Manting (Chuanhuan) Park.
(open 8.30am to 6.30pm. cost Y40)
Chuanhuan (Manting) Park, located in the southeast of Jinghong, literally means in Dai “Garden of Souls”. Meaning, visitors to the park are able to relax their souls and forget about any of their worldly troubles. The name came from a legend; One day, the King of the Dai’s visited the park with his princess. Over awed by the beauty of the park, she lost her soul and forgot everything else around her.
It’s the oldest park in Xishuangbanna dating back to over 1,000 years and once served as the private garden of Zhaopianling, a feudal lord of Xishuangbanna. It has an area of 115,400 square meters (about 28.5 acres). A number of old Siamese Cassia trees and various other ornamental plants grow in the park.
On entering the park you’ll see a bronze statue to honour the once premier Zhou Enlai, who visited the park during the annual ‘Water Splashing Festival’ in 1961. Beside this monument are two ‘bodhi’ trees which were planted by the Princess of Thailand to confirm the friendship between the two countries.
Also located within the park is the highly revered ‘Baji Temple’, many Buddhists travel from all over the Xishuangbanna prefecture to worship here.
There are also reconstructions of the nearby ‘Manfeilong Pagoda (White Bamboo Shoot Pagoda)’ and the ‘Jingzhen Octagonal Pagoda’ for those who don’t have time to see the real thing. It’s also said that over 800 peacocks reside in the park grounds.
Vistors have to leave the park by 6.30pm because at 7.00pm the parks presents a dancing show. Extra tickets are needed to view this show (Y100).
If your lucky enough to be in Jinghong during the ‘Water Splashing Festival’, Chunhuan (Manting) Park is the main gathering point for the locals on the third day of the celebrations...