Songtsam Benzilan is one of the Songtsam lodges located in the enchanting land of The Three Parallel Rivers Area. Benzilan sits between the Shangri-La Lodge and Meili, an itinerary combining these three is a perfect way to explore the area.
At a Glance
Mid-point break between Shangri-la and Meili on one of the Songstam circuits
Many meals are made using deliciously fresh vegetables from their own garden - you can even help choose
Often in the evenings, the villagers gather round to rehearse their local Guozhuang dance, great fun to watch and you can even join in
Plenty of activities - walking in the mountains, visiting local Tibetan villages, Buddhist monasteries, hanging prayer flags, hunting for mushrooms, a BBQ under the stars, chatting with the locals to name some
Benzilan is one of five Songtsam lodges which can be combined with each other to create a circuit trip in the area. The Three Parallel Rivers Area of Yunnan encircles the magnificent land bordered by the mighty Yangtze, Mekong and Salween. The snow capped peaks, glaciated gorges and terraced fields are known by the locals and those who discover it as a 'Shangri-la'. By incorporating stays at different Songtsam Lodges you can really get into the heart of the area and each lodge provides a unique experience to help you capture the magic of the land.
Benzilan is 3 hours from Meili or 2 hours from Shangri-La. The Lodge is nestled in a Tibetan village amongst barley and wheat fields. The surrounding forest is nature rich and changes dramatically with the seasons - flowers are in bloom in spring, autumn is full of color and winter brings a blanket of snow. The area is renowned for its local handicrafts.
The house is magnificent with carved stones and rich Tibetan decorations. There are just 10 rooms, a small restaurant and beautiful surroundings. The vegetable garden produce the main make-up of your meals, and guests often like to get stuck into some gardening themselves!
During your time here you may want to do some serious hiking or some leisurely strolling; guides and advice will be on hand whatever your preference. Explore the local town and its temples, learn about the local wildlife and go to see some of the local handicrafts and learn how they are made.
There are 10 spacious deluxe rooms which all have a similar décor to the suites of Songstam Shangri-La. They are homely and have traditional Tibetan décor with modern comforts, handpicked furniture and artifacts adorn the room.
Three meals a day are inclusive with the rate and they are taken in the small but cosy restaurant located in the main building offering views of the green valley and village field. The food is simple yet deliciously fresh, much of it having come from the hotel's own vegetable garden and fruit trees. There is also a small bar located on the second floor which provides a great venue for guests to socialize.
Whilst at Benzilan you will undoubtedly want to make the most of the wonderful area you find yourself in. There are of course many hikes or leisurely strolls you can embark on to take in the scenery and local wildlife. Benzilan town itself has much to offer culturally as it was once the most important stop of the Ancient Tea and Horse Trail, the trade route that linked Southwest China to India. The area is now renowned for its handicrafts, especially lacquer bowls and boxes and black pottery - get to know how it is made!
Location & Directions
Songstam Benzilan sits 3 hours from Meili and 2 hours from Shangri-La.
When to go
The best travel period to Ringha is April to October, during the summer months. Winter is cold. here is also a big temperature difference between day and night. If you want to experience the most beautiful scenery, April and May is the best time for you to arrive.