We arrived in Zhongdian around 8 pm and we found just it to be freezing, we expected it to be cold but not THAT cold.
My chinese friend asked me where I wanted to stay, and I said: bathroom in the room and HEATING.
That's what we got, a nice hotel along the main road with working heating and large rooms.
Fortunatly I was travelling with a chinese friend as they did not speack a single word of english.
Breakfast was only chinese so I did not try it.
The room rate was 140 yuan(about 14 euro) per room.
The hotel was definitly cheap, confortable and with free wireless internet connection.
I had my best shower here, among all the guesthouses I stayed in Dali, Lijiang and Deqin. This place is really nice, very clean and laid back. The owner Leon was (and still is) a backpacker himself, he know what we need, and cater everything nicely. There's even hair dryer and washing machines, all self-sevice.
2 storey wooden building with courtyard.
Dorm bed 20-25Yuan.
Washing machine 6Yuan per hour (it took me 0.5hour (3Yuan) to clean my clothes, that's cheap! Cheapest internet in town, unfortunately it's 64K connection. Lotsa international DVDs, watch for free (but usually Leon or his wife will make the choice of playing, you can watch with them).
I was having dinner at the guest house, with all the staff there. Only 8Yuan with so many home made dishes, soup, and rice as much as you want. This is much much more better than going out to eat, everyday taking the Yunnan famous "Spicy and sour soup noddles". And you know, it's sort of difficult to order dish when I eat alone. So, this is a good choice for single traveller like me. You can also cook the dishes by yourself if you want to!
Me, playing / resting in the guest house. They have a cozzy small garden. This tire-swing is newly built, few days before I arrived.
Take bus #1 (1 Yuan) from the Long Distance Bus Terminal. Drop off at the youth hostel, you'll a "Dragon Cloud" sign board just opposit the Youth Hostel. 2 mins walk from there.
The inn with the best eatery (local cuisine) in town. Good for birders since it's just 7km from Napahai and just in front of the ultimate birding ground ( a cemetary!). Within walking distance to the old town and other popular cafes.
Tidbit:A popular joint with other intrepid Singaporean travellers. The chap who served us immediately recognised us as islanders (maybe it was our terrible spoken mandarin that gave us away) but it feels good not to be mistaken as Japanese for once!
Rooms: Spartan but spacious. Hot water works fine over here.
This joint also organises homestay tours in the mountains and rather pricey vehicle rentals. No need to book in advance if you're here off summer. If not, book via their website below.
stayed at Songtsam for 3 nights after 4 nights at Banyan Tree, loved everything about this hotel, from the moment I 1st contacted this hotel via email, they were very responsive
the rooms at Songtsam were a bit small (this is expected to change as they are now renovating & expanding and rooms will be bigger in the future)
the location is next door to Songzanlin Monastery and also at the #3 bus stop (to go to the old city/Gucheng)
my room had a great view of the mountains and steppes, and while very basic (i.e. no shampoo/toothbrush & etc) the hotel is very tastefully decorated, with antiques all over the place
food was not bad (and in fact tastier vs. Banyan), their Lamb dish was excellent, great noodles & soup, their Sichuan Tofu was very so so, hot pot was not bad, they only have local Yunnan wine but it was drinkable
when I was there the temperature was between 8 celsius to negative 8 celsius, when I complained about the heater not being warm enough, they promptly brought me a nice warm additional heater which made my room a sauna & a wonderful sanctuary to come back
hired a driver from the hotel for my last two days there (LuoSang 86 139 887 651 21), he was a very experienced and safe driver, laid back, good natured, and just a wonderful driver / guide, as he knows Sichuan and Yunnan very well, hearing him talk about the areas will definitely get your feet itching (as in make you want to spend the rest of your life exploring Yunnan & Sichuan), he also epitomized what I love about Zhongdian, ie the people & also the areas around Zhongdian (Zhongdian town, esp new town, itself is kind of ugly)
Songtsam is now closed for expansion & renovation (they look like they are tripling in size), will need to come back again soon, as I wonder how long "Shangri-la" can be preserved, now that this is becoming a more & more popular destination
lots of antique furniture, great staff
the host stayed there because they loved this place very much after the travel, tang yun is th e name of the hostess. she was worked in guangzhou, and she is very nice lady, you can know why she call her house "Delamu".
2 floors tibetan house is very clear, simple, the most impressive is the toliet, call you back to modern city, the shower room, like sauna room.
one bed is 25 Rmb per night, washing clother, 5 Rmb, internet: 4 Rmb per hour, western breakfast: 5 Rmb, chinese lunch and dinner, 10 Rmb.
