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The Dai   Ethnic  Garden

 The Dai Ethnic Villages are the most in Xishuang Banna, Yunnan Province. Many standing Dai Ethnic Villages show the unique culture, art, and colorful ethnic experiences.

The Dai Ethnic Garden is in Ganlan basin 30km away from Jinghong city. In the garden is a natural Dai village. The villagers are all hospitable and friendly. Tourists can stay overnight in a Dai household, to receive the host and hostess’ hospitality and to take part in their routine farm work. At the same time, one can view the rural scenery or visit the century-old Manchunman monastery

Xishuang Banna is a minority autonomous prefecture mainly resides with the Dai ethnic. There are 13 minority groups living in the prefecture, the Dai ethnic occupies most part, and the population spread over 74% of the whole autonomous. The people of Dai ethnic are united and harmonious

When entering the Dai village you will see many bamboo houses in front of your eyes. Living in the bamboo structure is the unchanged habit of Dai for over a thousand years. This construction suits the tropical rainforest climate in south Asia. The bamboo house come into two layers; the ground lever has fence, which use as the storage and a space for raising poultry

Upstairs is the place for living; every bamboo structure has a balcony, a big setting room lay with bamboo mat which is the place for eating, resting, and greeting the guests. There is a stove in the center of the room, Dai use it for cooking and heating the house. The setting room is connect with the bedroom and there are usually three to five rooms in the bamboo house

Building new houses is their great event. Firstly they must select the location and make the base, then they must prepare pillars, when the wood for the pillar is identify, the villagers will spray water to bless it and by blowing bugler. The eight pillars must be divide into four "male pillars" and four "female pillars" and distinguish by male clothes and female clothes covered on the pillars

While the house is built, the people of the whole village will come and help. The owner will also prepare rich food and drink to entertain the villagers coming to help and the friends coming to congratulate. It is very warm and lively

If you want to visit the Dai village, you are adviced to select special festival time such as the "Water Festival" in mid April. You can see rich and lively tradition activities, singing, dancing, you will also gain understanding of the simple Dai characters through attending these activities. Participate earthly when join the Water Festival, the wetter you get, the happier and better luck you will be

Rainforest surrounds and permeates the villages.  The well-proportioned bamboo-constructed houses of the Dai people are dotted here and there, hidden in the coconut palms, Areca Catechu palms, mango trees, Litchi trees, Bombay Blackwood, and pomelo trees.  Here, visitors have a unique opportunity to experience the traditional culture and hospitality of the friendly Dai people.  The Water-Sprinkling Festival is the largest of several celebrations in which visitors are welcomed to take part.  There are Buddhist temples in every village, and many buildings display fine examples of the traditional Dai pillar railing architectural style.

Nothing can equal a stay in the Dai Village for a microcosmic view of all that is great about the Dai culture, and a chance to experience the unforgettable warmth of the Dai people.

Manjian Village
"Manjian" is a transliteration of the Dai language. "Man" means a village while "jian" means thin bamboo strips which are used to carry huge stones. It is said that when the ancestor of Buddha came to this village, he saw a beautiful stone surrounded by an aura; he asked that the stone be carried to a small hill by the river, in order to create a holy place for people to visit.  But how could it be done?  People thought over and over again.  Finally, they successfully carried the stone to the small hill with the help of bamboo strips. The ancestor of Buddha renamed the village "Manjian" to replace the old name "Manhe".

Manchunman Village
"Manchunman" is a transliteration of the Dai Language.  "Man" means "a village" while "chunman" means "a garden"; so "Manchunman" means a village of gardens.  Manchunman Village is famous for its magnificent Buddhist Temple.  The Manchunman Buddhist Temple, the oldest temple in Xishuangbanna, has a history going back more than 1400 years.  Here, the rich and enduring Buddhist culture is further represented by the painted murals in the temple depicting The Story of Sakyamuni.

There are 103 families comprising 526 people in the village; the grounds around the villagers' bamboo houses are planted with lush tropical flowers and trees such as coconut palms and mangoes.

