Manfeilong Pagoda & Wild Elephant Valley

Manfeilong Pagoda

Manfeilong Pagoda
Manfeilong Pagoda
The Manfeilong Pagoda is situated on the top of a hill near Manfeilong Village, 70 kilometers (43 miles) away from Jinghong City. It was built in the year 1024 and is a famed stupa complex in Xishuangbanna. It is also known by two other names: White Pagoda and Bamboo Shoot Pagoda. These descriptive names are derived from the fact that the pagoda is, of course, white while its overall shape resembles a bamboo shoot. It is dedicated to Hinayana Buddhism (a small, conservative branch of Buddhism).

The Manfeilong Pagoda consists of nine stupas. Seen from the distance, they look very like bamboo shoots that have emerged from the soil after the spring rain. They are made of bricks, with typical club-like bases topped by calabash shaped bodies. The principle and central stupa, which is 16.29 meters (53 feet) high, is surrounded by eight smaller stupas, each being 9.1 meters (30 feet) high. In each stupa, there is a niche wherein a statue of Buddha is laid. The bells hung at the top of the pagoda make a tinkling sound when the wind blows. Just to the south of the pagoda, there is a footprint on the rock. According to legend, this is the left footprint of Sakyamuni, the founder of Buddhism.
The white pagoda
The white pagoda
The White Pagoda is complimented by an equally famous seven-tier building known as the Black Pagoda. This stands some 3.5 kilometers (approximately two miles) to the south and is over 18 meters (59 feet) in height. It seems like a calabash and was built as a place for the worship of the right footprint of Sakyamuni. As its name implies, the pagoda was originally black but following several refurbishments is now a silvery white in color.

The Manfeilong Pagoda is decorated with beautiful sculpture, relief and colored paintings in the style of the Dai ethnic minority. During the Water-splashing Festival (usually on April 13-15), the villagers from the Manfeilong Village gather here and chase one another, splashing water as part of a welcome to the new year in Dai calendar.
Admission Fee: CNY 5 for the White Pagoda and free for the Black Pagoda
Time for a Visit:
Two hours
Opening Hours: 08:30 to 18:00

Wild Elephant Valley

(Trifurcate Lake Forest Park)

Sitting in the Sanchahe Valley of Mengyang Natural Reserve, Wild Elephant Valley is about 47 km (29 mi) from Jinghong City in Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture. It is actually a forest park more than a mere valley. In the 370 ha (914 acres) area live about 300 wild elephants. As the river here divides into three branches, it is also called “Trifurcate Lake Forest Park” (Sanchahe Forest Park).

The park includes an arena for performing elephants, a peacock garden, a butterfly breeding farm and a forest exploration tourist area. China’s first elephant training & performance school was established right here. From 11:00 to 12:00 and from 14:00 to 15:00 every day, sixteen tame elephants give interesting performances. Tourists can enjoy the performance for free and pay to take pictures with the elephants. A 920-meter long (1,006 yards) overhead corridor extends from Birds Garden near the south gate of the scenic area to Asian Elephant Museum near the north gate.

Some snazzy hotels are built among the big trees by the corridor. Staying in these unique hotels, visitors can see groups of wild elephants roaming in the forest during early morning and at night. If with good luck, elephants drinking and playing in the stream can also be appreciated.

At the gate of the park, a peacock garden dazzles visitors with a variety of peacocks and other birds. And the first artificial propagation butterfly farm in China shows visitors the whole growth process of brightly-colored butterflies. The forest exploration tourist area offers people a chance to learn about the habits of wild animals. In brief, the tropical forestry scenery is very beautiful. In the thick forests, many old roots emerge from the soil, old vines climb tall arbors and all kinds of plants mingle together, forming a fantastic living web.

Tips: To take pictures with a wild elephant, it costs CNY20-50 for reference.

Opening Hours 08:00 --18:30
Admission Fee CNY65
Cable Car

Wild Elephant Valley cable car:
CNY50 for single journey and CNY70 for round trip

Tropical forests sightseeing rope way:
Fare: CNY50 for single journey and CNY70 for round trip
Duration: around 35min for single journey

Best Time to See Elephants In the early morning and at night
Transportation 1. Take a direct bus at Jinghong Coach Station to get there. The bus fare is CNY15/person for reference.
2. At the Xishuangbanna Passenger Transport Station, take a direct bus to the scenic area.

 Further Reading: In-depth Guide to Top 10 Yunnan Destinations
- Last updated on Jul. 18, 2022 -
Questions & Answers on Manfeilong Pagoda & Wild Elephant Valley
Asked by CD from USA | Feb. 05, 2018 10:23Reply
I've seen on several sites about going to bus station and get ticket out to Elephant Valley.
I'm still left with two questions. First, how do you get back to Jinghong? Can you buy a return ticket before departing or must you get a taxi? If so, how much does that cost?

Second, I'm staying closer to the Jinghong South Bus Station and was wondering if I could also get the ticket there.
Answers (1)
Answered by Olivia from NEW ZEALAND | Feb. 05, 2018 20:46

The returning bus departs at 14:30, and if you are taking a taxi back, the fare is around 200RMB. Oh, I only heard there are buses from JH Bus Station, none from South Bus Station, and you can take bus 4 to the station.
Asked by sy from SINGAPORET | Jan. 01, 2018 02:23Reply
How long is the bus ride from Jinghong to Wild Elephant Valley
Answers (1)
Answered by Terra from SINGAPORE | Jan. 01, 2018 19:06

It takes about 1h 30 minutes.
Asked by Claire from IRELAND | Aug. 11, 2015 17:19Reply
Just wondering do the elephants perform at the Wild Elephant Valley?
Answers (1)
Answered by Grace from INDONESIA | Aug. 11, 2015 20:38

Wow, sounds cool. One of my friends had visited the wild elephant valley. There are more than 300 elephants in habiting in the valley, and some of them are trained to give performance. The best time to see them is in the morning and at dusk. In the rest of time, they may go to sleep. As I know, in Jinghong Bus Station, there are direct buses going to the valley.
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