Welcome to Julian’s Country Inn, Changsha, Hunan, China

How much is the cost for me to live in your inn for 3 months

I know Jinjing is not an idea place to retire, but spending three months in an exotic southern countryside little town like Jinjing is not just fun, but also affordable, for seniors or artists. Let me give you an idea how much the cost would be.

Rent and Food

We charge 2,000 Yuan per guest per month for a room, food, and laundry services. That’s $10 a day.

Air Fare

If you book your tickets a few months in advance, a two ways ticket from California to Changsha is about $1200.
These two items are the main costs, and the basic cost is $1500 if you want to spend three months with my family, the villagers in this town.
Don’t worry about the language, safety. You will eat much healthier food cooked by us, grown in our own vegetable garden. You will be able to ride one of our bicycles to explore the neighboring towns, villages.
We will give you a mobile phone with a local number, so that you can keep in touch with your friends, and me, your translator.
Take a look at my photo. You will be as slim as me!
Specially for Artists, Seniors, Travelers
For your information, the countryside communities kept the most of Chinese traditions.
Think about it.

Philip Hyatt (Arkansas): I really enjoyed visiting Julian’s Inn with Andie Jo in 2015. We stayed there for a week, but it was during construction. Andie Jo and I helped in a very small way (probably not enough). I highly recommend this hotel for anyone who wants to experience rural China away from the large cities and see the real countryside. Not many westerners had visited the area at that time; Julian said we were the third and fourth in town! We were able to go to nearby shops and buy food and other items easily, despite the fact my use of Mandarin was quite limited and I did not speak the local dialect of Chinese. I found it a real pleasure, and was welcomed with open arms when visiting a local Buddhist temple perhaps a half mile away, for example, speaking with the monks in my poor Mandarin Chinese. Julian pointed out the 金井 or “gold well” that the town of 金井(jin1 jing3 in pinyin)that was dug centuries ago and had supplies the town’s water in the past. Who needs a car? Everything you need to see the real China is close by.
Julian Luo owner of Julian's country innWelcome! My name is Julian Luo, the owner of this country inn, in the country side of Changsha, Hunan Province, the middle of China. It is up to one hour drive to the Changsha Airport. If you are expecting to stay in Changsha, please consider staying with us. You will find staying in the heart of rural China quite charming and exciting.

If you are here to find out our room rates, it is about $15 per room. If you are visiting our town but will not stay over night, maybe you want to book seats in our restaurant?
airport pick up in ChangshaWe can pick you up in the airport or the train station with additional fee which is quite reasonable. Since staying in our inn is a lot less expensive compared to staying in the city, the total cost will be still lower.

Click here to book a rooom online.
How much is the cost of staying in your inn for three months, after my retirement.
Click here to book a meal in our organic food restaurant.

Who are we

I, owner and manager of the inn, speak fluent English. You don’t need to worry about the language barrier. You should be able to tell from my writing on this page. I have lived in the USA and had a lover in San Francisco who I adored.

This family run inn, is like a larger version bed and breakfast because the owners – my mother and I – live in this building as well. We work here, taking care of our guests everyday. We have other maids living nearby helping us to clean and cook of course.

Jinxiang, Julian Luo's mother Where are my wife and children? You may ask. And some of you may even ask: “Why are you still living with your mother as your age?” I don’t blame you. My situation is not normal in China I have to admit. The fact is, I am a single middle aged man, a gay man. I refused to get married like most other gay men when I was younger. As for my mother, well, this is nothing unusual. All seniors live with their sons. Only very few of them live alone when their daughter-in-laws are not that friendly to them, or their own sons.

Guest Rooms

There are currently 17 guest rooms/suites in our room, with 40 beds. At this stage we do not have AC installed in our guests rooms, only fans on the wall. But it is a new building, designed to be sustainable and low carbon footprint, so it is quite comfortable in summer, without the need of AC.
Every room has attached bathrooms, with 24 hours hot water.
We do not have TV in our rooms, mainly because we want to encourage our guests to go outside, breathe the fresh air without pollution, instead of staying in bed until late watching TV. Also we have guests from all over the world, it’s better to communicate with other guests. If you do not speak Chinese, just come o the reception room and I will be there to help you as your translator.


Our guest rooms are simply furnished, with tile floors and wooden beds, etc. It is not like most hotels you stayed with luxury lighting fixtures, etc. We tried to decorate our ways, with local materials. We made some pieces ourselves/myself.

