First things first, I got food poisoning after having eaten entirely their food for the past 5 meals. The beauty of Jiuzhaigou was made harder to appreciate as I had to stop at every bathroom along the way to relieve myself.
For the price of 240 yuan per person per night, I was expecting restaurant quality meals and decent service. This was not the case. Right off the bat, my free pick up from the bus station consisted of a ride to their restaurant in town, followed by a 2.5 hour wait for the ride to the homestay. Then for the first morning in the park, we had to have an extended 15 minute negotiation to get them to drive us to the park 10 minutes before it opens. In the end, our ride was late, and we showed up 30 minutes later than we had hoped, and were promptly engulfed by the typical jiuzhaigou crowds we had been trying so hard to avoid.
Now for the food. We were promised authentic, home-cooked tibetan food. The first night I was served: a plate of rice, sliced tomatoes and fries. Vaguely reminiscent of a lazy college student's late night snack, this meal barely filled me up. The other meals (the same every day) were comparably dull.
This is to add, of course, to the other charms of living in the country. Things like no internet, one plug in the entire house, spotty electricity (went out 2 times over 1.5 days), one bathroom for the whole house, cold nights with no heating.
This sounds like a good concept, but you would be far better doing what I did after 2 nights and staying in a nicer room at one of the many hostels a 5 minute walk from the entrance for half the price (110 yuan a night).
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Zhuo Ma's Jiuzhaigou Home Stay is the Lonely Planet and Rough Guide top choices for Jiuzhaigou accommodation. It is located in the beautiful Shang Si Zhai Valley which is 15km from the park entrance (free transfers provided) where you will see local Tibetans go about their daily life, herding yak and goats as well as going on pilgrimages around our sacred mountains. Zhuo Ma runs the home stay with her mother (Ama) and brothers. They share their time between the home stay and their A Bu Lu Zi Tibetan Restaurant and between them will make sure you have a great stay! There is 24hrs hot water and a western toilet in the home stay. It is a traditional Tibetan home so there are no en-suite bathrooms. There is one bathroom on the ground floor of the home as well as two outhouse toilets, one with a solar heated hot shower. They do everything they can to make your stay comfortable but please note that this is a home stay in a beautiful, traditional Tibetan valley, not a hotel. ... more less
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