Xishuangbanna: Nature Reserve in Yunnan China

 

Introduction

it feels like having arrived in Southeast Asia. There are not many things to remind you that you are still in mainland China. Xishuangbanna lies in the deep Southwest of China, in the South of Yunnan province bordering Laos and Myanmar. With about 20.000 km2

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Xishuangbanna Autonomous Prefecture is roughly the size of Belgium. Through the area, from Northwest to Southeast flows the Mekong river, in China it is called Lancing. From here it takes only one day by boot to reach the Golden Triangle and the first port in Thailand.

Today Xishuangbanna is the only place in China where large and impressive tropical forests still can be marveled at.

Nature in Xishuangbanna yunnan

History

Rainforrest

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in ancient times, Xishuangbanna was legendary for farming by elephants and the practice of tattooing. The region was known as “the land that rides on the back of elephants.” Xishuangbanna got its name in Ming Dynasty (1570). While there is little written history

to go on, Xishuangbanna has long been a place where the Dai, Hani, Yao, Bulang and Jinuo minorities live in compact communities and practicing their cultures, traditional arts and customs. In the history, the chiefs of Xishuangbanna all submitted to the rule of dynasties and would pay feudal leaders with presents of tamed elephants and trunks. Xishuangbanna is unique in that, even today, many of the minorities are dependent on the rain forests for all their daily needs.

Rice & Tea

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intensive paddy rice farming is practiced along riversides and especially in alluvial plains. The long tradition in rice farming is closely linked to the history of the Dai people. The Dai, who are close relatives of the Thai in Thailand, are the largest local group of ethnic minorities in Xishuangbanna. But there are another 13 nationalities mainly settling upstream, in mountainous areas. The farmers from Banzhang are Akha. Their history is closely connected to the traditional cultivation of tea, at least for the past one thousand years. All fourteen minority groups are contributing to the rich and colorful mosaic of cultural traditions, reflecting the magnificent diversity of shapes and colors of natural environment. With the recent opening of global markets and with far-reaching changes in China’s society, cultural and natural diversity, both are equally under thread in Xishuangbanna. But from these changes hope as well may arise.

rice terraces of Yuanyang

Rubber

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Compared to rice and tea, natural rubber has only a very brief history of cultivation. Beginning in the 1950’s with logging and land clearing for the very first plantations, rubber cultivation has become the dominating land use in Xishuangbanna today. Rubber from the crying tree as the sources of gutta percha as well as the rubber eraser. it might be easy to forget that rubber also was the fundament as the web we see today, by isolating the cables and make a relative free way in the arts of electrics and transmitting a wave in dash wing.

Rice terraces of Yuanyangrice terraces of Yuanyang

Xishuangbanna: Nature Reserve in China

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