Xishuangbanna is a good place to go trekking - when going during the right season of the year. While you won't be able to move at all during the end of the dry season from March to May/June, the cooler winter months are best! After my trip to the papermaking village of Menghun in December, we decided to get out into nature and enjoy a hike. The weather was great for walking around, neither too cold nor too hot. Also, we didn't have to worry about any mosquitoes, leeches or vipers in the rainforest. Lucky us!
We started our tour from Menghun Town where we rented a minivan with a local driver. He drove us to an Aini Village which is located on a hillside. The roads through the mountains are very narrow and seem a bit dangerous. But the driver drove very cautious and beyond this, views were really amazing: flowers, tea planations and - solar panels. It took us about 30 minutes to drive from Menghun to the Aini Village from where we started hiking.
The buildings there are built in a traditional Dai style and made out of bamboo or wood. The first floor is usually used to keep livestock or as a storage area. The family lives on the second floor where it's a bit cooler and less wet - especially during the rainy season.
The local people there are very friendly, some of them invited us to have breakfast in their house. Most of them could only speak the local Dai or Aini dialect, but with the help of a Dai-speaking tour guide, we could chat with the villagers without any problem.
These ladies of the village were making their own minority costumes and accessories by hand.
On the way from the Aini Village to the rainforest, we ran into an old granny who could only speak Aini dialect which none of us could understand. Probably she was just greeting us and the only thing what we could do was smiling, the universal language of the world!
Getting away from the crowded city life and diving into the wild rainforest was exactly what we were looking for. No need to think about anything while walking along the paths and enjoy the fresh air and a mystical foggy athmosphere.
With thousands of different plants, we were getting more understanding of the nature.
We passed a lot of muddy paths, stepping on the leaves and heard the crunching noise they made while we made our way to the next village, happy about being outside.
After 3 and half hours of trekking, we then reached the next town– Bulang Village.
Also here, the villagers are very friendly and have faith in people. We felt very welcomed and appreciated the cozy atmosphere. While continuing our trek, we passed a banana planation, and ended our hike at a road where we got picked up again by our friendly driver.
For trekking in winter, Xishuangbanna is a good choice. Bring good hiking shoes which are more suitable for such a trek. Snacks and water should also be brought along.
There are actually quite a lot of trekking routes, Wonders Of Yunnan Travel offers e.g. this 3 Days Trek in Xishuangbanna. If you are interested in visiting Menghun or other regions in Xishuangbanna and need any support please don't heisitate to contact us, we are happy arranging a visit for you.