The tiny plane finally landed. It was still raining in China and the mist was just settling in on the surrounding mountains. We walked quickly into the airport terminal catching glimpses of the green mountain peaks. After visiting mesmerizing Avatar Mountains, we knew we should not expect too much. This was supposed to be just a nice and relaxing weekend in Guilin, China scenic area before heading off for a roller coaster of colors, tastes, noises and aromas in Beijing. But we were wrong.
Sitting in a taxi speeding through the six-lane streets of Guilin, weaving in and out of heavy traffic and driving against it with no seat belts on, we weren’t even scared. We had been staying in China for over a week now and quickly got used the Chinese street charades. What few months ago would have given us a heart attack, now was our new normal. But the traffic could not have distracted us from what we were witnessing outside. Glued to the window, passing slowly behind the speeding taxi were the most picturesque mountains ever seen, dressed up in a cozy coat of greenery, rounded peaks, hidden valleys, rivers and lakes sneaking in between the green mountain cones. We were instantly swept of our feet. It was misty and foggy, yet the beauty of the area was undeniable. The large, distinct and rocky mountain peaks almost fully covered by plush-like greenery captivated our imagination. They were everywhere. It was an odd combination of serene mountains overlooking the chaos of the city and hectic traffic on the roads of China.
About 30 min taxi ride from the airport, we finally passed the Guilin’s traffic jams and headed for the less traveled roads. The slowly disappearing traffic, now replaced by few scooters with colorful umbrellas passing us on the way, was as sign that we were getting closer. The road became very quiet with greenery surrounding each side and before we knew it, we were entering a large wooden bridge leading to Lu Jia Village. It was getting really dark and rainy and we could hardly see our new place.
Soon a Chinese lady appeared in front of the car, covering her body from the heavy rain and motioned the taxi to follow her through the narrow alley. Finally the car stopped and the large wooden doors, as if a gate to this beautiful house opened. We just arrived in our new home in China.
Even in the rain, the white architecture of the village and narrow alleys intertwined within were stunning. We booked our stay in China on a whim and couldn’t believe how lucky we got. This beautiful place was exactly what we dreamed off and were relieved to leave the chaotic city of Guilin behind.
But we didn’t know yet how lucky we truly were. Still jet-lagged, we quickly settled for the night falling asleep to the sound of the falling rain and the darkness outside.
The next morning we woke up to this…..
We couldn’t believe that this will be our home. The top to bottom windows, as if a frame for the beautiful mountain views was right in front of us.
The room was spacious and airy, with hardwood flooring throughout. The tiny table with the cutest Chinese tea set adorning the little podium just where the mountain scenery was entering the room. The room was not only pretty but had everything we were missing in our last stay. Great bathroom with large shower, AC and the best internet we’ve experienced in all of China.
The top to bottom windows, crisp, white linens and freshly brewed hot tea was everything we could have asked for and more. Our new home, the Flower hotel was quickly becoming our home away from home and Lu Jia village one of the most peaceful and authentic Chinese experiences we could only dream off. Each day would be filled with strolls through the rice and flower fields, bamboo rides on the lake and mesmerizing mountain scenery.
But the mountain views were just a cherry on the cake. The true feeling of home came few days later as we hang out downstairs with Emma, the owner, and her family who runs the hotel. They all grew up in Guilin and were a wealth of knowledge about the area. They were so kind and warm. So each evening from then on, we would spend downstairs at the large traditional wooden tables settled on the colorful Chinese pillows lining every wood-carved chair and hang out until late hours of the night.
We got a taste of local cuisine, local culture, freshly picked tangerines and of course local LiQ beer. And even though in the beginning we did not speak any Chinese and our wonderful hosts, except for Emma, didn’t speak much English, we all now know how to say “beer” in both languages!
3 days into our stay at Flower Hotel, we rescheduled our trip to Beijing and spend glorious 2 weeks in Lu Jia village with our new family.
The Flower Hotel is located in Lu Jia Village. Learn more about Lu Jia Village in “Why you must stay in Lu Jia Village when visiting Guilin, China”
You can book Flower Hotel on Booking.com or directly at Flower Hotel Address: 30 Lu Jia Village, XiuFeng District, Guilin, GuangXi Province China, 541001. Tel: 18977338933
How to get there:
Fly to Guilin Liangjiang International Airport (KWL). If you are staying more than 3 nights, email Emma and she may arrange to pick you up from the airport. If you are staying less than 3 nights, take a taxi for 100 Yuan (around $15) directly to Lujia Village.
Ready to pack your bags yet? Have you found any gems like that during your travels? If yes, share, share, and share!