Octagonal Pavilion & Tropical Plant Research Institute

Octagonal Pavilion

The Octagonal Pavilion is situated on a hill in Jingzhen Village, in the county of Menghai, Yunnan Province, which is about 87 kilometers (54 miles) away from the city of Jinghong. It represents the superb craftsmanship of the Dai Minority in both construction and decoration.

The half-timbered pavilion was built in 1707 and was originally used as a Buddhist meeting chamber. It is said that the pavilion was constructed in honor of Sakymuni by the Dai Buddhists.

The construction is over 20 meters (65.6 feet) high and composed of three parts: the base, the body and the roof; appearing in octagonal splendor. On every metope of the sides are exquisitely carved relievo in patterns of animals, such as elephants, lions and tigers.

Inside the pavilion are twenty-four walls with many kinds of gilded pictures. There are four doors with beautifully designed pictures reflecting a distinct ethnical characteristic. Above the vaulted frontispiece is a niche where is enshrined a figure of Buddha. The exterior surface of the pavilion is enchased and studded with numerous small pieces of mirrors and colored glass which makes the pavilion flickeringly beautiful.

The roof comprises ten layers of eaves ranging in degressive sizes from the bottom up. The roofs are found to be elaborately decorated, and the surfaces are covered with delicately-designed glazed tiles in the shape of scales. There are figuline flowers and pagodas ornamented on the fastigiums and each tip of the horn decorated with figurine sculptures. At the pinnacle, the roof covers a baldachin in the shape of lotus, and a long mast with lots of wind-bells stands high on it. These melodious sounds drifting on the gentle breeze will make you feel relaxed and happy.

With a history of more than 300 years, the Octagonal Pavilion has undergone several renovations, still stands firmly with great elegance and grace. It was put onto the list of major historic and cultural sites under state protection in 1988.

Admission Fee: CNY 20

Tropical Plant Research Institute

Lying at the western suburb of Jinghong, the institute exerts a strong pull on tourists although it opens to public just a few years. In additional rubber plantation, the institute plants over 1,000 plants with economical or medicinal value. The large variety needs a botanist to figure out what they are. In the plantation, visitors get access to Zhou Enlai Memorial, which was built to commemorate the China's beloved premier's 1961 visit.

It is an institute combining research, education and preservation of animal species into one. Characterized by tropical plants, strong ethnic flavor and beautiful tropical ambience, it can be mainly divided into tropical fruit trees garden, aquatic plants garden, palm trees garden, banyan trees garden, medicinal plants zone, bamboo plants zone, aromatic plants zone and Endangered plant species protection zone.

Visitors to the institute will be attracted by many rare plants, such as the Dancing Grass which can dance with the music rhythm, the Raining Tree which can 'rain', the Clock Flower which is able to flower on time and also the flowers able to change colors. Pitcher plants eat worms and a kind of deciduous trees that yields poisonous juice are real eye-openers. Moreover, visitors will have opportunities to enjoy the plant wonders such as plants strangulation, old stems blooming and hanging gardens.

Admission Fee: CNY 80
Recommended Time for a Visit: 40 minutes
Opening Hours: 08:30 to 18:00

 Further Reading: In-depth Guide to Top 10 Yunnan Destinations
- Last modified on Apr. 27, 2020 -
Questions & Answers on Octagonal Pavilion & Tropical Plant Research Institute
Asked by Mr.David from AUSTRALIA | Mar. 20, 2011 09:24Reply
Is there a list of species which sre in the Tropical Plant Research Institute?
Answers (1)
Answered by Mr.Frank | Mar. 25, 2011 03:36

I think so, but it may be kept by the researchers of the institute.
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