Bordering Yunnan Province and Tibet, at the foothills of Meili Snow Mountain, is Wunongding Village.

For centuries, things have remained pretty much the same for the 22 Xianggelila households who still live there.

The ones who have moved on have left behind not just vacated Tibetan homes but also a history that can be preserved and enjoyed by others, albeit in a less traditional way.

One of the vacated premises is now the Sunyata Hotel Meili, which opened in June.

Chinese architecture firm Zhaoyang Architects took 1,095 days to turn the more than 100-year-old building into Crate & Barrel meets rustic Tibetan space.

To retain its raw spirit, the architects kept the aged texture of the natural materials, and used salvaged wood and earthy colours for the hotel’s exterior and furniture. They also installed Tibetan-style fireplaces, Buddhist murals and reclaimed doors.

The hotel’s extensive library lets visitors learn more about the rich Xianggelila culture.

The reading material will come in handy. To encourage guests to go off the grid, there’s no Wi-Fi except in the lobby, and no electronic devices in the rooms.


This was first published in the August Issue of our magazine.