dai ethnic minority for his queen centuries ago, this hall of worship sprawls over 65 acres and offers excellent views over the valley below, to say nothing of the Thai-style temple itself.
If you haven’t had enough of temples after touring the previous one, be sure to check out the Manfeilong Pagoda afterwards. Almost a millennia old, this glorious white brick pagoda boasts a number of smaller decorative spires lined up on either side of the largest one in the centre.
The tallest of these stands over 50 feet high, and given its position on a hill close to the village of Manfeilong, it is difficult to miss this beautiful landmark. Don’t miss what is purported to be the left footprint of the Lord Buddha, as it is situated just south of the pagoda.
While exploring the tropical rainforest in the Jinghong area, make room in your schedule for a number of interesting (if touristy) attractions. The first of these is the Xishuangbanna Peacock Garden – this flamboyant bird is common to Jinghong, and it is here where these birds where they are raised.
There is more to this place than this particular avian species, though, as there are multiple pavilions and a beautiful lake to enjoy during your time here. If you wish, feeding the peacocks is allowed, so get some food on site, and watch as these graceful birds flock their way towards you.
Next, make your way over to the Xishuangbanna Tropical Flower and Plant Garden. Occupying over 80 hectares of land in the heart of Jinghong, this colourful botanical garden shows off the versatility the soil and the warm climate gives gardeners in this part of the world.
Once an agricultural research facility which helped adapt the land in the area to allow for rubber farms, it is now home to over 1,000 different varieties of plants, flowers, and trees.
As you wander the streets of Jinghong, you may get to the point where you can’t stand the grind of this busy urban centre in Southern China. When this happens, take an hour to relax and unwind in Manting Park.
Around for over 1,300 years, this green space has provided a place for people to get away from their troubles. While there is the usual assortment of trees, pathways, pavilions, and lakes here, there are a number of other things worth seeing.
From the bronze statue of Premier Zhou Enlai and the friendship bodhi tree provided by the Royal Family of Thailand to cultural performances that are periodically put on by the Dai people, you’ll find plenty of things that will help you pass the time in Manting Park.
End your time in this city by checking out the Jinghong Night Market. Here, you’ll find plenty of food common to Yunnan province, so come with an empty stomach and try whatever catches your eye.