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Published: September 24th 2005
View from the Shangri-la Hotel
We say goodbye to our lovely room with one last check of our email.
Friday, September 16, 2005 Weather: Bright and sunny. Temperature: Still in the 80's.
Today we must move. We attempted to book an extra night at the Shangri-la but they were full. That may have been a blessing at $350.00 U.S. per night! Prior to leaving on the trip I was in contact with a friend found on the Virtual Tourist site who is a resident of Shanghai. Emily was kind enough to recommend an alternative to staying in the big, five star tourist hotels. She recommended a small hotel called the Rui Jin located on the Puxi side of the river in an old area known as the French Concession. We made reservations there through Sinohotels.com well before leaving home. I splurged and booked an Executive Deluxe room at the daily rate of $125. U.S.!
Around 11 a.m. we packed our bags and caught a taxi being careful to make sure that the driver knew where we wanted to go before getting in the cab. The staff at the Shangri-la are most helpful in arranging taxis. It was not a long trip and we could tell as we approached the hotel that we were no longer in the tourist
The Rui Jin Hotel
We arrive at Reception of our new hotel.
area. As the taxi approached the hotel and turned into the drive was saw that it was an oasis of gardens, ponds and several buildings with a stately look to them. One of the buildings was rather new and the rooms there were less expensive and undoubtedly smaller than ours. We were greeted by Reception and assigned our Suite in the main building on the second floor.
As we entered the building following our bellman there was quite a hush. We were the only people around! It looked like we were in someone's home! When we entered Suite 1204 it was immense. It had a large double bed, desk, boudoir, tables and chairs. Wow!
The bath was also immense. Seriously, I have had hotel rooms smaller than the bathroom in this Suite. This was old era luxury at its finest. Upon arrival we called our friend in Shanghai, Emily, who agreed to meet with us later in the day to show us around the area. Around 3 p.m. she appeared at our door and we got to know each other. Then we went for a walk in the nearby areas of the French Concession. We had no plan
The Rui Jin Hotel
The lobby of the building where our Suite is located.
for the rest of the day so we just wandered about. When I expressed an interest in pizza for dinner and asked if there was a Pizza Hut nearby Emily indicated that there was but that we might be surprised as the pizza in China is made to Chinese tastes and doesn't taste like it does in the states. She recommended an Italian restaurant with which she was familiar so off we went. We then enjoyed a nice lasagna for dinner that was more than welcome as an alternative to the Chinese menu that we had experienced for the last two weeks.
After dining we went to a local bazaar to do some more last minute shopping. Okay, I admit it, this was a "knock off" bazaar and I was interested in seeing what they had for sale. Emily introduced us to one of the merchants with whom she has done a lot of business before her trips to the U.S. As a result, we got the rock bottom price right from the start and did not have to do much bargaining. We managed to pick up some fine Gucci watches for $2.50 each! Ethel purchased a Burberry's wallet
The Rui Jin Hotel
Arrival at Suite 1204
for a few dollars. It was fun just looking at the array of merchandise that was available.
Later in the afternoon we said goodbye to Emily who had matters that she needed to attend to as she was going out of town the next morning. Her support and assistance made our extra day in Shanghai most enjoyable and are certainly appreciated. We hope to see her again some day on one of her visits to the U.S.
We then returned to the lovely grounds of the Rui Jin and walked around a bit before retiring.
Next: The fastest train in the world!
Tot: 1.434s; Tpl: 0.086s; cc: 10; qc: 27; dbt: 0.0154s; 1; m:saturn w:www (188.8.131.52); sld: 2;
; mem: 1.3mb