People call Ruili "the foggy town", in the wintertime, she wakes up under a blanket of fog that she only sheds an hour or two after midday to welcome the sun.
In the afternoon, when the sun had burned away the fog, the streets swarmed with women in their bright parasols held over their heads. At curbside, Dai women offered slices of watermelon for sale and colorful silks and yarns.
Ruili is a beautiful land covered by green subtropical rain forest, dotted with big Banyan trees, each one looking like a forest. Buddhist temples can be seen everywhere in this city. The most famous temple is Jiele Golden Temple composed of 17 ring - shaped towers. The major tower is 36 meters high, surrounded by the other 16 towers that are smaller in size and height. Some outdoor scenes of the famous TV program " Journey to the West " were taken here.
Ruili is 839 km from Kunming. You can go there by bus or, you can fly to Mangshi first, and then transfer to Ruili by bus. In Ruili, you can travel to Myanmar with the assistance of any travel agency there. Ruili Border Trade Street is located at the northwestern end of the town. It came into use on May 1, 1989. The street covers an area of 32,000 square meters, and there are 6 gardens in the center of the street.
Abounding in gems, Ruili has been a scene of jewelry trade since ancient time. Jiexiang, as it is called in Thai language, means “street of gems” in Chinese. The gem prospecting area on the Nangu River, teeming with rubies and sapphires, is the only gem prospecting site in the whole country that opens to tourists at present.
In recent years, Ruili City has managed to seize the good opportunity of developing trade and enlarging economic and technical cooperation with Myanmar, the “Kingdom of Emerald” and have the brand name of “Oriental Jewelry City” registered with the State Industrial and Commercial Administration General. To materialize its strategy, Ruili City makes great efforts to develop jewelry industry and set up a favorable image for the brand name of “Oriental Jewelry City”, having five jewelry zones established with the complete functions ranging from trade and processing to sales. Among the five zones are the Yucheng Crude Jade materials Wholesales market, Huafeng Jewelry Processing Industry Zone, Ruili Jewelry Street, China-Myanmar Street of Jiegao, and New Oriental Jewelry City. With all the measures, Ruili City introduces five serial operational items, including emerald, agate, gem, agatized stone, and gem washing, promoting the marketable jewelry and jade articles to inland China, Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan of China, and South Korea, Japan, and countries in Southeast Asia, South Africa, and West Europe. All of a sudden, the beautiful and attractive Ruili becomes a world known city for international commercial trade and tourism and a shining and brilliant “Oriental Pearl”.
A Golden Port
A beautiful national-level port city of China, Ruili neighbors on Myanmar’s national port city Mujie and has a unique location advantage often referred to in a number sequence: one basin (Mengmao Basin), two countries (China and Myanmar), three ports (Ruili and Wanding of China, and Mujie of Myanmar), four development zones (Ruili Frontier Economic Cooperation Zone, Wanding Economic Development Zone, Wanding Frontier Economic Cooperation Zone, and Jiegao Frontier Trade Zone), and five cities (Ruili and Wanding of China, and Mujie, Namkham, and Jiugu of Myanmar). Enjoying an even and open terrain without natural barrier, the city accommodates dense population and offers convenient traffic condition in favor of a prosperous trade. In addition, with complete municipal functions, Ruili is a golden gate in southwest China leading to Southeast Asia and South Asia.
Ruili was an important gateway along the ancient southern Silk Road. It is now the “transfer station” and distributing site for bilateral trade of China and Myanmar and it stands by the junctures of the “China-Myanmar” Road and the “China-India” Road. The No.320 National Road of China, stretching from Shanghai in the east to Ruili, runs abroad to connect with two of Myanmar’s arteries, the “Yunnan-Burma Road” (Kunming---Ruili---Mujie---Lashio---Mandalay---Rangoon) and the “Stillwell Road” (Ruili of China---Mujie---Bhamo---Myitkyina of Myanmar---Redo of India).
Ruili shares a 169.8 kilometer boundary line with Myanmar. There are over 30 ferries and passageways in all sizes and 62 boundary monuments (with a density ranking first in China) along the boundary line. The tranquil and friendly frontier atmosphere in Ruili sets a sample for the whole world.
Since the implementation of China’s reform and opening-up policy, fellowmen in both countries have shared deeper and deeper friendship and ever-increasing bilateral trade. Since 1990s, the total import and export value via Ruili Port has been ranking first in Yunnan Province, specifically, accounting for 70% and 30% of the figures of the whole province and the whole country, respectively. Ruili is gradually developing into a city of international commercial trade and tourism, becoming a genuine “pearl of ports”.
A Paradise for Jewelry Trade
Ruili is one of China’s four major jewelry-distributing centers and a city with the most prosperous and typical emerald trade in the world. At present, there are over 4,000 jewelry processors and dealers in Ruili, employing more than 10,000 labors. Most of the processors and dealers come from inland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan of China, Myanmar, Pakistan, India, and Nepal.
