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2015 China

11 March, Bangkok (Thailand) to Shenzhen (China)
Overseas Chinese Building Hotel 200CNY

We departed a hot, humid Bangkok at 19h05 and arrived in a cooler Shenzhen at 22h50 local time, one hour ahead of Thai time. We flew AirAsia from Don Mueang airport, home of budget carriers. Shenzhen’s Bao'an International Airport is modern, attractive and efficiently run. We encountered an unexpected and major problem there, however. We were unable, for some inexplicable reason, to draw cash from either of the airport ATMs. We had some US dollars on us, but were not sure a taxi driver would accept these and we had a 35km ride into the city and our reserved hotel. In the lengthy, but fast-moving taxi queue, we came across two aspects of independent travel in China we are likely to encounter again: neither the man ushering people into taxis nor our taxi driver could speak or read English, including the name of our hotel; and a young couple behind us, hearing our predicament, stepped in to offer their limited English services. We did not tell the driver we had only dollars on us, hoping either that he would accept these or that the hotel would pay him on our behalf, which they did. The hotel gave no hint whatsoever to the non-Chinese speaker that it was a place of accommodation. It displayed Chinese characters only and from the outside looked more like a casino than a hotel. But the staff was helpful and friendly, the beds comfortable and the bathroom clean.     

The exchange rate, South African rand to Chinese yuan: ZAR1 = 0.50CNY.

Overseas Chinese Building Hotel
Overseas Chinese Building Hotel
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