Shangri-la: +86 887 8288 889
Beijing: +86 10 6573 3523
Songtsam Lodges is a serious of boutique lodges founded by Baima Dorji -- a local Tibetan who had worked at China Central TV as a documentary film maker for many years. The brand is independent and managed by ourselves. Songtsam Shangri-la is the first and flagship lodge of Songtsam Lodges, sits next to the Songzanlin Monastery. The founder of Songtsam Lodges also founded Songtsam Retreat at Shangri-la, which is a luxury hotel overlooks Songzanlin Monastery run by a different team.
About the Team
We recruit staffs from the local villages to run the daily operations of the lodges.
Our family atmosphere draws our staff together, with many members working with Songtsam from the very beginning. From different villages around the area, everyone has a story to tell about their hometown, helping to provide a vivid travel experience for all our guests.
About the Place
The great China tectonic plate runs into the Tibetan Plateau in Northern Yunnan, forging high mountain ranges with soaring snow-packed peaks. Three major rivers, the Yangtze (Jinshajiang), Mekong (Lancangjiang) and Salween (Nujiang) run through deep gorges with wild, untamed scenery. This charming destination is diverse in nature and culture due to its unique geography, indeed, one can experience all four seasons in just one day. Due to the vast range in altitude, travelers can quickly move from cold snowy mountains to warm flower-filled valleys.
Northwest Yunnan is the richest area in China in terms of biodiversity, boasting unique flora and fauna, and is possibly the most biologically diverse temperate region on earth. This is the original location of the world’s gardens: in spring and summer, the surrounding hills are blanketed with rhododendrons and camellias. The Victorians collected and brought these to the Western world. The temperate forests and lowlands contain over 3,000 species of orchids and more than 200 of the world’s 400 species of rhododendron. In summer time, strikingly blue irises are in blossom along the mountain paths.
Bird watching and cycling bring travelers in close proximity to all kinds of migrant birds at their winter heaven around Napa Lake
Bird watching and cycling bring travelers in close proximity to all kinds of migrant birds at their winter heaven around Napa Lake, including the black-necked crane – the holy bird for Tibetans. High in the forests between the Mekong and Yangtze River lives the rare Yunnan Golden monkey (Rhinopithecus biteti), one of the world's most endangered primates - fewer than 2,000 are now found in the wild. These monkeys live at the highest altitude (3,000-4,500m) of any animal primate.
Historically, people were separated by the soaring mountains and deep gorges in this area, facilitating the development of the most distinctive ethnic cultures. Kham Tibetans in Diqing are characterized by their big white wooden houses and colorful customs which differ from Tibetans in other areas of Tibet. In this area along the Lancang River, although the shining golden roofs of Tibetan Buddhist monasteries sparkle in the light, Tibetans here follow Catholic teachings and practice their ceremonies at small Catholic churches surrounded by vineyards. Traveling from the highlands to the banks of the rivers, styles of housing and costume change. The Lisu peoples, another ethnic group, dwell close to the water in the mountain valleys.
The Tea and Horse Caravan Road, an ancient trade route linking tea-producing areas with Tibet, connects the mountains and deep gorges as well as different ethnic groups. For hundreds of years, horse caravans traveled along this route carrying tea to Tibet and India, and bringing other commodities back home. This route has formed a corridor rich in culture, as different groups interact with each other in their daily lives. Today, one can travel around this area journeying along different parts of this ancient trail.