Tacheng, Yunnan, China

More than a vertical kilometre lower than Shangri La, Tacheng nestles on the floor of a subtropical valley, enfolded by rice terraces and towering mountain ridges. From the outside, it resembles an Alpine chalet, but the views from the balconies, across the whitewashed farmsteads of the adjacent Naxi village, are quintessential Yunnan. Light and airy, with large picture windows screened by twisting pines, the dining room has to be one of the most elegant in all of China. We also love the balconies attached to the rooms – perfect for late-night star gazing or tea before breakfast, when mist often envelops the valley. Don’t be surprised if you’re offered lunch in at a local farm – an opportunity not to be missed. The snub-nosed monkey sanctuary is also nearby.

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