Sanchahe Nature Reserve, Yunnan:
We took a bus from Jinghong to the nearby Sanchahe Nature Reserve in order to experience the pristine forests of southern Yunnan. The reserve protects an area of almost 1.5 million hectars inhabited by a number of endangered species such as wild Asian Elephants. Nevertheless, the whole experience was rather disappointing. Near the main entrance stood a number of stages where “minority shows” were performed for the hundreds of bus tourists. Next to a comparatively pleasant butterfly house, tamed elephants showed their feats and bears were housed in tiny cages… The forest itself can be visited with a cable car from above or by a pathway on the ground. Both possibilities could be enjoyable, but unfortunately the Chinese tour groups were led by guides with megaphones! Quite a strange nature experience and as you can imagine, no wild animals came into sight…
Our plan was to stay in the forest overnight and we booked one of the tree houses at the end of the trail. From the late afternoon onwards, we had the forest for ourselves as the day visitors left. This meant complete solitude for some time and the closure of all restaurants or snack shops. We were lucky to still get some chicken soup for an early dinner! Unfortunately, the ragged house was shaking considerably throughout the night leaving us sleepless as we seriously feared it would fall apart! In addition, the washroom was rather depressing as you can see…
After being roused by the megaphones of the first tour groups, we left the forest and took the bus back to Jinghong. However, we did not stay in the capital of Xishuangbanna, but left for Damenglong, a tiny village near the border to Myanmar. You can read in the next post what we experienced there!
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Interesting post! The chicken head in the soup and funny signs feel exotic. But the megaphone thing is both bizarre and funny! The last thing I’d expect visiting a place like this, in nature! Looks like one of the cable car doors is open, too..! These types of experiences are certainly ones you remember 🙂
haha – thanks for your comment! 🙂 yes, you are right… quite a culture shock! 🙂 Unfortunately, there were only heads and feet in the soup, not really my taste!! 😉 it was possible to open the doors in the cable car during the tour – maybe some emergency precaution? 😉
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