Eight hours from Kunming, Jinghong, the capital of the Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture and of pu'er tea, greets visitors with green trees and good weather.
Xishuangbanna is known not so much for any specific scenery as for the multitudes of ethnic enclaves in small villages sprinkled throughout the region; the Dai is the largest group.
That said, in Jinghong lies the Meng Le Buddhist Temple (勐泐大佛寺), the region's largest temple and home to the one of the tallest standing Buddha statues in Southeast Asia.
A four-hour journey from Jinghong will take travelers to the forested park area Wang Tian Shu (or "Sky Tree") Scenic Area (望天树景区), which claims to have the highest suspended canopy walkways in the world.
This article was originally published in CHENGDOO citylife Magazine, issue 31 ("What's Going on in Chengdu").
Photos by Dan Sandoval