Entering into Ruili’s jewelry markets, you may be enchanted by the miraculous creation of the great nature and the exquisite technique of the handy men. Unearthed from their hundreds of millions of years’ hideaways and going through meticulous cutting and polishing, the jades and gems shine brilliantly in their fullness of colors. You find it hard to put them back in display again. There is emerald, jade, ruby, sapphire, spinel, phengite, olivine, jasper, and cat’s eye. There is pearl, agate, amber, and agatized stone. There are carved articles, pendants, bracelets, jade ornaments, rings, and earrings. There are drinking wares, ashtrays, smoking pipes, and chess pieces. In a word, there are commodities meeting the needs of all types of purchasers.
Historically, Ruili used to be the capital of Mengmao Guozhanbi Kingdom and Luchuan Kingdom, being the major birthplace of the Dai culture. According to the historical record, a Dai “king” unified the Dai tribes in 364 BC and became the chieftain of tribal alliance. The king established his capital at Hansa (present Hansha of Ruili) and named his kingdom as “Mengmao Guozhanbi”, which was referred to as the “Mengmao Kingdom” by ordinary people. That was the start of Ruili’s ancient history. The Mengmao Kingdom then outlived the Period of Warring States, Qin Dynasty, Han Dynasty, Tang Dynasty, and Song Dynasty, and was replaced by the Luchuan Regime. Ruili bears rich historical culture, which is perfectly demonstrated by the Pattra Leaves Scripture of Dai historical culture, the ancient Mengmao city, the golden pagoda, and the Buddhist temples. In addition, Ruili boasts flourishing ethnical folk culture and arts and was once entitled the “hometown of farmers painting of China” by the State Ministry of Culture.
Colorful Folk Custom
With rich ethnic custom and colorful folk activities and festivals, Ruili is referred to as the “hometown of songs and dances”. The native Dai and Jingpo people are good at singing and dancing, a way for them to let go their emotions. The major events that give play to local people’s custom include the Water Splashing Festival, Munao Zongge Festival, and Carnival for Fellowmen from Both China and Myanmar.
The water splashing festival is traditional to Dai and De’ang peoples and is held in middle of each April (New Year in Dai calendar). During the festival, people dance to the accompaniment of Mangluo and elephant-leg-shaped drums and splash clean and holy water to each other as a symbol of a new-year blessing.
As a traditional festival of Jingpo people, the Munao Zongge Festival is held on 15th of every first lunar month. During the event, people get together from all directions and, led by Naoshuang, a sort of conductor wearing his feather hat, sing and dance around a towering “Notice Pole” for celebrating their harvest and beseeching a good weather and a better harvest in the next year.
The carnival for fellowmen from both China and Myanmar is a grand gala introduced for carrying forward traditional ethnic culture, enhancing friendship between fellowmen from China and Myanmar, and promoting bilateral economic development of China and Myanmar. It is held during every year’s Kunming International Tourist Culture Festival and involves the following major events: beauty contest among girls from China and Myanmar for selecting the Ruili River Lady, oxcart and bamboo raft contests, ethnical sports games, ethnical costume display, and performance of ethnical knife dance.
Ruili city stands north of the tropic of cancer and between 23°38¨@to 24°14¨@N and 97°51¨@to 98°02¨@E, subject to subtropical humid monsoon climate. With an annual average temperature of 20¡æand receiving 2,325.8 hours of sunshine and 1,397.1 mm of rainfall annually, Ruili is regarded as a great natural greenhouse and a gene bank of species. It is a well-known “hometown of peacock” and “fertile land of fish and rice”. It boasts 1,541 varieties of plants, some of them, including gumhar, teak, nanmu, Machilus, prickly katus, red chinquapin, Manglietia, sago cycas, spinulose tree fern, and Michelia, are under national key protection. There are some 339 varieties of wild animals, including several under national level-one protection such as green peacock, buffalo, bee monkey, white-browed gibbon, Huiye monkey, and tiger hornbill. The area has neither bitterly cold winter nor scorching summer but clean sky and fresh air. Flowers blossom and fruits yield all the year round, and it is a precious green land and tourist resort.
Ruili has the beautiful national-level scenic spot Ruili River, the mystical and attractive Moli Subtropical Rainforest, the Wanding Ecological Garden for rare animals and plants, the charming pastoral landscape, the mysterious exotic scenery, and the exciting gem-washing and jewelry-shopping tour. The important tourist attractions include Gem-washing Field on Nangu River, the relics of the Leiyun Central Airplane Plant, Zhaowuding Tomb Pagoda, Scene of Ruili River, Moli Subtropical Primeval Rainforest, the Wanding Ecological Garden, One-tree Forest of Manglin, Gole Pagoda in Jiele, Dadenghan Buddhist Temple, one village on territory of two countries in Yunjing, China-Myanmar Street in Jiegao, and Jiugu Bridge in Wanding.
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