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“"An authentic experience"”

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Shaxi Laomadian Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 5 November 2011

Taiwanese-owned Shaxi Laomadian Lodge is said to be the best in Shaxi, the last remaining town in the ancient Tea and Horse Caravan Trail.

This 150-yr old lodge is made up of a complex warren of courtyards connected by narrow passageways, each with its own set of guest rooms. We checked in and negotiated a maze of laundry hanging out to dry in all the open spaces that captured sunlight. Like Shaxi town itself, the 12-room lodge is not wholly sanitised for tourism and that is what gives it an unique charm.

"A8" is a second-storey double room in an adobe brick and wood annex. Numerous panel gaps in the thin wood-plank walls and windows make it an authentic experience. One can hear creaking doors, passing voices, neighbours' footsteps and smell woodsmoke from somewhere in the vicinity.

In contrast, the modern retro-fitted en suite bathroom has a sit-down flush toilet, glass-walled shower cubicle and porcelain washbasin with hot and cold running water. Amenities include moisturising liquid handsoap; shampoo; bath milk; disposable combs, toothbrushes, toothpaste and shower caps. A large ceiling-mounted heat lamp is complemented by compact fluorescent down lights; the halogen light on a flexible stalk over the washbasin mirror did not work during our one-night stay but the bathroom is bright enough without it.

The room is clean and comfortable in a rustic way, and generally well-lit; it is not within range of the complimentary WiFi. Attention to detail is obvious in the form of thick duvets and an electric blanket, complimentary bedroom slippers, an adequate number of electricity sockets (including an electricity extension cord) and iron nails protruding strategically from walls (for hanging miscellaneous items) and a large vacuum flask of hot water that was brought to our room before bedtime. The electric blanket had also been switched on for us in advance. If there were a TV, it would be a source of considerable noise pollution.

We eschewed the Western-style buffet breakfast of eggs, jam and toast, etc, in favour if a bowl of delicious local-style noodles that sustained us for the rest of the day.

  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank biketrekker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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60 - 66 of 107 reviews

Reviewed 1 November 2011

Have just got back from a 3 week trip to Yunnan. Stayed 1 night in this hotel and it was like going back in time it had such a lovely atmosphere. Our room did not have a door to bathroom/toilet which makes it a little too intimate and the walls are paper thin, but if you can accept this do stay here. The staff are charming and the meal they cooked us could have graced any London restaurant. If possible get there on a Friday for the weekly market, you will not be dissapointed.

  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Poppy070
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 September 2011

The rooms are far from 5 star but nonetheless comfortable, well appointed, clean and well maintained. Management is solid here and the staff helpful but maybe breakfast could use a facelift. Walls are paper thin so avoid neighbouring honeymooners if possible! The town itself is 'must see' material and maybe the budget minded traveller should look elsewhere.

Room Tip: The upstairs rooms are better lit and more likely to be quiet. Rooms are small so go the extra few...
See more room tips
  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Ulysses10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 September 2011

in a hotel this is for you. If you want luxury, forget it.

Nice staff, right on the main square, restaurant (if you can find it!) is OK. Room access with heavy bags, in our case, wasn't easy. Bathroom excellent. Clean bedclothes.

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank andarrat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 September 2011

We stayed here for 2 nights as part of a trip from Zhongdian to Dali. The lodge was unassuming on first sight, but the rooms were excellent. Fair enough, the door closing left something to be desired, but the rooms were well equipped, ours being a double was very spacious, excellent and very clean bathroom with bath and shower. Quiet courtyards for sitting and enjoying the sun, or just a bit of peace and quiet. WLAN access. Breakfast (paid separately was delicious, Western style, dinner was also delicious, Tibetan style.
I would certainly recommend this lodge, next time we'll try and stay for longer.

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank JulieR_8426
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 August 2011

We had fabulous time at the Laomadian, and in Sha Xi, in general. the atmosphere is very genuine - one feels like this is a real inn, back in the days of the tea horse caravans. The staff and service are excellent, courteous and prompt. The rooms are rustic, yet modern.

The laomadian is known for having the best kitchen in Shaxi, and it lived up to the reputation. Breakfast was western style, and lunch and dinner were a combination of Chinese, tibetan, and western - scrumptious! If you get to meet the proprietor, that will be a real treat. She is a trained architect and designed the lodge with attention to historical details and materials. She is also a wonderful cook. we love the place!

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled with family
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1  Thank DJMBoston
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 October 2010

Small nice hotel that brings you back in time. The atmosphere is simply unforgettable and make the rather high prices worth the money. All rooms give on the beautiful inner courts. The walls are made of thin dark wood and provide basically no privacy, so do not go there if this is what you are looking for. But if you are looking for a warm, relaxing, charming, comfortable atmosphere this is the right place for you. The food is good, the staff very nice and helpful, everything is clean. As soon as you enter, all the stress and buzz of everyday's life is locked outside and you feel like you don't want to leave anymore.

  • Stayed: October 2010, travelled with family
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1  Thank carpanos
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Shaxi Laomadian Lodge

Address: Sideng street, Shaxi Town, Jianchuan County 671302, China
Region: China > Yunnan > Jianchuan County
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 47 B&Bs / Inns in Jianchuan County
Price Range: £21 - £47 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Welcome to Shaxi Laomadian Lodge Laomadian signifies 'Inn for old horses' and it used to lodge caravan owners traveling on the Tea-Horse Caravan Road, from Xishuangbanna to Tibet and further, transporting and trading mainly tea, but also other merchandises like salt, silver, copper etc. Situated between Dali and Lijiang, near Jianchuan, Shaxi was one of the important trading centers on the Tea-Horse Caravan Road since several hundred years. Winter 2006, after 4 years of restoration work by Swiss architects with the help of Jianchuan government and several Swiss and International fundings, Shaxi has regained its beauty and starts to attract visitors from afar to admire this one of the last well-conserved market centers on the famous Tea-Horse Caravan Road. Shaxi Laomadian is a compound consists of 3 courtyards and 6 shop-fronts. It is being renovate into a modern Lodge with 9 standard rooms and 3 dormitories, a tea house and a fusion restaurant/bar (Karma Cafe). ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Shaxi Laomadian Lodge China/Yunnan - Jianchuan County

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