- Paperback: 336 pages
- Publisher: Rdr Books (September 1, 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1571431012
- ISBN-13: 978-1571431011
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 1 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 26 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,574,552 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Hotel on the Roof of the World: From Miss Tibet to Shangri La Paperback – September 1, 2003
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"Le Sueur sees the funny side and provides us with the means of improving out knowledge" on Tibet. " -- The Guardian
A hilarious account of a clash of cultures.. a comparison with Fawlty Towers is inevitable, but this is funnier. -- The Mail on Sunday
Offers lucid details about living in a place that westerners tend to misunderstand. -- Time Magazine
From the Publisher
In this remarkable book, Alec LeSueur raises the bar on travel writing. Acclaimed as an instant classic, this book has hit bestseller lists across Europe and become a favorite of booksellers, reviewers and reading groups in the United States. LeSueur's wonderful writing style embraces not only the hilarity of a Communist hotel managed by an American hotel chain with an Italian manager, it sheds new light on the Tibetan political situation. This book is a joy to read.
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Belgian chocolate, mmmmmm
Even the flight was a challenge, on an industrial rather than luxury seating plan and a lunchbox of basic, awful food was served. If the food wasn't eaten it was packed up again for the next plane.
The hotel in Lhasa was the highest hotel in the world and had to comply with Chinese enforced regulations as well as local Tibetan customs and weather. The staff didn't know how to work a flush toilet or a vacuum cleaner. When the cleaner bag was full, the staff didn't know to change it. They had thought the dust went up the cord into the wall.
The hotel had to have a thirty percent occupancy before the heating would be switched on. As Alec and other staff lived there, they were keen to fill the rooms and dreamt up a Miss Tibet pageant and other gimmicks to draw media. The journalists usually had to say they had other jobs or China would not allow them into the country.
Alec got to see a good deal of the local life and had mixed feelings about the Chinese invasion. While modern standards were being brought to the impoverished, isolated people, he also thought they should be allowed to worship in the way they wished. This is an entertaining and engaging read.