Manzha Village
"Manzha", meaning "Cooks' Village", is a transliteration of the Dai language.  42 families comprising 212 people live here.  In ancient times, the village headman set aside a special village to be used only for cooking.  Within the village, chefs were specially trained to cook food for the chieftain.  Nowadays, visitors are welcomed to savor the flavor of this very special cuisine.

What deserves to be mentioned is that within the village there is a Buddhist Temple and an ancient sacred place more than 200 years old. The Manzha temple, unique for the fact that it has monks but no Buddha, is second only to the Manchun Temple in Dai history.

Manting Village
"Manting" is a transliteration of the Dai language, and means "Court Garden". But there is another saying about the name of the village. Long ago, passers-by often stayed in the village to observe the tame peacocks; and because of the number of peacocks the people named it "Peacock Village".

The White Pagodas and the Buddhist Temple of Manting Village were built in the year 669.  The Sakyamuni statue in the hall of the temple is said to be the highest in the Ganlanba (the Olive Flatland) district.  Besides the Great Buddha Temple and the White Pagodas, there is an amazing pavilion known as a "Mochu", which houses impressive golden Pazhao statues donated by a Thai philanthropist.

Manga Village
"Manga", meaning "going to the fair", is a transliteration of the Dai language. 27 families, or 107 people in total, live in the village.  It is said that the founder of the village was a Han national, named Li Daorong, who married a Dai woman and settled down.  Later, Han people from Guangdong and Guangxi (now provinces of China) gathered there to work as butchers. A gradual mixing of the Dai and Han ethnic groups occurred.  Even now, some of the Manga Village inhabitants in their sixties or seventies retain the Han appearance and features.  An elderly resident who speaks in the pure Dai language tone is actually a later generation Han; a shining example of harmony and acceptance where two ethnic groups live as one.

The Longde Lake and the Mother and Son Island
"Longde" means "pond" in the Dai language.  Said to be the only natural lake in Xishuangbanna, Longde covers an area of 200 hectares, with water 1.5 meters in depth.  It is a singularly beautiful and serene scenic spot.  The island in the lake is quiet and peaceful - a symbol of love and kindness.

Manga Temple
In the forest beside the Manga village stands a small temple that looks like a pavilion.  Within, only darkness can be felt without lighted lamps or candles - even in the daytime.  Two door-gods (also called door-general keepers) stand on each side of the entrance. Three huge rock masses stand in the front of the hall.  Behind them lies an offering stand that is said to be the sacrifice pad of Li Daorong; the two nearby are the sacrifice pads for his assistants. On the sixth day of every March or the seventh day of every July, and during the Spring Festival, the Dai and Han people from the Manga Village carry a pig's head, a cock, joss sticks, and paper made to resemble money to the temple to worship there.

Sacrifices to the Peacock Tomb
It is said that in the 1960s in Ganlan (the Olive Flatland), a gold peacock died after it had brought wealth to the people.  As a mark of commemoration and appreciation, the people buried the peacock together with a treasured sword in the center of the village.  On the 14th day of July of the Dai calendar, male villagers carry a pig's head and wrapped rice as offerings to worship the gold peacock; and after the sacrifice ceremony a large banquet is held. This memorial ceremony is held both to honor the peacock, and to offer prayers for good weather for the crops and good health for the people.

Edition HistoryEdit Tips:
The activities held in the Dai park are as follows: welcome to guests at the village gate, showing the guests around the village, visit to Manchunmangu Temple, Dai nationality music show, handicraft art of the Dais show, the residences of the Dai people, going to the fair, folk dance and song show, everyday Water-Sprinkling Festival, and other traditional festivals and customs. Accommodation is available in the Village for those who would like to participate in the Dai festivities. ...[read more]
The activities held in the Dai park are as follows: welcome to guests at the village gate, showing the guests around the village, visit to Manchunmangu Temple, Dai nationality music show, handicraft art of the Dais show, the residences of the Dai people, going to the fair, folk dance and song show, everyday Water-Sprinkling Festival, and other traditional festivals and customs. Accommodation is available in the Village for those who would like to participate in the Dai festivities.  This is a great chance to discover how idyllic life is in this beautiful village with its charming inhabitants.

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