18.08.2012 20 °C
Saturday, August 18
The temperature was a comfortable 19 C ( 66 F ) when we left Kunming and it was a humid, 23 C ( 73 F ) at 6:00 pm when we arrived in Xishuangbanna, which is in a jungle area in southern, China. It is one of the southern-most cities in China.
The drive was 540 km ( 324 miles) long on good highways and it took us about 6 hours. We had one traffic jam for about 45 minutes due to construction on the highway. Other than that we had a smooth drive all the way to Xishuangbanna.
As we got closer to our destination we saw farms of mango, coffee, bannana and palm trees. The terrain slowly changed to jungle growth. The humidity got higher, the foliage kept getting thicker and the trees got taller.
We stopped, just north of Xishuangbanna and check out a wild elephant reserve. It was almost 5 pm when we arrived and it looked like they were closing for the day but we were able to go in and check it out without buying tickets. We were disappointed to find out that the elephants were not wild and that the one that we saw had an ankle chain. The conditions didn't look very good, so we decided to skip this attraction.
When we reached Xishuangbanna, it started to rain and soon we had a tropical downpour. When the rain let up for a while, we went to dinner. We had rainshowers a couple of times while we were eating, but it slowed to a sprinkle when we headed back to the hotel.
Tomorrow we will slowly be making our way back to Beijing, while making a few stops on the way. One of the stops we anticipate is the famous glass ' skywalk ' along a mountainside.