Menghai Tea Research Institute + Jingzhen Pagoda @ Xishuangbanna

For my first attempt to explore Xishuangbanna, I chose to go west to Menghai. I arranged a driver through my hotel and was able to identify to him the areas on the map I wanted to go, I didn't have any precise plans so I just said in Chinese, "take me where looks nice".

The ride out of town leads into the mountains, peaking a bit before coming back down to Menghai, the view during this ride is excellent. I don't know what was being farmed on the mountainsides, but several areas had terraces or stripes of crop which helped add complexity to the view. After an hour driving we forked off onto a side road north of Menghai and arrived at the Menghai Tea Research Institute.

After waiting around for a bit I was taken to a donkey and the journey began. What I absorbed from this tour is a couple things; Yunnan is famous for tea, some famous american general hung out on this ranch for a bit, purple Yunnan tea is really rare, and I was one of only 10 Americans to visit this place during the past year. After wandering around the tea road for like 2 hours they asked me to drink some tea with them, this was all well and good as I figure I should try the local product; however they kept pouring for like 30 minutes until I was ready to piss my pants.

Donkey (Dian Ma)

Some sort of ranch

Soil renovation
Mix between Walter White and Sean Connery?
Tea pouring girl
Whats a tea ranch without a monkey?
After escaping from the tea plantation we at some local food at a shack on the side of the road, and eventually made it over to Jingzhen about 15km to the west. There is nothing amazing about the pagoda, however the awkward looking town around the thing cool, and the bathroom was a like its own new type of pagoda.

This might not look great but it was really tasty
Outside food shack
Random temple thingy nearby
Jingzhen village

Chick with a stick
Toilet pagoda
Inside toilet pagoda

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