Mountain retreat offers a natural welcome
At every organized homestay or B&B in the rustic Zhejiang villages hidden in the mountains, tourists are welcomed as family. Here you can laugh, talk, enjoy the clear air, clean water and ancient mountains, finding a retreat from the busy urban life.
Brandon Shanhaiyunsu in Jinhua is no doubt one of the best. Located at the Hengla village of Jindong district, it is nestled in the nearby hills, making the rustic homestay a pearl among the floating clouds around the mountains.
The operator of the B&B, Zhang Jinlin decided to maintain an original Jiangnan-style design-indicative of dwellings south of the Yangtze River. Inside, visitors will find a lot of antiques and old bric-a-brac that Zhang has collected over the past 10 years, such as a wooden puppet from India, carvings from Africa, bestowing each room with its own distinctive decor.
Sitting with the window open, you can enjoy the nearby mountain views, and a panorama of Jinhua city, which is around 10 kilometers away from the village.
Li Jin, an IT manager who works in Hangzhou, says his family has formed a habit of traveling to the retreat during weekends, especially during summertime.
"The altitude here is higher in Hangzhou, so my wife and I can find a precious cool and refreshing breeze away from the summer heat," he says.
"We usually take the high-speed train, within one hour we will be in Jinhua to start our summer holidays," he adds.
He says what impressed them most is the infinity pool, situated right in front of the B&B.
"You feel like you're being embraced by mother nature, watching the clouds drifting above, it's like swimming in the Mediterranean."
Shao Yongquan, Party head of Hengla Village, adds "All the rooms in Brandon Shanhaiyunsu and its nearby B&B are fully booked nowadays, with more farmers coming to us asking for help in building such facilities".