XiShuangBanna (西双版纳) was my first destination in my goal to motorcycle across China in May and June of 2011. This location was planned by my initial partner in the journey (who I ultimately did not ride with) who suggested we explore this area, not only for being on the very southern border of Yunnan province but because this region was famous for its historical involvement on the Tea and Horse Trail. XiShuangBanna’s surroundings are known for it’s legendary 6 Tea Mountains – (六大茶山 – liu da cha shan) where the country’s best Pu’er tea comes from. However, shipping arrangements could not be met by my bike sponsor out of Guangdong (Galaxy) so I had to bus it about 10 hours north to Dali for my start.
Still, my stay in XiShuangBanna was absolutely amazing; very much similar to Thailand. In China, the ethnic minorities that reside there are called the “Dai” minority group (rhymes with “Thai”, get it?). They are kind, soft-spoken people – the fruit is delicious and plentiful in these parts. It was also the place I first set eyes on the legendary Mekong river.
The following are photos out of JingHong (the capital) and the area surrounding: