If you had seen as many photos of these two destinations as I had for the past two years, you would have had the same dream as me—to go there immediately! Since Li-An Lodge and Yangshuo Mountain Retreat have been customers of buuteeq for nearly two years, and since I localized all the Chinese copy for these two hotel websites, I knew I would visit my dream place, Guilin China, someday. And now, it’s done!
A paradise among the glorious rice terraces
When you enter Ping An village, beauty unfolds as the rice terraces unwind endlessly, as far as the eye can see. There are no huge construction projects, blaring horns or neon signs. Everything in the village is so quiet and peaceful. Believe me; it is easy to lose your heart and fall in love with this place. Li-An Lodge sits on top of a mountain, and overlooks magnificent rice terraces. It offers 16 unique rooms that have different themes from Chinese culture. It’s like a mini-museum which presents China’s 5,000 year history. I was moved by the obvious deep love of China expressed by the owner, Karen Su (a renowned photographer, painter and adventurous world traveler). Moreover, the staff is gracious and helpful. The food is also wonderful and healthy. Li-An Lodge is a perfect example of Chinese tradition meeting modern luxury.
Yangshuo Mountain Retreat
Yangshuo, a beautiful Haven
Why is Yangshuo is so famous to the Chinese, and even to westerners? I found out the moment I arrived at Yangshuo. Yangshuo is surrounded by amazing karst formations and bordered on one side by the Li River, which has no equal in the entire world! Mound after mound of varied peaks mushroom from the ground. These uniquely shaped limestone hills have been a common subject of Chinese paintings and poetry from time immemorial; they are even featured on the fifth series of the 20 yuan note. My admiration for the beautiful landscape was equaled by my attraction to Chinese rural sights; the old village lying on the band for 1,500 years, water buffalo pulling ploughs through the paddy, and farmers drying their produce on the ground.
During my trip, I discovered that Yangshuo Village Inn and Mountain Retreat are the gems among Yangshuo Hotels. The eco-friendly lodges may look simple, yet they’re anything but. They have neither TV nor telephone, allowing you to escape from the chaos of crowded cities and modern life. Many intricate details help to present their mission, like making their own bamboo furniture, providing refillable aluminum water bottles instead of plastic water bottles, and offering a simple menu with fresh local dishes and a few western favorites. Moreover, the service there is so considerate! If it’s rainy, they put an umbrella outside the door of my room; when I went out at night, they gave me a flashlight. All these details explain why they have such a high rank on Tripadvisor and why they have enjoyed so many guests and repeat visitors!
During my trip, as the Product Manager of buuteeq, I did some research about the Chinese hospitality industry. It has been developing faster than I thought. Although local travel agencies still bring many guests to Chinese hotels, hotel owners realize they shouldn’t give up such a huge profit margin to travel agencies, and that it’s time to do something to get more online guests. Many owners have taken the initiative and use websites and online booking engines. They engage in online promotions and care about guest reviews and ratings, found on all sorts of online communities. I know that many marketing tools hotel owners use are neither professional nor efficient enough, and yet the fact that so many hotel owners are engaging in online marketing it’s a good sign of health for the Chinese hospitality industry. Based on their understanding of digital marketing, I showed the staff of the three boutique hotels I visited some new features buuteeq offers to draw more traffic to their online marketing and get a higher conversion rate for online reservations. They were very interested at the powerful functions buuteeq provides, and they gave me some valuable feedback.
Guilin’s scenery is the best under heaven; Yangshuo’s scenery is the best in Guilin.
So goes the well-known proverb. Like the proverb, I hope more hotels can become well-known by catching up with the modern online marketing technology to entice more tourists to their hotels from all over the world!