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2006-02-20 10:31:56

According to ancient records, there are six major "tea hills" in Xishuangbanna, all located in Menghai county and Jinghong city. The Pu'er tea produced in these areas has been transported to the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau since the Tang Dynasty.

The "King of Tea Trees", which authorities say is at least 800 years old, continues to sprout, adding extraordinary splendor to the homeland of this famous Pu'er tea.

The remnants of the Ancient Tea Horse Road in Xishuangbanna can be seen in the towns of Yiwu, Xiang and Mengwang.

Jinghong, City of Dawn

The Dai ethnic minority accounts for one third of the population of Xishuangbanna, and Jinghong means "City of Dawn" in the Dai language. According to the legend, it was after traveling a long journey that Sakyamuni arrived at Jinghong, just as day was dawning.

Jinghong has a 158-kilometer-long water passage on the Lancang River and is the central point of the Xishuangbanna scenic area.

In 2001, navigation lines between China, Laos, Myanmar and Thailand opened, initiating a new path to the Asia-Pacific region from Southwest China. Jinghong is now an international category-one open port on the Lancang River, and ships from Jinghong sail directly to Myanmar, Laos and Thailand.

Jinghong is also an important link between Kunming, the provincial capital of Yunnan and the Thai capital of Bangkok. Its airport is one China's busiest, with aviation routes to most of China's large and medium-sized Chinese cities as well as international flights to Thailand and Laos.

Jinghong is just 180 kilometers away from Northern Thailand, making it the closest land route between the two countries. The opening of all of Jinghong's land, water and aviation routes has made it an important frontier window bridging China and Southeast Asia.

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