Meet our Staff
Patru from YuLongXi by Gongga Mountain
Patru has been with us since the beginning of Zhilam! Patru grew up as a nomad and herding yaks through all the valleys and passes around Gongga Mountain (7556m) was second nature to him before even the age of 13. Now that his own children are grown, Patru has been organizing and guiding guests on treks throughout the Gongga area over the last 10 years, and is probably the kindest and most experienced guide you could ever find for your travels around Gongga. He also helps manage Zhilam Hostel. Please see Minyak Gongga Tours for more info about his treks.
Ojey from Setar
Ojey can do anything! He is our only employee who can work in all areas of the hostel. He not only greets you with a smile at the front desk, but fixes everything, buys groceries, cooks for the staff, & is always willing to work hard for this hostel. He comes from Setar, the home of some of the largest monasteries in the world. One of our favorite things about Ojey is his laugh, and we hope you get to enjoy it to while you’re here.
Dawa Drolma from Dege
Dawa Drolma is in charge of our kitchen. She has a love for food and is truly talented at cooking. She also enjoys learning some Western cooking and puts a lot of effort into all her work. Her beautiful daughter often also hangs out at the hostel.
Tashi Lhajyi from Danba
Tashi Lhajyi graduated from the Tibetan school here in Kangding. Tashi Lhajyi has worked at the hostel for several years now, first in housekeeping and now in the kitchen. Most evenings, you’ll find her behind the scenes cooking up your dinner. She is a very sweet person and she is currently studying to become a teacher. Tashi Lhajyi comes from a small village above Danba and to get there you must ride a horse for 6 hours! Go visit!
Xin Chuan from Danba
Xin Chuan joined our housekeeping staff last year. She is delight to be around and her hard work makes sure you get to sleep in one of the cleanest beds in Ganzi. She loves going to the local KTV and she would be happy to sing some songs with you if you asked her!
The Owners Kris & Stephanie, Adalia & Indira
Kristopher & Stephanie fell in love with each other and with Tibet during an overland tour from Lhasa to Kathmandu. The following year they were married in Colorado. In 2003 they moved to Chengdu to study Chinese and Tibetan, but ended up traveling throughout Western Sichuan and ended up falling in love with it! One year turned into another, and another…and well, they’re still here! Eventually they started a WOFE (Wholly Owned Foreign Enterprise), built a hostel, hired staff and use the center as a both a source of income and as a location for synergizing with local Tibetans in all areas of hospitality industry. They have 2 daughters, Adalia (11) & Indira (8).
Our staff becomes like family, and when its time for them to move on, we are sad to see them go. When they move on to start their own businesses however, we are proud to recommend them when we can. Check out a few of these past staff members and support their new businesses.
Moved on to become a guide.
Moved on to start her own hostel in XinDuQaio.