Lijiang Instant Noodles Hotel
Finally I was in Lijiang, an ancient town at an altitude of around 2400 m, the last Tibetan / Naxi city on the edge of the Tibetan Plateau as finally Tibet gives way to South Asia and China.
Lijiang is a beautiful town on the UNESCO World Heritage List. It was one of the main towns on the Tea Horse Trading Route through which Tea was sent into Tibet and in return hardy Tibetan Horses were traded in return. The town of Lijiang served as the gateway to Tibet and even to India.
And after a bit of a search I finally got to my Hotel, which was partly named after the famed Khampa Tibetan horsemen and warriors.It was the Khampas of this part of Tibet called Kham who were the most feared of all the Tibetan people and they resisted the Chinese occupation of Tibet well into the 1970’s.
The Hotel was built in a traditional mixed Naxi / Tibetan Architecture with a lot of use of wood and stone as often seen in the mountains. It was a nice Boutique type Hotel in an old part of town.
I had had a great day having visited the Tiger Leaping Gorge and the first bend of the Yangtze at Shudu, reached the Hotel and am greeted by a good English speaking Han Chinese girls. And she asks me for my Passport. And she smiles when she realizes that I am Indian.
She asks me to take a seat in the Lounge of this Boutique Hotel. I sit and the Coffee Table book on the Center Table is on, of all places, Rajasthan.
I asked her why do they have a book on Rajasthan there ? A book on Tibet or Yunnan I would understand but not this. We have it here because the owner of the hotel is an Indian.
I was like “Wait a minute”. An Indian owning a Hotel in Yunnan on the region bordering TAR ? Surely that isnt possible. Or is it ? Got me thinking.
Then suddenly a foreigner looking guy walks in. Says “Hi I am the Manager”. I said “Hi” and asked him where he was from as he sure didnt look from the part of the world that I was in. He said “Chile”
Wait. From Chile ? A Chilean manager of an Indian hotel in Yunnan in China. Was it for real or was it the effect of nice fancy liquids that I had been having last night ?
The Manager gets me a Beer. Says here Sir have a welcome drink. I was beginning to like this place already.
I told him why dont you grab a Beer as well as i need to ask you many questions which have popped into my head since I walked in.
He says Ok cool as there weren’t many Guests in the Hotel. So we sat down and the first thing I asked him “Is the owner of this Hotel an Indian ?”
Yes he says but he has a Tibetan partner. But how can an Indian own a hotel here ? Well he goes on, the guy is an Indian origin guy who lives in Nepal and is as such a Nepalese citizen.
Now it started to make sense. It seems the Indian gentlemen’s family made a fortune in the Instant Noodles business and this was one of their 80+ hotels.
Woah. Thats when the thought came to my mind.
I should get into the Instant Noodle business.