Destination Shaxi - Spring/Summer 2015
What’s happening in Yunnan's last unspoiled valley…
Old Theatre Inn soundproofed and winterized rooms
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Old Theatre Inn has just undergone a major restoration that makes this heritage boutique hotel the most comfortable in the Shaxi Valley.
One of the biggest challenges for Shaxi hotels is soundproofing and winterizing old wooden buildings in traditional Bai courtyards. The local architecture relies on an open design, which means all rooms face a large courtyard. All buildings are constructed from wood, which means poor sound isolation, whether from activity in the courtyard, above the room or next door. In Winter, wind howls through the courtyard in a vortex, blowing leaves, dust and cold air through gaps in thin wooden walls.
Old Theatre Inn solved these problems by replacing hollow wood interior walls with brick and applying a traditional stone wainscotting with homemade rice husk plaster above. We then took R-15 fiberglass batting with thermal film and attached under our ceiling with bamboo matting underneath. Using this same batting, we created double exterior walls on the courtyard-facing side. We then insulated all window and door frames with felt.
The result is an astoundingly quiet and clean room with beautiful traditional looks and exceptional warmth in winter, while keeping cool in Summer.
Organic dining at the Pear Orchard Temple
Welcome to the Pear Blossom Temple Restaurant, hidden inside the beautifully restored Pear Orchard Temple in Diantou Village, Shaxi. This organic Shaxi restaurant is led by Chef Yang Yuju, considered one of the best cooks in Diantou Village. Her mostly vegetarian fare (though some meat options are available, especially for pizza) is sourced from local family farms each week at Shaxi Friday Market. When the restaurant is busy, you may catch one of our kitchen hands dashing out to pick some chives or other ingredients right from her family's fields.
The Pear Blossom is one of the best places in Shaxi for field to table dining, and has the best international wine collection in the region.
Boston University students Shaxi program
An adventurous groups of students from Boston University Shanghai Center spend three days in Shaxi recently, hosted by the Ginkgo Society. The students enjoyed life with the Li family homestay in their courtyard and engaged in some meaningful experiential learning to help them better understand life for Bai people in Shaxi Yunnan.
Their activities includeded traditional handicrafts such as hemp rope and basket weaving, Bai cooking, farm cultivation and animal husbandry. They also joined a traditional dance performance led by Pear Blossom Temple Restaurant Chef Yang Yuju and the Diantou Village Women's Traditional Dance Troupe.
For more information on short-term or microcampus programs in Shaxi, please visit our Youth Leadership and Cultural Learning pages here.
Tumu kitchen's amazing Shaxi Pizza
Last year a young man from Luxembourg named Tom set up shop in Shaxi and created a wonderful eatery that is a little hard to find, but worth it. Tucked in an alley off the main market street, just down from another great restaurant Xilu, Tumu Kitchen is a little gem - simple and unpretentious with outstanding western food. We recommend the steak, pasta and pizzas. He has a nice wine collection as well. Tom does all the cooking with his assistant. It is the best Shaxi pizza in the old town.
Be our special guests in Yangshuo
As guests of the Old Theatre Inn, we invite you to enjoy a stay with us in our sister hotels, the Yangshuo Mountain Retreat and Yangshuo Village Inn, also designed by Old Theatre Inn partner, Chris Barclay. As our guests in Yangshuo, we offer a complimentary bottle of wine and use of our mountain bikes. Both hotels are consecutive winners of TripAdvisor's Travelers' Choice Award for the past six years, and are a favorite of expatriates from around the region.
Share Your Experience on TripAdvisor
If you’ve had a great experience at Old Theatre Inn, please let us know through TripAdvisor. It’s fast becoming the way new guests choose to stay with us.
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2015 Top 20 B&Bs and Inns in China