Food

We have a dining room on the ground floor.
Most of our foods are from an organic vegetable garden of our own. If you have learned a bit about China’s foods, you will realize this is a big advantage in terms of food safety and health. We also have fish pond in this garden. In addition to that, we never use pesticides, seldom use chemical fertilizer to grow our vegetables. We don’t buy vegetables from the local market.
Every now and then, there will be ladies from other towns visiting the village, carrying sun-dried fresh water small fish and tiny shrimps. We will buy these from them and feed our guests. We also have families living nearby selling us their goats which only eat grass, duck eggs from their own homesteads, chickens, fresh water eel and loach, etc.

Where to visit and the view


The link to watch a video clip of the country inn I took recently, of the 360 degree view on the 6th floor
.

Julian Luo and Kenneth WinslowOur town, with the population of 65,000, is surrounded by green hills with diverse wildlife living in the Luoxiao Mountains. Since we are in the south of China where rainfall is abundant, we have lakes in these mountains which were used to water reservoirs built by people living nearby like my father. We have numerous fish ponds owned and built by the locals. The green paddy fields can be very pretty in summer and fall. One of the most popular activities that visitors enjoy is cycling: the peaceful paddy fields, clean air, specially planned and guided country roads, steams and rivers…parents might on the way teach their children what was what, how they lived in their childhood, etc.

The town government arranged bike rental in different locations in the town. I have one, for free.

Jinjing is famous for high quality organic green tea. Many tourists come here to ride a bike in the guided tea plantation traits. In one of the plantation there is a Manchurian tiger breeding center, one of three such centers in the nation. There are currently over 20 tigers here. Those big cats seem really enjoy living in a much warmer place like Jinjing.

Getting to know local people

Most of the guests are expected to be families/individuals from the City of Changsha, and the town. In addition to that we also expect international tourists every now and then, who would like to experience the rural lifestyle and charm of a southern Chinese town with over a thousand years of history.
If you are from another country, our guests, as well as the local farmers, would be very happy to talk to you with my translation, to listen to your view about what’s special in your eyes, and how different your own country is from here. None of them know what cheese is, very few of them have seen a steak, and most of them have never used a fork to eat. Most local people, including me, don’t drive. The difference is huge and I will be able to show them to you and explain those you will not notice.
Our local dialect is one of many dialects in this mountainous province. In ancient times, this kind of geographic conditions made diversity of culture and dialects possible. People living in the north like Beijing, or Shanghai, or Hong Kong what we are talking about. Even people living in the city of Changsha will find it possible to understand even half of our conversations.
The town’s population is around 44,000. Our inn is about fifteen minutes walk from the town center, so guests may find it convenient to visit the theater, market, post office, and take the bus to towns nearby.
Our international guests were also interested in talking to the local children in schools, or out of schools. I was their translators. If you are also interested in this idea but cannot get here, you are welcome to join our China-USA Friends network. Email me at julian.luo[at]yahoo dot com and I will show you how.

Activities

Attend a traditional funeral
You may have, through some Chinese movies, seen traditional Chinese weddings. Here, our weddings are not as traditional/complicated as those shown in the movies anymore. But a funeral has kept a lot more elements of our traditional cultures and they are worth to attend, even for us. In our culture, seniors have a lot of respect from others even after their death. So it is not surprising that a funeral is more complicated and sometimes more costly than a wedding, at least in the countryside communities where more traditions are reserved.

Chinese funeral = carrying ashes to the grave

Talking to local families
When we drive you or we ride bikes to visit some villages nearby, we will stop by some families and talk to them. Both of you will have a lot of questions for each other and I will be happy to be your private translator.

王家祠堂乡村民宿和老年公寓旧址和老房子前的罗平良
Visiting local schools
Towns like Jinjing cannot afford native English speakers as their English teacher and most of the students have never seen a foreigner before. So if you are willing to spend half a day to talk to them. They will be thrilled. Again I will be happy to be your translator, as I have done before. I am a son of this land and it is my responsibility to make a difference now, after I have seen the world.

Chinese students with foreign teacher
Experiencing the local farming methods and teach them about permaculture
Maybe you have never heard of permaculture. Just check it out on Google or Youtube. I wish I can persuade the local peasants to implement this new system of farming and living. If you are willing to learn it yourself and then teach them with me, it would be great.

