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Ruili (瑞丽; Ruìlì) is a city in Yunnan, South-West China, on the border with Myanmar. The population is around 200,000, but the atmosphere and travelers make the city seem larger than it is. This is the major port of trade between China and Burma.

Get in[edit]

By plane[edit]

Dehong Mangshi Airport (LUM), with connections to Kunming, is the closest airport with direct flights. From there, there are taxis running constantly to Ruili for between ¥50-70 per person. The taxi leaves when the car is full. The trip takes about 2 hours, and the driver will drop you anywhere in Ruili you want (have an address/cross streets handy).

By bus[edit]

From the Kunming western bus station, take the bus to Ruili. The ride takes between 14 and 20 hours, usually plan on around 16. Because they follow protocol, buses are not allowed to run overnight, which adds some time onto the journey.

Get around[edit]

Taxis are ¥10 anywhere in the city north of the main provincial roads, and then jump quickly to ¥15-20 just outside that area. The meters aren't followed here.

If you want to go to Jiegao, look for the red taxis. They only travel between Jiegao and Ruili, and it's ¥5/person. They only go to the other city (a 5-min ride) when full, and they need to know what cross streets/major areas you'd like to go to.

There is a bus between the two places but it only runs 4 times a day but is not convenient.

Booking cabs for longer rides is possible to get outside the city, but prices need to be negotiated.


姐告 - Jiegao - The major port of trade between China and Burma. If you go take a red cab (see below) from anywhere in Ruili, they can drop you off at the largest gate (da4 men2). Once there, you can go to the imported goods shop, nearby jade markets, or watch the people hopping the fence nearby.

莫里瀑布- Moli Waterfall - This waterfall is accessible by bike or cab only, and is about 25 km outside the city. This is a nice waterfall advertised at 60m. It's sometimes absent during the dry season (winter and spring). 50 yuan

一寨两国 - One Village two countries - This village is about 5 km outside town, and is just a nice looking tourist trap. However, this is the easiest place to see the women with banded necks, crocodiles, and traditional architecture from the nearby areas.

姐勒水库 - Jiele Reservoir - This is a nice park/ lake above the city. You can go swimming in the swimming pool below the dam (the water is recycled once per week, so despite the dirty appearance it's fairly clean) and go for a nice bike ride around the city.



This town is located at the China-Burmese border. There is much trade in imported goods, notably jade and fabrics. Wooden furniture (sourced from Burmese logs) are also widely available. Cheap souvenirs can also be bought from travelling Burmese merchants in the city, or by the sizeable number of other foreigners present in the city such as Pakistanis and Indians.




There is a large number of hotels in Ruili. Plan in advance for festivals such as the Water Festival in March.

  • Jing Cheng Hotel. Reputed to be the best hotel in the city as well as being housed in the city's tallest tower. The city's only 4-star hotel but in reality feels more like a 2 or 3 star hotel. Breakfast provided is very limited to local cuisine.  edit

Get out[edit]

Currently foreigners are rarely allowed overland into Myanmar. The consulate in Kunming usually only offers fly-in visas.

Dali is a 7 hour bus ride away.

Tengchong is 3 hours by bus.

Mangshi is 2 hours away and the closest airport.

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