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.
- 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