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The Best Exotic Tea Cozy Hotel

sunny 15 °C

Hotels come and go as we wend our way across the globe and we’ve slept in a couple of dozen different beds to date. But not all beds, or hotels, are created equally. Every hotel has been fine in its own way, but some have been more memorable than others. And some have been absolutely unforgettable. A little south of Shangri-La, on a country road to nowhere in particular, is a small hotel with a big heart – The Tea Cozy. Curry, the owner, (with his adopted Indian name), reminds us of the enthusiastic young entrepreneur in the delightful movie The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. But Curry’s Tea Cozy Hotel is no ramshackle old mansion. It is a smart new building tastefully furnished in traditional style with very comfortable beds, (rare in China), and the most exotic wooden bathtub we have ever bathed in…
...and a pretty pagoda set in a pond of koi carp...
What makes The Tea Cozy Hotel so memorable is the staff. We have been treated wonderfully throughout our time in China but from the moment we arrived at The Tea Cozy we felt like family – and now we actually are family. Here we are at the gates with Curry and staff member, Suzy...
Until we arrived Suzy had no Anglicized name so we christened her. And now we are her godparents!
We spent our first two days in Shangri-La cycling the verdant valleys. We threaded our way through ancient stone villages, past duck ponds and rice paddies, and watched the farm workers and fishermen at work and play...
We crossed and re-crossed the lazy Yulong river while photographing, (and being photographed by), the happy rafters…
And each evening we returned to The Tea Cozy for a delicious dinner of fresh local produce.
On our final day Curry took us and Amy, together with our goddaughter, Suzy, on a tour of the mountains. The scenery was - well, judge for yourself…
This River Li vista of karst mountains is one of the most painted and photographed scenes in the world and even appears on Chinese banknotes…
But there is another side to Shangri-La, and away from the idyllic Li valley, hidden behind the towering riverside mountains, the farmers are preparing for this year’s harvest…
Hidden beneath thousands of acres of plastic is a juicy crop of gold just waiting to be mined. It's not mandarins, but what is it?
Suzy and Amy know the answer – but do you?
We have just a few days left in China, and a few postcards left, so if you can correctly guess what is under the plastic we will happily send you a postcard from Shangri-La.

Posted by Hawkson 18:31 Archived in China Tagged mountains countryside accommodations karst family_travel Comments (5)

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