While teaching Sino-US Relations on a Semester at Sea Voyage, I gathered half a dozen shipmates – faculty, students, and lifelong learners -- who were willing to pass up the Forbidden City and the Great Wall to spend our five days in China at my favorite retreat, in Xizhou, a small town in a remote corner of Yunnan. As soon as our ship docked at Shanghai, we flew to Kunming, where we were met by Andrew and a van from the Linden Centre.
When our group awoke the next morning to find themselves in a lovingly restored Dali marble mansion surrounded by breathtaking countryside, they knew the trip had been more than worthwhile. Brian Linden took us in tow for an intimate introduction to the people of Xizhou. A charming and outgoing Sinolophile/art connoisseur/entrepreneur, Brian didn’t even have to knock to gain access to the homes of local families. The next morning, Brian received an invitation from a neighboring village, so everyone at the Centre piled into horse carts or hopped on bicycles to attend a traditional Bai nationality house warming. Thanks to the Centre’s symbiotic relationship with the local people, we felt more like members of an extended family than tourists.
By the time we boarded a plane to rejoin our ship in Hong Kong, our entire group was mesmerized. In the course of our fourteen-weeks’ westward voyage from Ensenada to Barcelona, we visited a dozen ports of call and enjoyed unparalleled opportunities to encounter people from diverse and fascinating places – but, by the end of the trip, our group still ranked our experience at the Linden Centre at the top of our list.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Linden Centre is a meticulously restored courtyard mansion in the pristine Yunnan village of Xizhou. Great care was taken to preserve the beautiful indigenous architecture of this nationally protected cultural relic, while up-scale modern conveniences including heating and air conditioning were added to ensure guests a comfortable and absolutely unique stay. In this elegant setting, connect with the local ethnic cultures that make this part of China so special. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- The Linden Centre Hotel Dali