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Jinghong and the Xishuangbanna Region
Jinghong is the capital of southern Yunnan's Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Region, which borders Laos and Myanmar. Xishuangbanna is home to the Dai, a people related to Thais and Laotians, who, like their cousins to the south, love very spicy food.
Jinghong sits on the banks of the muddy Mekong, although this stretch of the legendary river is known locally as the Lancang. This is where China meets Southeast Asia; it feels more and more like Laos or Thailand the farther you travel from Jinghong. Even inside the city the architecture, the clothing, and even the barbecue seem much more like what you'd find in Vientiane or Chiang Mai.
Jinghong has experienced a small tourist boom; it now has its own airport, with flights to Kunming and other cities. But despite the increase in economic activity, Jinghong still moves at about the same speed as the Mekong.
Jinghong and the Xishuangbanna Region at a Glance
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