Last updated at: (Beijing Time) Friday, May 10, 2002

Thriving Private Inn on Ancient Trade Route

The Dainzin Inn in southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region has become increasingly popular among domestic and overseas visitors in recent years.


The Dainzin Inn in southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region has become increasingly popular among domestic and overseas visitors in recent years.

People are attracted to the inn mainly because it is on an ancient trade route. Guests at the inn can see Mount Qomolangma ( Everest), Zhaxi Lhunbo Lamasery and Zongshan Castle.

The first private hotel in Xigaze, Dainzin Inn was built back in 1986 by Doiso Dainzin, a Tibetan caravan or carriage driver. The three-storey inn faces a courier station across the street and it hung a signboard written in three languages, namely, the Chinese, Tibetan and English. Upon their arrival for coverage for the first time in 1987, the reporters saw the inn was basic and simply furnished and burnished, but it was doing well with its business.

During their second trip in 1992, however, reporters moved into its modern, cozy living rooms in typical Tibetan style, as the old inn had already given way to a brand-new building of seven bright and more spacious bedrooms with reinforced concrete floors, equipped with satellite receiver and improved sanitary facilities. And the inn keeper told them he had spent some 300,000 yuan (36, 000 U.S. dollars) on the renewal project.

Doiso's 16-year-old granddaughter, Degyi, has just returned home after completing an English course in Nepal and served as an interpreter for foreign tourists.

The inn was designated as a special domicile for tourists from overseas thanks to its superb service. Doiso has also been honored as one of Tibet's outstanding entrepreneurs.

"Although the 35-bed inn cannot match modern hotels in big cities, it nevertheless attracted its visitors with its cheap cost, clean environment and unique Tibetan service style as well as its easy access to a shopping center," Doiso told reporters.

"What is more, we folks are honest and straightforward," he added. Citing an example, he said one of the staff members had happened to find and picked a wallet containing 2,000 U.S. dollars and 3,000 yuan while doing cleaning at a guestroom. She immediately handed the wallet to the manager who subsequently assisted local tourist unit to look for and find its owner, a foreigner who stayed at the inn.

Years later, when reporters arrived at the inn for the third time, they found Doiso had passed away. His daughter, Soizhoin stepped in to replace her father and assumed the post of the inn's general manager.

The ambitious and far-sighted Soizhoin opened a cafe and a souvenir store and twice promoted her inn at the Southwest China Tourist Festival. Her daughter, Dogyi, is indeed a good helper and contacts on her behalf travel agencies across China through a computer network.

In recent years, the Tibetan Autonomous Region has been opening itself increasingly wider to the outside world and, in its booming economy, local tourist industry is prospering all the more.

Soizhoin expects still more visitors both from China and overseas to her inn this year as Tibetan Buddhists will want very much to keep up the tradition of pilgrimaging to Xigaze's holy mountain and sacred lake in Xigaze in the year of the horse.

To cope with the needs of a growing number of flocking tourists, Soinzhoin is thinking of constructing a new building and opening a little online chat-room this year to cater to their needs.

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Descendants of Caravan Chieftain in Tibet


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