I owe most of my travel mistakes to lack of adequate research, specifically via the marvelous new service called internet. Thus, when I had thought escorting my 84-year old mother on an overseas odyssey was going to be only mildly challenging, my s-i-l raised her eyebrows and questioned my common sense. And right she was; don't get me wrong, I love my mother and this is an excellent way for me to honor her and I am certainly the best person to undertake such a task--I have enormous experience travelling, domestic and overeseas. It was relatively easy--until formally entering China proper. You see, Hong Kong is a special administrative region (01JUL2014, a full suffrage demonstration was held; the similar demand for democracy on Tianamen Square held some two decades ago was throttled) and one must go through a rather exhaustive customs/immigration/inspection/formal border crossing with passports/visas into Shenzhen if you want to go further into China by land. In my case, we were taking train 586 to Chengdu (that is another great/terrible story I'll post in the forum) for which I had tickets waiting. As always when in an unfuamiliar place, I do a dry run. I couldn't believe how difficult it was for us to cross; it reminded me of when I and my two children were crossing from Mongolia into Russia on the Trans-Mongolian. Anyway, I soon realized the time required meant eliminating a third overnight in Hong Kong and staying in Shenzhen instead, close to the train station. The closest hotel was this fine establishment.
It was an phenomenal difficulty to book a room here--my Catonese (you use Mandarin in the North) is seriously limited--and virtually no English was spoken by any staff. But the motions are all pretty much the same anywhere around the World in most hotels. Despite the friendliness of the staff, it took me, literally, hours to not only book the room (#817), but then to try to reverse that because I didn't want the room immediately, only for the the following night. It was extremely frustrating, but I did finally make headway. When we returned the next day, they were ready.
Much to my mother's pleasure, this room had a Western style toilet in the bathroom with ample hot & cold water. Both beds were the way I like them: rock hard. You'll appreciate that if you've ever been on a spongy/soft mattress (like the one I have at home, which I hate and frequently spend my nights on the floor) because your back will hurt. Anyway, there was an odor in the room, perhaps that of aerasol treated smoke, which was kind of given away by the fag burns on carpet & furniture.
Since my mother has limited mobility--uses a cane and wheelchair at times--the lift was more than appreciated. In fact, the presence of an elevator is often the sole determining factor in my choice of overnight location.
I won't argue with the other reviews, but his hotel turned out to be a tripsaver for us. Had we not been able to stay here and kept my original plan of entering from Hong Kong the morning of our Train 568 departure from Shezhen Railway station West, we would have missed not only the train, but would have put a servious cramp into further planned travel inside China as well as having lost significant amounts of money already put toward ticket purchases, overnight stays, etc. I am thankful this hotel was available and we were able to get in. Thank you, Overseas Chinese Hotel!
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