Songtsam Cizhong

Nestled in the base of the Upper Mekong River valley, the remote Songtsam Cizhong hotel is 5,900 feet above sea level and surrounded by fertile green fields dotted by prayer flags, farmhouses, and waterfalls. The small Tibetan town was discovered a century ago by French missionaries, who erected the beautiful, Gothic-style Cizhong Catholic Church that stills stands – albeit in a state of some disrepair – and holds services in Tibetan every Sunday to this day. There are even some wall paintings and facades inside the church that survived the Cultural Revolution. The hotel offers one room type, and all accommodations are spacious and equipped with all the essentials. Rooms can be appointed with either one king-size bed or two twins, and they have a deck from which guests can enjoy spectacular views. The hotel’s restaurant serves local dishes, along with afternoon tea and a modest selection of wines, and there is also a library and an on-site garden. The Tibetan village that the Songtsam Cizhong calls home is surrounded by the grapevine-covered slopes of local vineyards – note that local wines are available at the hotel, and there are also hiking routes through the mountainous surrounding region. Guided hikes through Catholic and Buddhist Tibetan villages can be arranged, as can chats with elderly villagers at their local Catholic churches.

Why We Love This Hotel

Steeped in History: The 100-year-old, still-active Cizhong Catholic Church is a must-see, and there are several other churches in the surrounding region.

Remote: The Songtsam Cizhong is the definition of “off the beaten path,” but this seclusion lends to its romance, whisking visitors off to a simpler time without having to sacrifice too many modern comforts.

Nature: Besides cultural exchanges, guests can also take relaxing walks and epic hikes through the gorgeous surrounding area

Cizhong, China
Hotel Type
Location Type


  • Garden
  • Library
  • Restaurant
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