Thursday, July 4, 2019

A trip to China - Day 5 - From a splendid lunch in Xi'an to Zhangzhou and the Glory Grand Hotel

Day 5  The Terracotta Warriors and Horses

Lunch and then off on another high-speed train

We walked another umpteen miles from the exhibition to a Chinese restaurant that is going to serve us Chinese food again with a beer and a rather potent pomegranate wine that has a real kick.  It was definitely value for money at 60 yuan per person.

After lunch, it was off to the station for another high-speed train ride, this time for about two and a half hours, from X'ian to Zhangzhou dong.

It's the standard high-speed train ride and the usual seat switching because of weird allocation issues, so a little confusion reigns until the train departs at 5:59.

Once we were underway it didn’t take long before we hit the maximum speed

Twenty minutes before arrival, and knowing we only have three minutes to get off everyone is heading for the exit clogging up the passageway.  It wasn't panic but with the three-minute limit, perhaps organised panic would be a better description.

As it turned out, with all the cases near the door, the moment to door opened one of our group got off and the other just started putting cases on the platform, and in doing so we were all off in 42 seconds with time to spare.

And this was despite the fact there were about twenty passengers just about up against the door trying to get in.  I don't think they expected to have cases flying off the train in their direction.

We find our way to the exit and our tour guide Dannie.  It was another long walk to the bus, somewhat shabbier from the previous day, no leg room, no pocket, no USB charging point like the day before.  Disappointing.

On the way from the station to the hotel, the tour guide usually gives us a short spiel on the next day's activities, but instead, I think we got her life history and a song, delivered in high pitched and rapid Chinglish that was hard to understand.

Not at this hour of the night to an almost exhausted busload of people who'd had enough from the train.  Oh, did I forgot the singing, no, it was an interesting rendition of 'you are my sunshine'.

The drive was interesting in that it mostly in the dark.  There was no street lighting and in comparison to X'ian which was very bright and cheerful, this was dark and gloomy.

Then close to the hotel our guide said that if we had any problems with the room, she would be in the lobby for half an hour.

That spoke volumes about the hotel they put us in.

The Glory Grand hotel

Like all the hotels we're staying in, it has an impressive foyer.  You walk in and you think on appearances it's going to be 5 stars, and not the 3 and a half rating on trip advisor.

Pity then that it all goes downhill from there.

We have a corner room and no bathroom.

Have you ever stayed in a hotel that has rooms with no bathroom?  Yes, it's a first for us too.  Still, this is China and I suspect if you complain there's always a worse room to put you in.

For us, it's just going to be an amusing situation we'd bear and give it a one-star rating on TripAdvisor for the hotel.

And just a word of warning, If you decide to book the hotel directly make sure you don't get a corner room.

At least everything else was reasonably ok.  Ok, not so much, the safe doesn't work.

This doesn't augur well for the rest of the tour in this particular place.

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