Up and Coming
The town of Jinghong, in the Yunnan Province, has recently embraced tourism as an industry, and the 5.3-square-kilometer Wanda Xishuangbanna International Resort was meant to raise the local standard. The property’s theming incorporates a storyline inspired by the area’s multicultural heritage, including that of the Dai people, one of the 56 ethnic minorities in China.
The park's design also recognizes and integrates the natural beauty of the nearby mountains and UNESCO World Biosphere reserve rain forest. Visitors experience this motif, as well as the wonder of water, starting at the Arrival Plaza, which serves the waterpark and an adjacent theme park. A dramatic entry is choreographed: Visitors start out in a concealed forest and walk through soaring bamboo until they reach a clearing. The sun gradually brightens and the water becomes louder until they reach the plaza, with its largescale waterfall flanked by sculpted elephants. Waterfalls hide the theme park and entrances from view. The waterpark was completed in 2015 and seems to have helped meet tourism goals by serving 1 million regional and international visitors.
The Beach area houses one of Asia’s largest wave pools, which generates waves up to 8 feet high. Attractions in the 650,000-square-foot waterpark include Water Festival Island, which is flooded with dancing water, light and sound; a flower-themed interactive water-play structure with a tipping bucket that spills 740 gallons onto guests; a tube slide complex; tube bowls; a teen climbing pool; several kiddie play pools; spa pools; a spa river and others. On the interactive play features, designers used sustainable water management technologies and recirculation to optimize water use and quality. The generous plantings help the site meld with its green mountainous surroundings.
Flora and Fauna
A lazy river not only surrounds Water Festival Island, but also epitomizes the park’s theming, which is partially inspired by one of the most popular events in the area, the Water Splashing Festival.
The property plays host to several events throughout the year, including some for the Water Splashing Festival, which marks the Dia New Year.
The park’s whimsical design is meant to create the feeling of an oversized botanical garden in the lush tropical environment.
Details large and small...
Features such as railings, shade structures and even water slide towers show vegetation in exaggerated proportions for a sense of whimsy and immersion. Below, floral mist coolers