Dennis Goodboy

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 02 August, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 02 August, 2011, 12:00am


Last weekend I jumped on an aircraft... well, first I waited and waited. The Hong Kong Airlines flight bound for Guilin International airport was delayed for two hours.

Guilin is quite a random destination for a pup with particular food requirements, you may be thinking, but read on.

This was my second proper trip to the mainland. (I've just got back from Tianjin and I've been to Shanghai and Beijing, but I was too young to remember anything now.)

I'd heard of Guilin, of course. It's the 'place stereotypical Chinese paintings are based on'.

Yet I'd never really thought I'd visit it. So when the opportunity to accompany the deputy editor came up, I howled and howled until the rest of the team gave in and she let me go with her.

And woof, am I glad I did!

I'll talk next week about the sheer beauty of the place.

Today I want to focus on some of the green efforts of the hotels we stayed at: the Yangshuo Village Inn and its sister hotel the Yangshuo Mountain Retreat.

These beautiful hotels are just an hour's drive from Guilin. The area is packed with hotels, some of which are cheaper. But these two stand out with their commitment to the environment and the local community.

The hotels are filled with furniture made from locally sustainable bamboo. No plastic bottles are used: shampoo and shower gel are dispensed from refillable ceramic bottles, and drinking water is consumed from aluminium flasks.

Water is heated by solar energy, and the Mountain Retreat has its own well.

Vegetables and herbs for the Village Inn's restaurant are grown on site and all food waste is recycled for animal feed. As for the staff, they all come from surrounding villages and share in the hotel's vision.

Well, I don't want to sound like a travel agent, but I was so impressed by the efforts of these two hotels to give back to the community. If only everyone had such a great attitude, we'd be much happier pups.

Stay tuned for the river cruise next week!