The Yunnan province in China used to be the land of the Nanzhao (738-937) and Dali (937-1253) Kingdoms. Bordering and adjacent to Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, and Vietnam, the various ethnic groups in this region, especially the Dai, had long been practicing Theravada Buddhism as a major way for community building. The presence of Han and Tibetan Mahayana schools in this southwestern province, as well as both Confucian and Daoist believes incorporated into the religious and secular lives, helped to shape a unique Theravada architectural tradition.
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