Discover the Charming Yunnan-Tibet Route and Explore a New Adventure: Songtsam Lodges Renews the Ancient Tea Horse Road
The Yunnan-Tibet Route has always been regarded as the dream route by travelers since ancient time. The old Chinese saying ‘The Yunnan-Tibet route of the Ancient Tea Horse Road is a natural barrier’ indicates how rugged, winding and difficult this route is, especially under bad weather. However, such a natural barrier passes through picturesque sceneries and naturally nurtures one’s mind and heart. The Songtsam Lodges has recently announced their plan and development layout strategy of the ‘Songtsam Yunnan-Tibet Route’, offering explorers and travelers a new chance to step onto this route full of charm and incredible sceneries of Yunnan and Tibet.
The Yunnan-Tibet Route is regarded as the essence of the Ancient Tea Horse Road, containing the remaining culture dating back to a thousand years ago and most dynamic landscapes among five others routes that lead to Tibet, including the famous Sichuan-Tibet Route, the Xinjiang-Tibet Route and the Qinghai-Tibet Route. There are currently many tours targeting the Sichuan-Tibet Route and the Xinjiang-Tibet Route in the market but almost no tours targeting the Yunnan-Tibet Route. Stretching over the Hengduan Mountains and the three parallel rivers, the scenery on this route changes constantly. However, since there are not many ideal accommodation and catering alternatives on the Yunnan-Tibet Route and it has never been the number one choice for tourists, it was forgotten for a long time and is still an underdeveloped destination. Therefore, the Songtsam Lodges aims to spread the Yunnan and Tibetan culture with its high-end boutique hotels of Tibetan style and step into the Yunnan-Tibet Route.
Nowadays, Songtsam Lodges is about to change all these, aiming to turn the long-forgotten Yunnan-Tibet Route into a historical, cultured boutique travelling route with beautiful scenery and excellent hospitality facilities. Since 2001 when Songtsam Lodges established its first boutique hotel in Shangri-La, which is the heart of the Tibetan culture, the hospitality group has explored and created a “Songtsam Circuit” of its own brand with its six boutique hotels of Tibetan style. Songtsam Lodges is ready to expand its market outside Shangri-La and penetrate deeply into Tibet in order to build up the charm of the Ancient Tea Horse Road and create a new route which is good for travel. This shall be another major move by Songtsam Lodges since expanding its boutique hotel in Diqing prefecture and completing its Songtsam Shangri-La Circuit in 2011.
Songtsam Lodges has started its construction in Lijiang, Yunnan Province and Lhasa, Tibet for its two new hotels, which will be completed and opened in May, 2017. They will join the travel product cluster that promotes the mysterious Tibetan culture, altogether with the six other boutique hotels of Tibetan style, which are Songtsam Shangri-La (also known as Songtsam Lvgu), Songtsam Tacheng, Songtsam Benzilan, Songtsam Meili, Songtsam Cizhong and Songtsam Linka. In addition, Songtsam Lodges is undergoing its site-selection and construction of its new boutique hotels in Tibet’s Nyingchi, Bomê, Rawu, Markam and Zhuka. Like all other hotels of Songtsam Lodges, the new hotels are located in secluded villages and blend the local characteristics into their architectural style.
“I always hope people to know and understand Tibetan culture and spread its inspiration to more people. This is all I want. I’ve started managing and operating hotels since 2001. Through all the experience I had in the past 14 years, I believe we are capable of bringing the happiness generated by staying in Songtsam Lodges to more people.” Bai Ma Duo Ji says, the founder of Songtsam Lodges. It is estimated that Songtsam Lodges will establish two hotels in Lhoka Prefecture and Xigazê city respectively, after Lijiang and Lhasa are connected with the Tibetan part of the ‘circuit’. After that, Songtsam Lodges will transform itself to a boutique hotel brand specializing in providing local travel services and spreading the Tibetan culture.
Historic and spectacular, the Yunnan-Tibet Route is a travel route evolving from the Ancient Tea Horse Road that dates back to a thousand years ago. The Ancient Tea Horse Road was a network of horse caravan paths winding through the mountains of Sichuan, Yunnan and Guizhou in Southwest China and was derived from the tea-horse trade in Tang and Song Dynasty. From Erhai in west Yunnan Province, the producing area of tea, to Lhasa and Nepal via Lijiang, Shangri-La, Deqin, Markam and Chamdo, the Yunnan-Tibet Route was one of the most important lines in the Ancient Tea Horse Road. Songtsam Lodges aims to build the Yunnan-Tibet Route, one of the most beautiful roads in the world, into a world-class, high-end travel route, and provide more possibilities for travelers who want to know the heart of the Tibetan culture.
Songtsam Lodges has picked the location for its new hotels in Lijiang, Yunan Province and Lhasa, Tibet. Lijiang, as the initial point of the Yunnan-Tibet Route, is the traffic junction of Yunnan Province, Sichuan Province and Tibet with convenient flight connections and relatively low altitude. Lijiang is also famous for its diverse culture, reserving and integrating the culture of Han Chinese, Tibetan and Naxi minority ethnical groups. Songtsam Lijiang’s architectural style will remain consistent to Tibetan and blend in the elements of traditional local dwellings. Like all the other hotels of Songtsam Lodges, Songtsam Lijiang is far away from the hustle and bustle of the Lijiang Old Town and is situated next to the Huangshan Tourism Village of Folk Culture, neighbouring the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain in the north, Lashi Lake in the west and the Lijiang Old Town in the east.
Lhasa, located on the other side of the Yunnan-Tibet Route, is a renowned historic and cultural city, bearing the history and essence of the Tibetan culture. Songtsam Lhasa is situated in a valley in the southeast of the Potala Palace, blessing customers with a perfect view of it. Designed and planned by Bai Ma Duo Jie himself, the founder of Songtsam Lodges, Songtsam Lhasa will adopt a traditional Tibetan way of architectural mode.