Yourantai 悠然台            


Serenity   Harmony  Magic  Tranquility Reflection  

Yourantai signifies “a terrace of serenity” in Chinese. The name is inspired by the life and philosophy of an ancient poet, Su Dongpo, from Song Dynasty (1037-1101). 

Story of Yourantai

The domain stands on a hill, which used to be a rubber plantation. The main structures of Yourantai (the walls, staff house, ponds and paths, the RiverHouse, the Kitchen and Owner's quarters) were built over a two-year time period, from 2003-2005. It was initially conceived as a private home and retreat. Gerard and Lynn realized however that Yourantai would be best if its beauty was shared with others. In October 2005, Yourantai welcomed its first guests. The Palm Villa and Magnolia Cottages were built during 2006. Today, Yourantai has a total of four guest cottages, one guest room and one extra space in the museum-like upper floor of the RiverHouse.

Architecture of Yourantai

Buildings at Yourantai are inspired by traditional Dai architecture.  Yourantai was designed by Lynn and Gerard; the wooden superstructures were built by Dai village carpenters using traditional methods and craftsmanship; other teams of local workers brought their own skills to realize stone and brickwork, walls, floors, doors and windows, bathrooms and the hidden electric systems. With this unique partnership, Yourantai redefines the beauty of traditional Dai architecture.  Most of the wood used in Yourantai's construction was salvaged from old Dai village houses, when many Dai villages are striving to modernize by replacing aging traditional-style wooden houses with concrete and brick structures.

Today, Yourantai is on its way to becoming a thriving micro-business and a rich tropical forest, much like it once was. We hope Yourantai will show alternative ways of viable economic development while restoring badly needed bio-diversity in Xishuangbanna's old rubber tree plantations.

This has been our dream with Yourantai.

Before Yourantai, a rubber plantation

Dai masters preparing wood pillars

Raising the pillars of the River House

Roof of the River House

Yourantai from another hill

Yourantai in the rain

The River House

Bridge to the House

Inside the River House

Big Terrace for dining (under the River House)

A corner of the kitchen

Wood burning oven made of stone

Trails in the garden of Yourantai

Yourantai at night

Tea pavilion in the garden

The Library

An intimate terrace