With rooms surrounding a traditional, open courtyard, Charlie offers a great place for travelers to meet. There are other rooms, essentially small duplexes, scattered about, which are great for couples and families, and some of which have dinner tables for larger parties. The facilities are basic but comfortable, including a brick bed that can be heated in the winter. You may have to patch the holes in the screens to avoid the local mosquito population. The doors have locks and the place seems safe.
At night you can sit and watch the camels walk by the main entrance, led back to their pens after a day hauling tourists.
Charlie has a great menu as well. It isn't the best food I've ever eaten, I guess, but much of it seems pretty local and he seems to understand what travelers want. Most things are the same at the guesthouse and at the cafe.
If I had one complaint it would be to just watch out for the birds. They fly all over and there's bird poo all over. I know he can't really do anything about that, but it's something to keep in mind.
At Charlie's cafe in town, you can talk with his wife for information. He also has books and magazines there. If you arrive in town intending to go to Charlie's, you can stop at the cafe and his wife will call him to drive you out to the guesthouse.
Charlie is a very friendly guy, very helpful and I highly recommend staying with him.
The price quoted below is about 160 yuan for a deluxe cabin. ($22.00 USD in July, 2008)
Unique Quality: Just down the road from the sand dunes (keep going past Charlie's and you'll get there.)
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