We arrived in Chongqing yesterday afternoon. It was 36 degrees and our taxi driver dropped us off about 700 metres from the hotel. That doesn’t sound a lot, but dragging all our stuff in the heat was pretty trying. When we arrived we were told that our water (2 bottles a day as standard in Chinese hotels) was in the fridge getting cold. It was very welcome, as you can imagine.
When we were planning the trip I had looked at apartment style hotels, but they seemed expensive after our normal $40 per night hotels when travelling in China. But, we have had had pretty good accommodation on the tour, and then paid 1500 rmb for a two night extension at our last hotel in Beijing, so 3000 rmb for five nights seemed quite a bargain. For the money we get breakfast, including Western items such as toast and cereal, and a studio apartment with a small kitchen and a washing machine tucked away in cupboard.
We met with Della and Tony for a lovely meal at a nearby restaurant. We had lots of catching up to do, as well as enjoying beautifully presented and delicious food. We had not been able to find the little supermarket we used to go to before meeting with them, so Della and Tony showed us where it is, tucked away downstairs. There is another one nearby that is more upmarket and has some Western foods. Not that I think we will need it.
On Tuesday we went to the China National Museum where I spent my time in the lovely cafe whilst Stephen went exploring. In the evening we had arranged to go out with Stephen’s former student, Felix (English name, not his real name). There was quite a lot of rain, some very heavy, in the afternoon and evening, so we were dodging showers. The rain didn’t seem to affect the smog very much. We enjoyed catching up and he did his best to understand us – he said he doesn’t get opportunities to speak English, and I felt he managed extremely well.
Our room in Chongqing decorated with our washing.