Xishuangbanna, situated in the Southwest of China, is the only region near the Tropic of Cancer where large areas of tropical rainforest are preserved and where more than ten minority nationalities live, with the Dai in the majority. Historically, the everyday life, medical and health care, productive activities, customs, literature, art and religious beliefs of the minority nationalities have been interrelated，and closely connected with the tropical rainforest and its biological resources. These have formed the diverse and unique ethnic forest cultures that maintain the biological diversity and which have ensured the harmonious development of this region.
The Tropical Rainforest Ethnic Culture Museum is established in the Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden (XTBG) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), with an area of 2,000 m².
The Tropical Rainforest Ethnic Culture Museum is designed in the architecturae style of the Dai people, and consists of Tropical Rainforest Exhibition Hall, Ethnic Forest Culture Exhibition Hall and Tropical Rainforest Ethnic Culture Research Center. Thus it is a professional museum with the combined functions of public education, scientific research and cultural relic protection.