The Hotel on the Roof of the World: Five Years in Tibet by Alec Le Sueur
The very aptly named Mr Pong had the kind of breath that could stun at over ten meters... This wasn't just bad - there was something rotten down there. Something had crawled in and died. Gunter howled with laughter as he saw the look of horror on my face. It was the best entertainment he had seen since he had watched Chef chasing yaks through the kitchens.
Few foreigners are lucky enough to set foot on Tibetan soil, but Alec Le Sueur spent five extraordinary years there, working in the unlikeliest Holiday Inn in the world. Against the breathtaking beauty of the Himalayas unfolds a highly amusing and enlightening account of his experiences.
Fly infestations at state banquets, unexpected deliveries of live snakes, a predominance of yaks and everything yak-related, the unbelievable Miss Tibet competition, insurmountable communication problems and a dead guest are just some of the entertainments to be found at the 'Fawlty Towers' of Lhasa.
Le Sueur, the only Westerner since the days of Heinrich Harrer to spend so long in Tibet, examines the country's intriguing cultural background, providing a fascinating insight into a country that was only just opening up to the outside world.