In our low season, we always travel to different Tibetan areas to survey the newest travel-service businesses available and to develop new itineraries. This time our development trip to Shangri-la was a successful. We met local entrepreneurs and build relationships with them. We visited local restaurants, hotel owners and guides.
Both Kelsang Phuntsok and Tashi are young Tibetan entrepreneurs who are the owner of Kelsang Desti Youth Park hostel and Boddhi Inn. We were fortunate to meet and interview them. We also had a pleasant stay at Boddhi Inn for a few days. Their stories along with more information regarding their businesses can be found on our http://tibetpedia.com website. We hope visitors can enjoy their services and hospitality in the future. Both of them embrace the Tibetan ideals of benefiting other sentient beings as a core principle of their behavior. Exchanging ideas with them and sharing the experience of our work with each other was exciting! We look forward to working with them in the future.
Kelsang Desti Youth Park hostel
We also visited Peima Dorjie, the local Tibetan owner of Songtsan Lodge. In 2001, he opened a small guesthouse and since then he has grown as an entrepreneur. In the past 15 years, he has built 6 boutique lodges throughout the Kham and Lhasa areas. All of the lodges are away from the tourist craze, in the most beautiful and peaceful locations. Yet the environment of his lodges enable guests to engage with the local community and culture. All of the lodges are located within or near to a local village and are built using the same architecture as that of the local village. Most of the staff is from the local community. The mission of the business is to protect local culture, work alongside locals, and benefit locals. We are so excited to take our clients to this beautiful and luxury Tibetan lodge in the future.
Songtsan Lodge in Shangri-la
We had a chance to eat delicious food at two local, Tibetan-owned restaurants. Kelsang and Tashi are from Shangri-la. Both of them used to work as guides in Shangri-la, but now they provide authentic local food through the restaurants that they run. Their most popular menu item is the local Tibetan hot pot. We enjoyed it’s unique flavor which was very different from Sichuan’s famous hot pot. I am sure our visitors will enjoy their food!
Suonam and Tashi have been working in Shangri-la a guides for many years. Suonam gave us a wonderful tour of Songtsan monastery, explaining its detailed history and culture. Tashi took us to Tiger leaping gorge and he took care of us very well. We were encouraged and motivated by their passion and energy for introducing their culture and land to visitors. They always try their best to make their client feel happy and comfortable. They are considered two of the most experienced and knowledgeable guides in their area of Tibet. We hope to partner with them during more tours in the future.
Our development trip to Shangri-la was fulfilling. We returned home with new friends and a passion to bring more guests to these new places!