01.07.2018 38 °C
Flight to Guangzhou (9 hrs) all good, landed 6.30 pm local time and everything went smoothly at the airport.
First sign of concern was when we booked a taxi to take us to our hotel. We showed the booking to the driver and he looked perplexed (no English) and when he showed it to security they had no idea either. A young Chinese traveler offered to read and translate and then spoke for a while with our driver, who was not showing any clearer look on his face. Not feeling optimistic we dived in anyway!!!
He headed off and was driving past all the busyness of a large city, changing lanes - 4 at a time- with great efficiency. We were driving...driving... the sun set, the lights came on, still more driving peppered with more deep sighs from the driver. After about 2 hours he makes a sound of triumph and points enthusiastically at a point in the distance, we dare to celebrate as he ducks through lines of traffic, dropping us off, he then makes a very speedy exit whilst negotiating a large tip.
Yes the name is similar to the one on our booking confirmation but still different enough to leave us feeling concerned.
We had good reason to be concerned, the charming concierge had never heard of it, its address was a mystery and they weren't answering the phone no. we had!
Toby Law, you can wipe that smirk off your face, I can see it from here!
The dilemma was further complicated by the fact that our train tickets for Guangzhou to Xian and then from Xian to Beijing had been "delivered" to this hotel ?!
Not looking good, getting very late, after midnight by our body clocks and a humidity of 100% trying to stay calm as our options seemed to dwindle, our friendly concierge proposed calling 911! Well at least we'd have our accommodation covered for the night.
Eventually the police arrived and were no where as scary as I had envisaged - didn't even carry a gun- and they, along with our amazing concierge made increasingly emphatic phone calls on our behalf as we tried to communicate using a translating app which was about as reliable as asking Siri a question.
Finally what we discovered was that our original booking was "sold on" by our original hotel to yet another hotel and they were now sending a taxi over to collect us and take us to the correct place. So we were eventually collected and left with effusive thanks to our generous advocate.
Arriving at the new hotel (about 1 am body clock time) we inquired about our train tickets to Xian and Beijing which we were informed would be waiting for us at our accommodation. As we asked the receptionist about our tickets a blank look came over his face. "What tickets?'