Manfeilong Pagoda, Xishuangbanna
Manfeilong White Pagoda is a cluster of towering stupas (mausoleums) in the typical architectural style of Theravada Buddhism — an artistic treasure in Xishuangbanna, Yunnan. They are well known to the nearby Southeast Asian countries of Myanmar, Laos, and Thailand. Every year, believers come from thousands of miles away come to worship the entombed bodhisattvas (Buddhist saints).
Scroll down and find out interesting facts about Manfeilong Pagoda and travel tips.
Basic Facts about Manfeilong White Pagoda
- Chinese: 曼飞龙白塔 Mànfēilóng Báitǎ /man-fay-long beye-taa/ ‘Manfeilong White Pogoda’
- Location: 70 kilometers south of Jinghong, city seat of Xishuangbanna, and a few kilometers from the Burmese border
- Recommended visit duration: 1–3 hours
- Open: 8:00am to 5:00pm
- Suited to: anyone, especially photographers and Buddhists
Nicknames of Manfeilong Pagoda
Bamboo Shoot Pagoda or Tanuo
Manfeilong Pagoda consists of one central stupa and eight smaller ones encircling it. From a distance, with imagination, the towering stupas look like spring bamboo shoots emerging from the earth, hence the name Bamboo Shoot Pagoda or Tanuo (Ta is ‘pagoda’ and nuo is ‘bamboo shoot’ in the Dai language).
The stupas are white in color and highly reflective of the strong tropical sunshine, so much so that they can appear completely white like snow (though their gold decoration shows up more at other times), giving them another name: White Pagoda.
The Features of Manfeilong Pagoda
Manfeilong’s stupas are said to have been built in the early 1200s AD, around 1,000 years after Sakyamuni's death.
The stupas are made of bricks, decorated with exquisite paintings and sculptures of phoenixes, dragons, peacocks, etc. The base of the tower is octagonal with Buddha statues in eight niches in the outer faces. The central stupa measures 16.3 meters (53.4 feet) tall and the other eight smaller ones that encircle it measure 9.1 meters (29.9 feet) tall.
Best Times to Visit Manfeilong Pagoda
The best time to visit Manfeilong Pagoda is during dry season, from October to April.
For photographers, it’s better to go there in the afternoon or at sunset when the golden sun shines on the white stupas.
Every year from April 13 to 15, local people gather there to celebrate the Water Splashing Festival. Feel free to contact us for tour recommendations if you are interested in joining in the pleasant moments.
What to See at Manfeilong Pagoda
Besides the gorgeous architecture of the pagoda itself, the walk up Manfeilong Hill is rewarding for its tropical scenery and views of local life.
The stupas (“pagoda”) sit on top of a hill called Manfeilong. There is a stairway with 200 steps, and you can walk up the path for around 20 or 30 minutes and enjoy the jungle on the hill, Dai-style stilt houses, and rubber plantations in the villages.
Contact our Xishuangbanna expert for more information.
Touring Manfeilong Pagoda with China Highlights
Manfeilong Pagoda is a historical site with a rich history and culture. It will be more interesting and easier to visit it with a professional guide, especially as English is not commonly used in Xishuangbanna. China Highlights can help you customize a worry-free tour to visit Manfeilong Pagoda and other highlights in Banna.
Here is a sample tour plan for inspiration: