A paradise for those interested in botanics and Chinese traditional medicine, or just to find an inspiring resting place, the Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden deserves a visit.
What to Experience?
Just outside Jinghong, travellers have the opportunity to visit one of the most impressive botanical gardens in the world, the Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden. This 900 hectare site was founded in 1959 by renowned Chinese botanist Cai Xitao and features over 12,000 species of plants in its 35 different garden habitats, two national field stations and arboretum. The site envisions itself as a “Noah’s Ark” for plants, an innovative place for plant research and an attractive and relaxing place for tourists. It is the largest tropical botanical garden in China and among the largest in the world. Tropical rainforests are the most diverse ecosystems in the world, and this site has proved to be an invaluable resource for understanding the complex biodiversity contained within and contributes to conservation and preservation efforts everywhere.
The site is home to a preeminent research institution that engages in biodiversity conservation, research in forest ecosystem ecology and sustainable use of plant resources. To date, 698 scientific research projects have been performed or supported onsite, appearing in scientific and peer reviewed journals for tropical ecosystem studies.
Within its 35 gardens are housed over 12,000 unique species of plants, many of which are endangered or nationally protected. These serve the dual purpose of educating and entertaining tourists while providing valuable research into living ecosystem and biodiversity behaviour to further conservation and preservation efforts for the garden’s scientists. The most popular regions of the botanical garden are:
- Tropical Brilliant Flowers Garden – features exotic and indigenous flowers, approximately 280 species in all
- Bamboo Garden – featuring 200 species of bamboo from Yunnan, Guangxi, Hainan and southeast Asia
- Shade Plant Garden – with over 600 species including orchids and pineapple, this teaches researchers about diverse ecosystems
- Palm Garden – over 9 hectares in size, this has 460 species and has become a favorite place for visitors to relax
- Ficus Garden – these plants are integral to the tropical rainforest ecosystem and this collection of 120 species is the largest in the world
- Medicinal Plant Garden – home to over 400 medicinal plants from tropical and south subtropical regions. It is divided into many sections featured with tropical medicine, ethnic medicine, traditional Chinese medicine and natural medicine respectively.
Each of these gardens are maintained as fully functional ecosystems, containing plants, animals and insects which naturally thrive as they would in an uncontained environment.
The site also features a Tropical Rainforest Ethnic Culture Museum that features exhibits that not only cover the plant and animal species found in rainforests, but the human civilizations that have coexisted with them for thousands of years. This includes information about the local Dai people and other indigenous people of Southeast Asia. The museum sees approximately 300,000 visitors each year.
Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences
Address: Menglun Township, Mengla County, Yunnan province 666303, China
Tel: 86 691 8715071