There is not much to see in Jinghong itself. Manting Gongyuan (admission 7:30am-7pm, ¥40/$5.20/£2.60; 7-10:30pm, ¥80/$10/£5.20) in the southeastern part of town, once an imperial garden for the Dai kings, hosts the annual Dai Water Splashing Festival. Those who can't make it to the real festival can now be splashed in a faux daily ceremony as meaningless as your clothes are wet. In the rear of the park is the Zongfo Si, a Theravada-style temple complex that is the center of Dai Buddhism, but the stupas and the temples complete with gilded statues of Sakyamuni all date only from the late 1980s. Many of the monks here have studied in Thailand and seem to be experts in lolling around on the park grass. There is an exhilarating rope slide across the lake for ¥15 ($1.95/£1) and an enclosure with dozens of greedy peacocks that love to pose for pictures and be fed by hand.

The Tropical Flower and Plants Garden (Redai Huahuiyuan) (¥80/$10/£5.20; open 8am-6pm), in the western part of town, has garnered good reviews from green thumbs impressed with the collection of over 1,000 plants from Yunnan's tropical forests but is probably not worth a visit if you are heading farther south to Thailand. Descriptions are mostly in Chinese.

Dai Etiquette -- Always take off your shoes before entering a Dai temple or household, as a sign of respect. Dress appropriately in temples, don't take photos of the monks or the interiors without permission, don't raise yourself higher than a Buddha figure, and never sit with your feet pointing at the Buddha or at anyone else.


Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.