We saw millions of stars and a pretty snow mountain so we grabbed our quilt and rushed to the window to take pictures~~
I know you can't see any stars from the picture (well, I m really not a good photo taker... ) but if you look careful you can still see the snow mountain! !
Ha.. you must be wondering what I was doing... It was a very cold day.. and when we open the curtain...
Its a very new hotel situated in Zhongdian, big room, clean, however, with only 1 restaurant serving chinese food. I had 2 of my dinners in here and the dishes are actually very tasty, just 1 advice, if you have other choices, don't get the breakfast buffet...
this is an amazing place to stay in. I stayed in one of the 4 townhouses available - each house has 1 room upstairs, 1 living room and toilet and kitchenette downstairs. toilet is amazing, completely westernised with a spalike shower cubicle. there is good heating facilities - radiator, electric blankets etc. service is impeccable. i had altitude sickness and the staff was so kind in helping me get remedies, oxygen etc.. also helped in transport and organisation of trips..
when i was there, the cafe was not ready yet.. but i heard it's now up..
location is faultless.. it's just next to the square..
The Compass helped make my trip to Zhongdian a wonderful memory.. otherwise the altitude sickness would have been unbearable.
I didn't stay here, but did have breakfast here a month or so ago. It was the most amazing place to stay in the most amazing area of China, though amazing in two different ways! You have The Banyan Tree Resort which is so incredibly expensive perched high up on a mountain in truely the middle of nowhere! Once people start to find out about this place, they are going to do so much business....they've definitely set their goals high!
Anyway, let me tell you about this place....
"Banyan Tree Ringha is blessed with a pristine setting in the heart of Shangri-la, Yunnan, China. At 3600 metres above sea level, easch season has it's unique charm. Decked in white, winter scenery is at its most serene. Flowering azaleas and rhododendrons transform spring meadows into a delightful sea of colour. Summer sees everything in the freshest of greens, while autumn hues turn the forests into a canvas of flaming reds and orange."
"Banyan Tree Ringha offers 32 suites and lodges, each comes with a luxuriously designed bathroom fitted with a handcrafted wooden bathtub. The lobby with a blazing fireplace(see my own photo soon), restaurant, bar lounge and library are also be located in the Tibetan houses."
Please note that due to the high altitude (3600m above sea level) and thin air, it is not recommended for young children to travel to Ringha.
There are four different types of rooms to stay in here...
Tibetan Suite - "Savour the rustic charm of the one-bedroom Tibetan Suite which blends the cosy setting of a Tibetan cottage in the countryside with contemporary colours and furnishings. It's the perfect retreat after a day of cultural and spritual discovery." (Estimated floor area 175sqm) (Price US$400)
Tibetan Spa Suite - "After a day's trekking in the mountains there is nothing more divine than returning to the resort and pampering yourself with an indulgent spa treatment in the lazy comfort of your own suite. This spacious one bedroom suite offers the ultimate in rejuvenation." (Estimated floor area 325sqm) (Price US$800)
Tibetan Lodge - "All lodges are traditional Tibetan farmhouses that have been painstakingly re-built and feature intricate woodcarvings, cozy fireplaces and wooden balconies that have valley or river views. Impressive pine pillars add enormous character to the two-bedroom lodge." (Estimated floor area 325sqm) (Price US$700)
Ringha Lodge - "Ringha Lodge was built as the private residence of a Tibetan villager, his family and livestock; it was taken apart, reassembled in its present location and renovated to the highest specifications preserving its historic charm. It's a personal hideaway that's ideal for a family or group of four, with two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a wonderfully atmospheric living area and an enchanting courtyard." (Estimated floor area 325sqm) (Price US$900)
Well, as it was February not many western or chinese tourists in this hotel. I was only one and thats way all services, restaurants etc. were very limited.
There is a computer with an internet in my room.
No problem at all, you can get hotels, guesthouses in ZhongDian but I don't think I can sleep outside because it's so cold at -2 to -6 celcius at sea level around 6000 meters.
(pic) that's our regular restaurant there, delicious foods by local Chinese but not Tibetian, you can see we were so cold until nobody is leaving the table because there's a 'heater' underneath.
I checked out this Youth Hostel but I did not stay here. Reasons being the shower area and toilets not as spacious and clean as the Dragon Cloud's. Dorm bed here was 20 Yuan with 7-8 beds per room, very cramp compared to the Dragon Cloud which I only pay 5 Yuan more per night.
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