永续种植 permaculture 示意

How to get here

Where Hunan is in China
Changsha is the capital city of Hunan Province. Below is the location of Jinjing towards Changsha City.
google.map.changsha.and.jinjing
How to get to our inn when you are in Jinjing
map of Jinjing

In conlusion, let me list some of our features:

  1. As the manager of this country inn, I speak good English. I used to work in California, and have helped international guests to obtain visa for China, arranged their trips in this country. Most of them are American architects and designers who needed my service and experience to find jobs in China. Yes that was my main business before this inn. But the economy has turned downside so I walked into this bed and breakfast business. In addition to that part of experiences working as a bridge, my lover was an English citizen so I have a good understanding of the cultural differences. You will want to hear from me about some of them, quite amazing! I know what a typical foreign traveler needs.
  2. Julian Luo and Kenneth Winslow from San FranciscoChangsha is not a popular destination for international tourists. But for those who have been to China and seen Beijing, Shanghai and the Xi’an Terra-Cotta Warriors, Zhangjiajie is definitely a place to put on your list.  Where is Zhangjiajie you may ask? It is a national park in our province and you will need to stop by Changsha on the way to this beautiful park. In this case you may want to stay in my country inn instead of another city hotel since we are not that far away from the airport and we offer pick up. Here you can see a typical country town in the rural heart of China. We will show you what the local families’ lives are like. You will be taken to see the traditional funerals, weddings, etc. If you like, the local schools and children would love to communicate with you, actually everyone would love to do so as very few foreigners have visited this town, Jinjing.
  3. In most cities of China the air quality is very poor, but here, surrounded by mountains and tea plantations, air is very clean. Local government has cleaned out all the polluting factories years ago.
  4. Our local guides will take our guests to hike in the mountains, along the creeks, and chasing the hares, when requested.
  5. All the vegetables are grown in our own vegetable gardens, the rice we eat is also locally grown, the fish, chicken, goats are all local products.
  6. Our inn is 45 mins drive from the Huanghua International Airport, one hour from the City of Changsha.
  7. The room rates are very affordable. We won’t charge differently if you are not a local guest. Basically each room would cost you less than 20 US dollars per night. And yes each guest room has an attached bathroom with 24 hours of hot water. If you choose the 2-room suite, then the price would double, and if you choose the 3-room suite, it would be around 60USD.
  8. The building is built with the principle of sustainability. 6 inch thick brick walls plus the insulation layer outside and the double-panel low-e glass windows make every room comfortable without the need of air-conditioning. All the rainstorm will be harvested and stored on the 4th floor roof tank, and then pumped to the top of the building for fire-fighting use, flushing the toilets and filtered for shower. I have also designed a large solar hot water system using the south-facing walls to provide hot water for all the guest rooms. The hot water will be heated again by a boiler before they go to each bathroom so even in cloudy weather we will have hot water. (I have worked with international architects and interior designers.)
  9. In summer if you want to sleep on top of the roof, in a tent or mosquito net, it is possible. There is a bathroom there for the campers.

Comments from a friend Philip Hyatt


One morning, after a walk I saw my granddaughter shoveling an 8 foot diameter pile of mortar mix (notes: helping Julian) at Julian’s hotel. I immediately thought, “Wow, I’m impressed. This is exactly the experience I wanted her to get to see the real China, not just the big cities.

Jinjing is an ancient town with many modern homes and conveniences like the internet. Jinjing (金井) means “Gold Well” and is named after an old well that previously provided water to the town. The region is in the richest part of Hunan Province but still gave us a taste of “the real China” away from most tourist regions. We visited a local tea plantation where the owner said some of the tea cost as much as $1000 per kilogram. “Americans aren’t rich enough to buy our best tea. We sell it in Germany and Europe.” It would not be the last time I felt like I am the one who lives in a third world country, not my Chinese friends.


Q: How do I get to Hunan? What is the best way?
Answers

Q: Is it cheaper to book tickets through your agency than myself booking it online?
A: For plane tickets yes, in most cases anyway, for train tickets it would be a few dollars higher as we have to charge for our services.

Q: What is the main advantages of booking your travel services, rather than using our local travel agencies?
A: If you book your travel using your local travel agencies, they will have to rely on a number of Chinese travel agencies in different cities to provide the services. There is no way they can rent a tourist bus in our city to send you to Zhangjiajie National Park, for instance. So it is better to just use Chinese travel agencies to cut the cost, also help with communication. If you want to change your travel plan, or stay in a different hotel, to try a local restaurant, etc, we can satisfy your needs right there, without asking your local travel agency for approval.

