There is nothing super special about Jinghong, however if you've been working for a month with no days off in a dark room in Beijing, this might as well be Paris or Cape Town. This city and the surrounding area is about the opposite of most of the cities I've been to in China, my experience is mostly northern and kind of lacking perspective. A country's border can only define so much, and this city is close enough to Lao and Burma that it begins to melt together with them.
Yunnan food is an excellent offshoot of Southeast Asian cuisine, this is part of why I chose to come here, however it's still shocking when you can walk down the street and sit down at any shack and have such great food for like 5 - 15 rmb. During my stay I ate at a more modern looking restaurant one time, and I regretted it; the local vendors and street food here are simply unbeatable.
The coolest thing about Jinghong and Xishuangbanna for me was this: I only speak English and a minimal amount of Chinese and Germen, so when I go to a place like Thailand I'm immediately cast into the rich foreigner group. Here I was able to use my Chinese to jump the gap, and for the first time in a seemingly exotic foreign location, people saw me as a more bit of a local; opening up a another dimension to the experience.
|Lots of motorcycles|
|Bar street on the river|
|Food street by the river|
|Random girl who help me find my hotel in the rain|