Explore the first village on China-Myanmar border – Mengjinglai Scenic Area
By She Jingwei

Nestled about two kilometers from Daluo Township of Menghai County in southwest China's Yunnan Province, the Mengjinglai Scenic Area, or the first village on China-Myanmar border, is a hidden gem ready to be discovered. Be it the mysterious beauty, unique Dai Culture or friendly villagers, a visit to this under-the-radar place would leave you with an unforgettable impression. Join CGTN Travel and have a glimpse of the ultimate destination for countless globe-trotters. 

A paradise for pilgrims 

The crystal-clear Daluo River flows through the west side of the village, forming a natural borderline with Myanmar on the opposite side of the river. When you enter the village, you will soon feel embraced by the picturesque view and can't help slow down your pace to enjoy and take photos. Acres of paddies and fish farms, the Buddhist temple, pagodas, as well as the thousand-year-old sacred tree under the blue sky and white clouds, weave a paradise far apart from the bustling outside world. 

The solemn pagoda groups in the village. /Photo via Weibo

The solemn pagoda groups in the village. /Photo via Weibo

The solemn pagoda groups at the entrance of the village is a must for visitors. The golden pagoda groups are the largest in the Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture in southwest China's Yunnan, blessing the auspiciousness and happiness of the Dai people. At the end of the pagoda groups, there is a thousand-year-old sacred bodhi tree, an ideal site for visitors to cool down in summer.

Boasting for rich culture, a Buddhist temple in the village is a paradise for pilgrims. It's said that local boys would be sent into the temple in their childhood to cultivate good personality. If you have plenty of your time here, chanting inside the temple would be a good chance to calm down and relax.

A thousand-year-old sacred bodhi tree in the village. /Photo via Weibo

A thousand-year-old sacred bodhi tree in the village. /Photo via Weibo

Unique Dai Culture

Home to hospitable Dai people, this primitive but exquisite village that keeps the distinctive simplicity of the traditional architecture style is where you could soak up the traditional vibe and experience Dai people's lifestyle as well as hand over yourself to the purity of nature.

Traditional techniques have been inherited in Mengjinglai Scenic Area including the old-fashioned paper-making, iron-forging, cloth-dyeing, sugar-making, pottery-making, and wine-brewing. Visitors can take part in a series of traditional handicraft activities with ethnic features such as Dai's traditional brocading or potting. 

Hospitable Dai people.

Hospitable Dai people.

Thanks to the unique geography and profound culture, this scenic area was awarded the "First 50 Rural Tourism Village in Yunnan Province" as well as the "Base for Inheritance, Protection, and Demonstration of Dai Culture." In 2015, the village served as the filming location for season 3 of the popular Chinese TV series "Where Are We Going, Dad?" and then it has gradually been known to the public.

No matter what your interests are, your lasting memories of this village are likely to include the taste of local rice wine offered by a resident or a feast enjoyed with Dai people. Always ready with a genuine smile, tolerance and an open heart, local Dai people genuinely make visiting this village a great joy. 

Travel information 

Transportation: The best way to reach the village is by renting a car. 

Recommended trip length: 1 day

Opening hours: 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

The entrance fee: 48 yuan (7.0 U.S. dollars); visitors should book tickets before 4:00 p.m. in advance. 

(Cover photo via Weibo)