Wednesday, January 26, 2011

LANZHOU - Hotel, Motel, Holiday Inn

January 14, 2011
Eng: Lanzhou, Gansu, China
Chn: 兰州,甘肃省,中国
Written by Dan

   To our surprise, we get turned away at almost every hotel in the area. Some of the hotels claim they are full due to a big conference in the area. All the cheap hotels tell us flat out that they are not allowed to accept foreigners. Apparently, in Lanzhou, the local government doesn’t think foreigners can handle staying in a place lower than a 3-star rating. One of the places we got turned away from actually had a big frown face with a ‘C’ rating on its hygiene rating plaque – it was probably a good thing we couldn’t stay there.

So we booked a room at the lovely Hua Lian Hotel right across the street from the bus station. We set our bags down and went out to get some food. We were also kind of in the mood for a movie, since it was so cold and the city didn’t seem to have much to offer culturally.

With directions in hand we set out for a stroll. We passed a few movie theaters a found that none of the movies, not even the Western ones, had English. We briefly considered watching Tron in 3D in Chinese but that idea never made it out of the ‘we’ll think about it’ pile.

A few more blocks down, an oasis appeared out of nowhere. Korean Hot-Pot and BBQ buffet, read the sign. We were so excited!

   We find out that for 45rmb ($6 USD) it’s all you can eat Korean BBQ buffet! Unfortunately, the place closes down for a few hours in the afternoon and only reopens at 5:30pm. We are told that it gets filled up really quickly and we are told to come back sometime before 6:00pm.

   Being that it’s 2:30pm, we have to fill about 3 hours. I haven’t eaten since those eggs on the bus and Em has just gotten over her wonky belly, so we are both hungry. But we figure the wait is worth it so we just roam around town. At one shopping center we find a dairy queen rip off called “Dairy Fairy”. We were both scared and intrigued but never got around to trying it.

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