The four properties that comprise Songtsam Lodges sit in unique locations around Northern Yunnan Province, away from the tourist routes and noisy towns. Each site has been carefully chosen to showcase the region’s stunning natural scenery that ranges from green valleys to towering snow-capped mountains.
We recommend travelling through this beautiful countryside and staying at several of these lodges as part of a northern Yunnan circuit, experiencing the varied terrains and cultures of each site.
Songtsam Shangri-La – 3,300m
Songtsam Shangri-La is the flagship lodge and is located in the heart of this fabled region just a short walk to the entrance of the centuries-old Songzanlin Monastery. The rooms are modest in size but very cosy, decorated in Tibetan style balanced with modern comforts. Facilities include a library, open rooftop, Tibetan restaurant and lovely outdoor seating area in the front. Activities around Shangri-La include guided tours to the monastery, village walks and Tibetan family visits, guided hikes, bicycle rides to Napahai Lake, and horse trekking around the nearby mountains and valleys.
Songtsam Benzilan – 1,900m
Nestled in an intimate green valley by the Yangtze River, Songtsam Benzilan features 10 spacious guest rooms, all decorated in modern Sino-Tibetan style. The lodge is surrounded by authentic white-walled Tibetan homes and has views of a smaller prayer house resting atop a little hill (great for morning visits when one member from each family in the village hikes to the top to pay their respects). Facilities include a library, rooftop terrace and restaurant serving deliciously fresh food straight from the garden. Activities include learning how to make traditional black pottery in the nearby Nixi village, guided visits to Dongzhulin Monastery, Benzilan valley hikes through Tibetan villages, and experiencing a night of traditional Tibetan dancing.
Songtsam Meili – 3, 600m
Every year, local Tibetans come to this region to worship Kawagebo, Meili Snow Mountain Range’s major peak and one of the holiest mountains int he larger Tigetan region. Songtsam Meili was built high up on a hill in an upspoilt village and directly overlooks this magnificent mountain range. The lodge’s 17 guest rooms are furnished with large comfortable beds, sofas and timber flooring that combines rustic charm with modern comfort. Most rooms also feature a cosy fireplace. Facilities include a library, rooftop terrace with fire pit and restaurant. Activities include guided hikes and walks, local family visits, and experiencing a night of Tibetan dancing and bonfire party.
Songtsam Tacheng – 2,020m
Part of a mixed Tibetan/Lisu farming community, Songtsam Tacheng enjoys a comortable climate that boasts the region’s most fertile land. All 9 spacious yet cosy rooms face beautiful terraced rice fields. Tacheng is also home to the endangered Yunnan Golden Monkeys, which make it an endearing wildlife environment, popular for family excursions and romantic getaways. Facilities include an outdoor pool and restaurant serving locally-grown organic vegetables as well as wild honey, fish and ham. Activities include gudied hikes through beautiful villages and rural areas, seeing the Golden Monkeys at the Baima Nature Reserve, walks through local Naxi villages, experiencing local dances arranged by the lodge.
Songtsam Cizhong – 2,200m
Coming in October – watch this space!
Songtsam Lodges Information
- Accommodation: Lodges are small and intimate featuring between 10 and 17 rooms.
- Location: Songtsam Lodges are comprised of 4 separate properties located around Northern Yunnan Province.
- Facilities: All lodges have a restaurant and library, some have rooftop terraces and Songtsam Tacheng has an outdoor pool.
- Activities: Various cultural and outdoor excursions are available at all of the Songtsam Lodges.
- Weather: Shangri-La is suitable to visit year round. Winters are cold but see exceptionally clear skies, summers are hot and see the most rainfall. Mid-May to July are when the flowers are in full bloom, and August brings beautiful changing colours.
- Children: Welcome.