Old Boat
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Bohemian Artist's Wooden Castle
Is Old Boat (谷船) a restaurant, a bar, or an art studio, or an art gallery? It looks like none of the above, yet it's all of the above. Old Boat is an architectural masterpiece, a sprawling warren of dozens of spaces with unusual floorplans, staggered heights, interlocking and connecting through creatively designed corridors and passageways on the slope of a large hill. The dining room occupies the main floor, while the upper rooms are cozy nooks with every manner of seating for drinking tea, lounging, and reading. Every space has been designed meticulously. Floors, walls, and ceilings are entirely made of wood, and plants, art, and antique furniture and machines give each space a different character. The complex serves as a studio space and gallery for its designer, an architect as well as mixed media artist and painter. Unpresumptuously located outside Jinning, a satellite of Kunming, the capital of China's southwest Yunnan Province, Old Boat is a rare find. Its owner , independently wealthy, has created a beautiful space, open to all, and leaves all publicity to word of mouth. If you're ever in the Kunming region, it's definitely a reason to make the hour long trip south to Jinning, hometown of Zheng He, China's Ming Dynasty era navigator, the first Chinese to discover Africa and Arabia.
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