Q: Do you have a guide speaking good English?
A: Yes. These words were written by a guide working in the office, I mean, me.





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Booking at AirBnb

We provide invitation letter to you for Chinese visa application

If you need to apply a visa to China and there is no invitation letter from a Chinese company, we can help you. Please provide your information (full name, passport #, birthday, nation, gender, purpose to visit China, age, photo, etc.) to us by clicking here.

We charge $20 per letter of which 50% is to be paid in advance and the rest after you receive a visa. Please note that we need to receive the deposit before we issue you invitation letters.


How many visas



Q: What Chinese company or individual is going to issue me an invitation letter?
A: It depends on your purpose of visiting China. If it’s business trip, Amasia Group will be one of the companies to send you an invitation. If it’s for sightseeing, then Jinhui Travel Agency or Julian’s Country Inn or just myself will be the inviters.

Q: Is the deposit refundable?
A: If you are rejected for the Chinese visa application, then the deposit of $10 will be refunded to you if you use Paypal.

Good luck and welcome.





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Choose the date please, sorry it is in Chinese.

How many adult guests together? (required)

Are there small children or babies in your group? (required)
NoYes

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Do you need us to pick you up in the airport? The fare would be $50 for each car.

YesNoWe will get a taxi in the airport

What kind of food would you prefer? Most of the dishes are around ¥40. Vegetables/sandwich/egg/salads are cheaper, around ¥20.

Or would you prefer us to prepare western family style foods for you like salad (sort of)? Ignore if you want to try local foods.

SaladSandwichpork in brown saucestir fried sliced porkchicken in brown saucestir fried sliced chickenchicken in gravyhamburgerfish steakfried eggstir fried organic vegetableslocal beef steakstir fried sliced beefstir fried sliced duckduck in gravyfried shrimpblack goat meat stir friedblack goat meat in gravygoose in gravystir fried goose

Are there particular activities you would prefer to experience in Jinjing?


Why did you choose us? Thank you for the feedback. It would be very helpful for us.

Additional Message or Questions

Introduce Julian’s country inn near Changsha Airport

There are a few reasons we are recommending this inn for international tourists who are planning to visit Hunan:

  1. Julian is the owner of this inn, and he is also a partner of our Jinhui Travel Agency, helping the marketing expansion of the international department. He lived and worked in California before, and knows how to create a friendly environment for international tourists visiting Hunan and Changsha.
  2. Julian’s Country Inn is located in a town called Jinjing, about 70 minutes from Changsha Airport, not a very big distance. Driving from the airport to the City of Changsha is normally 40 minutes. If you are willing to spend half an hour more on the road, you will have the great opportunity to see what the real Chinese country side is like, instead of big cities like Shanghai and Changsha.
  3. The country inn is built in the skirt of Jinjing Town, which is surrounded by beautiful green mountains and organic tea plantations. The environment is peaceful and unique. We are sure staying there will provide you with wonderful experience of the country side lifestyle after Julian introduces you and your family/friends to the local villagers. You will also see the two dozens of Manchurian Tigers in a nearby breeding center, one of the three in China.
  4. Compared with the hotels in the city of Changsha, the room rates of Julian’s Country Inn is very competitive, on average it is $20 per room. Every guest room and suite is equipped with 24 hours of hot water and attached bathrooms, and toilets not holes on the floor! Some guest rooms have air conditioning system but not all of them. The inn is a very green building, a pioneer in the country side of China in terms of sustainability. All the walls of the 6 floor building are solid red bricks creating a very comfortable environment of steady room temperature even without AC in your room. All the windows are double panels and well sealed. Julian used to work with top international architects in the industry so you can be assured that the building will satisfy most international tourists’ needs. It will not like a cheap hostel in a rural town of China. Plus, there is a very temple of over a thousand of years of history nearby. Some customers prefer to stay in a country inn without TV and AC. Wifi and Internet is everywhere, including the vegetable garden, roof gardens and a tiny farm owned by Julian.
  5. All the guest rooms are on the 1st to 5th floor. The building has no elevator for guests but there is a lift for luggages.
  6. Jinjing is well known for organic tea, which is sold widely in the world for its trusted quality. You may also enjoy the local organic foods prepared by Julian’s chefs.

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