Moli Tropical Rainforest Scenic Area is located at 20km northeast of Ruili, Yunnan Province, and it covers the total area of seven square kilometers. “Moli” is a Dai word, meaning “beautiful waterfalls”, and “Moli” is also known as “Zhaduo”. According to the legend, Sakyamuni, the founder of Buddhism once fasted and bathed himself beside the hot spring in Moli and left a huge footprint. To memorize the personal presence of Sakyamuni, the later generations call the place “Zhaduo”, an Indo-Bali word meaning the footprint of Buddha.
With the forest coverage of more than 96%, Moli Tropical Rainforest Scenic Area has more than 1,500 species of wild plants and 479 species of flowers and perfume plants, including 15 precious species under national protection. It is warm and humid here with abundant sunshine. Moli River crosses it from north to south and flows into Ruili River via the basin. Winding and crystal, the river is covered with various fantastic stone and trees on both banks with tranquil and beautiful landscape. Walking about 4km on foot along the river valley, the visitors may see such peculiar sights as “Footprints of Buddha”, “Plant Fossil”, “Trees in Stone or Tree-enclosed Rock” and “Zhaduo Waterfalls” as well as various precious plants, herbs and flowers. It is cool, comfortable and refreshing.
The plants in the virgin tropical rainforest here may blot out the sun. You may consider a huge ancient vine as “a hammock”, the cruel “strangler fig or strangler” as “tropical cold-blood killers” and the time-honored brake and ancient tree fossils as a thick time teaching book. Walking across the forest, we may vaguely hear the sound of waterfalls. Following the sound to the end of the gorge, we’ll find the sound is as loud as the thunder and our horizon is suddenly broadened. Sky comes into our sight again as well as a huge waterfall falling from the 60m cliff. “Falls of water like common and water spreads automatically”. That is Zhaduo Waterfalls.
The Moli Scenic Area is renowned for its gorgeous and fanciful natural and cultural landscape and a holy place of Buddhism: the Zhaduo River, like a strip of jade, twists and turns down the mountains and through the dense forest, and across its clear water some small simple and elegant bridges span. High on the steep mountains scattered with grotesque rocks, waterfalls pour straight down like an unfolded bolt of silver cloth; here, the forest is dense and luxuriant with towering ancient trees, and scores of rare plant species are well preserved, including the Moreton Bay fig, the curtain fig, the lofty Fig, the dwarf umbrella tree, the strangler fig nicknamed "forest demon" and the tree fern reputed as the living fossils of hundreds of millions of years. In addition to those stocking animals, there are also precious wild animals such as wild boars, bears, elks, pythons, peacocks, elephants, and blue monkeys. The legendary “Buddha footprint” made by the giant foot of Sakyamuni, the holy water bestowed by Buddha with surface temperature is 50℃ and the shiny bronze Buddha figure, among other sights, attract countless devout men and women. This is a poetic picture where man and nature live in peace.