Zhilam Hostel is the best option for backpackers passing through Kangding.
Its location up above the city is ideal - a nice short hike up the hill keeps you far enough to be isolated from the noisy city centre, yet close enough to head down and mix with the locals (There was a fun singing/dancing activity going on in the square during our stay).
The food at the hostal is nice. Good coffee, which is desirable on the crisp mountain mornings and a nice variety of dishes made with local ingredients with a touch of home.
The rooms are comfortable, each bed has its own heated blanket and Tibetan-decorated wood frame. There's a cozy entertainment room downstairs if you want to watch a movie or access the internet. The upstairs dining room/reception/lodge is comfortable and a good place to chat with other travelers and staff.
Kris & Stephanie, the owners, are warm, knowledgable, helpful and generous. They acted not only as hostal managers, but advisors for our stay in Kangding and for our subsequent destinations further into Tibet. They gave us advice on hikes in the mountains above the hostal (highly recommended) as well as organized day trips around the area and transportation to our next stop, Tagong.
We really couldn't have asked anything more from this place & its people.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Our hostel sits on a hillside just above Kangding city-center. It can be reached by a foot-path in just five minutes. We can also be reached by car, although the route is a little longer. Being above the town, we enjoy great views, peaceful silence, and a little cleaner air. We are situation across the valley from Pama Mountain (a major tourist destination) and have great views of snow caps to the South. ... more less