Xishuangbanna 1

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Day 25

-note: this blogpost was supposed to go online a while ago (today is day 33 if I’m not mistaken), but the internet is so crappy… I also tried to upload pictures but that also failed completely-. -note 2: managed to upload some pictures!-

Almost 10 days after my previous blogpost! I went to Xishuangbanna, which is a city in southern Yunnan. I absolutely loved it. We took the bus to Hangzhou airport and got on our plane, which had a stop in Guilin (also Yunnan), but we didn’t have to get off and board another plane, which was nice. The flight took about 5 hours, which was longer than I had expected (but I also didn’t expect a stop in Guilin so that’s why). We arrived around 7:30 PM and took a taxi to our hotel, which was just outside the city center, across a river, in another part of town. The architecture there was stunning, not at all what I had expected. The vibe in the city is also very different from Hangzhou, it feels a lot more relaxed and easy going. The room in the hotel was clean and neat, the airconditiong was working properly, free Wi-Fi and had a western style bathroom. Needless to say I was already very content.

In the five days we were in Xishuangbanna we visited numerous places of which the Ji Nuo mountain village was among the most interesting. The Ji Nuo are a ethnical minority  (also known as 少数民族) who were discovered not that long ago (max. 20 years ago if I remember correctly). We got there by taxi, and that same taxi driver also took us to a rainforest park. That park was actually quite a ways out, and when we arrived there, I heard a Chinese guy say: “Hey look, a foreigner”. That was actually the first time that I heard someone say that. In the rainforest park we “encountered” another minority, and they were kind of taken aback by my foreign appearance. The women were really nice and just wanted to touch my hair, skin and look at my eyes, but the guys were kind of intimidating and scary. However, they didn’t lay a finger on me (thank god) but they kept staring at me in a very uncomfortable way. (The scenery was beautiful though!)

Also very interesting and beautiful was the wild elephant park. The park itself is actually very big and more like a nature reservoir where a large group of Asian elephants roams around freely. We took the cableway to the endpoint and we walked back to the entrance. The view from the cablecart was amazing, and the cableway took about 15 to 20 minutes to get from start to finish. We didn’t see any wild elephants however, also not on the way back. Bad luck!

On the last day we just went to discover the center of Xishuangbanna a bit more, but it was so ridiculously hot that we spent most of our time in the Walmart, browsing around. When it was time we took a taxi back to the airport and got on the plane back to Hangzhou. This time the flight only took about 3 hours (it was a direct flight), and we arrived back in Hangzhou around 00:30 AM.