Turpan, China | 25 July, 2006 | $3.71 USD
This was a nice hotel, really, but the woman I was traveling with and I asked what cheaper options they had. The staff in the fancy reception area hesitated and finally revealed that they did have cheaper rooms in a building out back but they were hardly suitable for foreigners. “Sounds perfect!” we said.
This concrete bunker behind the hotel was perfect, in fact, because it was below ground and at 104 degrees with no air conditioning staying underground helped tremendously. On the down side, the bathroom was a cement outhouse across the parking lot which was inconvenient when I caught a horrible stomach bug. I often found myself running from the bunker, through the decorated tents where a local song and dance act performed for tourists and across a parking lot at inconvenient times?like midnight, well after all of the lights had been turned off. This meant that I had to find their shoes and clothes in the dark, not waking the other people sleeping in the room and remember to bring the key, a flashlight and toilet paper. To add to the song and dance we were issued shower coupons (one a day!), which needed to be used during a specific pre-determined times.
In the photo you can see a plastic bowl and hot water thermos that is customary in lower end Chinese hotels. I’m not sure if the hot water is meant for washing or drinking but I did appreciate the little customs like that which you come to expect in China.