Xishuangbanna is the southernmost prefecture of Yunnan Province. The prefecture is nicknamed "Aerial Garden" for its luxuriant and multi-layered primitive woods and tropical rain forests, which are teeming with animals and plants.
Renowned as a huge natural zoo, Xishuangbanna's rain forest and monsoon jungles provide a habitat for nearly 1000 species of animals. Within thick and boundless forests wild elephants and wild oxen ramble about, with peacocks in their pride, gibbons at play, and hornbills whispering.
Thirteen species of wild life enjoy state protection, including loris, the gibbons, the red-necked cranes, the brown-neck horn-bills, and the green peacocks, which to the Dai people are a symbol of peace, happiness and good fortune and whose graceful postures can put professional dancers to shame. The region has 5,000 kinds of plants or about one-sixth of the total in China. This has earned it the renown and sobriquet "The moonstone on the Crown of the Kingdom of Plants".
Among these are such fascinating ones as the "color-changing flower" whose colors change three times daily and the "dancing herb" whose leaves rotate gently. Then there is "mysterious fruit" which reverse tastes, turning sour to sweet.
Species of trees that go back a million years are still propagating themselves. The "King of Tea Trees ,"which authorities say is at least 800 years old, continues to sprout, adding extraordinary splendor to the homeland of the famous Pu'er tea. In Xishuangbanna, there is a saying: "Even a single tree can make a forest and an old stalk can blossom and beat fruit ."