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Wild Elephants Valley, Xishuangbanna

The wild Chinese elephants live in the equatorial forest of Xishuangbanna of Yunnan Province.

Wild Elephants Valley covers an area of 369 hectares by the Sancha River in Mengyang Town, and is situated 47 kilometers north of the city of Jinghong. With hills rolling gently at an altitude ranging between 747 and 1055 metres, the valley is covered by tropical rain forests, crisscrossed by rivers and streams, and teeming with such endangered species as Asian wild elephants, wild oxen, green peacocks and monkeys.

In the Wild Elephants Valley, the first passenger cableway with 2,063 meters of length in the equatorial forest sends the tourists to the main scenic spot in which the wild elephants live. The tourists can drink in the beauty of the scenery of the equatorial forest at the top, in the forest; when the wild elephants appear, in the main scenic spot the tourists can walk about on the overhead corridor and enjoy the scene of elephants bathing, playing water and seeking for food; the on-tree elephants-enjoying hotel is neighboring on the wild elephants and various birds. If you live in it, you will have various feelings.

Outside the main scenic spots of the Wild Elephants Valley, tourists can appreciate wonderful performances given by the first elephant-domesticating school of China, the butterfly world inside the first butterfly-farming park in China, and the tropical birds in the hundred-bird park. The Wild Elephants Valley will show you a genuinely beautiful and mysterious Xishuangbanna.

Xishuangbanna Wild Elephant & Nature Reserve lies at the crossroads between the eastern and western zones of the Mengyang Tourism Area, at 747–1055 meters above sea level. The reserve is made up of low hills and small hillocks, with wide valley bottoms rich in waterholes that contain enough salt to meet the biological needs of the wild Asian elephant. The wild elephant groups that roam about in the protection zone between Mengla and Mengyu are designated as National Elephants, while those that roam about inside the Mengla protection zone are designated as International Elephants, as the latter often come and go across the China-Laos border.

The Xishuangbanna Wild Elephant & Nature Reserve, with its dense forest and its rich variety of animals and birds, many of which are rarely seen outside a zoo, is one of the few places in the world where wildlife can be viewed in its natural habitat, where it is us humans who are “caged in”, as it were, as we watch the wild animals and birds go about their daily lives with as little interference as possible from us humans, while still allowing us to witness these fantastic creatures in their natural setting. All of which makes Xishuangbanna Wild Elephant & Nature Reserve something of an open-air museum, but an open-air museum with a difference: these creatures cavort about in their natural habitat, not in a man-made, city zoo habitat.