Beautiful buildings in ancient temples in Xishuangbanna, Yunnan, China.

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Xishuangbanna Region

North of Myanmar and Laos, Xishuangbanna (西双版纳, Xīshuāngbǎnnà) is the Chinese approximation of the original Thai name of Sip Sawng Panna (12 Rice-Growing Districts). Better known as Bǎnnà, the area has become China’s mini-Thailand, attracting tourists looking for sunshine, water-splashing festivals and jungle treks. Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture, as it is known officially, is subdivided into the three counties of Jinghong, Menghai and Mengla.


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The annual Water Splashing Festival of the Dai ethnic minority falls during the New Year celebrations of the Dai Calendar. It is the most important festival observed by the Dai ethnic people of Xishuangbanna Prefecture. It involves three days of celebrations that include sincere, yet light-hearted religious rituals that invariably end in merrymaking, where everyone ends up getting splashed, sprayed or doused with water.

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The 15 best things to do in Xishuangbanna: food and culture in China's little corner of Southeast Asia

Jan 10, 2022 • 6 min read

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