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[China Story] A home visit to Karzai Jas Toast Manor

Updated:2017-07-27 09:36:36   english.yunnan.cn

At dusk, white hadas are presented to hordes of tourists by Tibetan youngsters, accompanied by Tibetan greetings. 

Then, the visitors are invited into the chamber to taste yak meat, butter tea and barley pastry set on 124 tables. The dinner is followed by Tibetan performances.

This is scene at the Karzai Jas Toast Manor in Shangri-la, whose owner is He Yunlei, a 32-year-old man. 

Yunlei used to be a tour guide, making him acquainted to ethnic cultures in many places. Inspired by the Tibetan King Palace in Lhasa, he founded the toast manor in 2011.

“At first, few visitors came and the business was bleak.” Then at a Shangri-la tourism promotion in Shanghai, Yunlei came across the Ctrip manager in charge of Yunnan. 

After in-depth communication, the manager designated Yunlei’s manor as the only spot to entertain Ctrip tourists. Thus his business began to thrive. 

Besides dining, visitors can see traditional Tibetan items at the manor, such as buckets, water ladles, saddles, broadswords, Thangkas and potteries. 

All cultural items are collected via various channels, and some come from very remote Tibetan areas, according to Yunlei. 

Now there are 54 singers and dancers working at his manor, 90% of whom are from rural areas. The newly employed ones should go through a 2-month training in Tibetan culture and performance. 

After getting rich, Yunlei also aided two poor undergraduates and 28 poor households in his hometown, providing them daily necessities. 

“In the future, I want to invite folk artists to set up workshops in my manor,  which will allow visitors to appreciate the Tibetan culture more directly,”said Yunlei.

He also plans to engage more in intangible cultural heritage protection in Shangri-La.

At 9:00pm, the performance ended and a bonfire was made at the manor court, sending the tourists back to their rooms.

Chinese reporting by Yunnan Daily staff reporters; Trans-editing by Eric 

  

Keywords:   home visit Manor Shangri-la