[* ]Q.What food we should eat when we travle in Xishuangbanna?
A. You shoud eat more vegetables & friuts and less meat. Be careful of the barbecues. the roast meat looks very good. but sometimes it was not cooked very well or not fresh because the meat was stored in fridge(ice box) for long time, it will make you sick, normally Cause diarrhea. We have quite some customers have this problem. So please be careful of your diet, make sure you have a good journey in Xishuangbanna .
Q.What is the weather in Xishuangbanna?
A. There are only two seasons here, hot and dry(dry season is from Oct. to the next Feb.) , and hot and humid(rainy season is from March to Septemb).The rainfall focus from July to Aug.The scaned rain usually is not for whole day, only 2 or 3 hours in a day. After rain, it is cloudy and sunny. Many people worry about the rainny season is bad to travel in this area. It is not nessesary, because the rainny season is not bad, normally rainning time is not more than 2 hours in a area within a radius of 10 km. The good things for rainy season are the sky is more blue and the cloud is more white. check the recent weather forcast of xishuangbanna.
Q. How big is Jinghong?
A. Actually Jinghong is a quiet and small sleepy town. It is easy to get around.You can have a look at the Jinghong map.
Q. How far away is the Airport from Jinghong city?
A. It is about 10 to 15 minutes by taxi and about 20 minutes by public bus.(the public bus station is outside the airport, which makes this option not too convenient.) Normally ,the taxi driver will charge 30 yuan from the Airport to the city center.
Q. How do you get to Jinghong(the center of Xishuangbanna)?
A. You can take a domestic flight or the bus to come to Jinghong, but normally you can not get directly to Jinghong from abroad. For detailed traffic information please visit this page.
Q. Do you have an airport pick-up service?
A. Yes we do. We can arrange a taxi to the Airport or pick you up at your hotel. You can have a look at our hotel reservation service.We charge 30 RMB for taxi fees.
Q. How do I book a trek with you?
A. At our contact page , you can find our phone number and email. You can call us but we recommend to contact us by email, because it is more convenient and makes everything clearer. Normally we charge half of our trekking price as downpayment in advance. After the end of your trek you will have to pay the rest.
Note: Winter time (from October to March) is peak trekking season in the Xishuangbanna region. If you want to join our treks in this period, please email us 2 weeks in advance.
Q. Can your guides speak English and tribal languages?
A. Yes, we do. Your guide is Sara or Stone, they both speak English and local languages. More information, please visit about us page.
Q. How long have you been offering these type of treks?
A. Since 1998 Sarah started to guide trekking groups and we have our Forest Cafe running for above 10 years in Jinghong.
Q. How big are your groups?
A. Around two to ten persons. We prefer around 4 people in a group because we find it easier to communicate with all members and offer good quality guiding service. If we have more than 10 persons, we will arrange for two guides.
Q. How long do we walk each day?
A. Depending on your trekking schedule and your condition, normally we walk about 5 hours a day, each 1 to 2 hours we might take a short break.Normally we can walk 4KMs for one hour.
Q. What is our overnight accommodation like?
A. We stay at local people's families . Rarely do our guest-families provide private guestrooms. Usually we sleep in the living room in an open space on the wooden floor . Most likely everyone gets one mattress, it is usually 1.5 - 1.8 meters ong, 80 centimeters wide and eihter made from kapok(a local soft material equal to cotton) or straw. Most of the villages we are staying in nowdays having a solar shower and toilet.
Q. What is suitable ages for trekking?
A. Provided a reasonable standard of fitness is taken for granted - e.g. being able to walk 15 km's in one day - then there are no real age barriers. We do not recommend taking children under seven years of age.
Q. How high are the surrounding mountains?
A. Jinghong is 560 meters above sea level .Normally the highest mountains in this area are between 1300 to 1500 meters.
Q. What is the best time to go?
A. Anytime of year is fine. Have a look at our weather page and Xishuangbanna page from the home page for more details about the rainfall and climate in the area.
Q. What about my equipment, I have a video camera and will need to charge the batteries?
A. Charge as much as you can before you leave because most villages' electric supply is unsuitable for this type of appliance.
Q. Can I smoke pot on the trek?
A. Sorry, not on our trekking tours! We operate in compliance with the law and we don't encourage these types of activity.
Q. How do you price your treks?
A. Our trip rates are worked out according to the types of adventure in the itinerary. The minority tribes derive direct income from our trekking that helps to sustain their communities. Whilst we are certainly not the cheapest tour operator, our rates emphasize value and quality. We charge about 400 to 550 yuan RMB perday per person .Our prices including meals during the trek, public transportation and an English speaking guide. Please be aware that clients have to pay extra for non-vegetarian dishes in case we eat meals in restaraunts. Also not included in our peices are drinking water and personal snacks. Family groups should bring the preferable snacks for their children because those won't be obtainable in the countryside. We hope you will agree that this is a very cost effective way to enjoy your trekking.
Q. Is there malaria in xishuangbanna ?
A. This is the most popular question from travelers. I think it is necessary to have an effective mosquito repellent. In fact, most of the traditional wooden houses we stay in do not have much of a mosquito problem because the houses tend to be cool and somewhat smoky, but again a latent risk remains. Sarah has been a trekking guide since 1998 and she has never been taken any malaria tablet so far and only use mosquito repellents if traveling with a small group and everyone using them.
P.S. We do sell good mosquito repellent made in China.
Q. What is items in your backpack ?
A.make your backpack as light as possible, you will enjoy your walking better.
1. a light raincoat or an umbrella (umbrella is a better choice to keep away the hit when your are walking)
2. an extra change of clothes, long shirt & pants (wear in the evening to prevent malaria)
3. good hiking shoes and extra socks (good shoes is very important for going up and going down the mountains)
4. sunglass, sunscreen and a hat (in Xishuangbanna, the ultraviolet (UV) rays are strong)
5. mosquito repellent (If mosquitoes really like you, please take it. It is useful for leech as well)
6. any personal medication that you need
7. flashlight or head lamp (in case you need go toilet at night)
8. sandals for stream walk (Please take a non-slip sandals, beacuase the mossy rocks are slippery)
9. sleeping sheet if you have, but it is not necessary, because we have everything for sleep in the local family.
Q. How to get a Laos visa?
A.You can get Laos visa at Kunming or Consular Office of the Lao PDR, Jinghong(Tel:0691-8988090 ), location map. For most foreigner, you can get the visa at the border where you check out China.
Q. Where to store my luggage when I doing a trek?
A.If you will go back to the same hostel to stay when you come back from your trek, it is better to store your luggage at your hostel. Otherwise, you can store your luggage in Forest Cafe.
If you have any further question, please contact us.