For every Chinese, since childhood, “beautiful Xishuang Banna” is the dream destination. Today, I fulfilled my dream.

 

Xishuang Banna is at the southern tip of Yunnan Province, which is at the southern tip of China, east of Tibet. There are two seasons: dry and wet with the average temperature at 70F. These 20,000 square kilometers is home to 13 of Chinese 56 ethnic groups, about 77.3% of the total population. The largest minor ethnic group is Dai with the population of 31,000, about 27%.

Dai minority still keeps its tradition of customs. For example, Dai society live in a matriarchal society. Their custom is marrying a man to a woman. In their traditions, men would be considered as civilized only after becoming monks for several years; the temples are their temporary schools. The monks are permitted to fall in love, but before the groom can take the bride home, he needs to work and live at brides’ home for 2-5 years, depending on who you are. The groom can’t have any physical relationship with the bride during this period.  The brides’ family can’t kick the groom out of house at any time if they are not satisfied.

 

Water-Splashing festival, still held every year (the new year of Dai Calendar, around April 13-15), is the most important festival, during which the Dais splash water on one another. Also they hold dragon boat races in the hope of chasing away all the illnesses and bad fortune of the past year and bringing about good weather and bumper harvests.

(Scroll to see more images from John's trip)

Party dance around the fire

 

Minority dance show