A spa hotel in Dalian, China
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This week most working stiffs in China, like me, are enjoying a spring vacation that is known here as Golden Week. This year 2005 it started on May 1, the celebration day for all good international socialists. In China, Golden Week is a national holiday period and apparently is the cause for a mass out poring of in-country tourists of over 130 million holidaying Chinese citizens and many times fewer foreign workers (including yours truly).
To avoid the perils of long distance travel by train or plane during a holiday period, my wife Yuan and I decided to indulge in some local tourism. This consisted of visiting a local hot spring spa, Dalian Chengyuan Hot spring Resort. The resort property includes a hot spring spa, a large swimming and hot pool structure, a working Buddhist temple, private villas, lots of lilacs and blossoming fruit trees, some Disney like park and pond settings, a compact hiking trail area, a 3 star hotel and some private villas.
The resort was just a $6 CDN taxi ride from home, including lots of stops on the way. It was in the "countryside" as opposed to being in the city, which is a significant distinction in China. City people are richer, more cultured and look different than country people. About 70% of China's citizenry live in the countryside (which is the term we use in teaching Oral English).
The extensive grounds occupied by the resort, spa et al (about 400,000 sq. meters of land) were decorated with lots of blossoming trees, fruit and lilac, as well as 3rd growth forest, scotch pine +. It was also decorated with many Disneyworld kind of statuary and many outside ponds, that didn't look very salubrious, dying and dead turtles and dead fish! Very China, really! Apart from that, the site seemed to be reasonably clean and taken care of.
There were lots of Chinese on the site who seemed to be in a few groups, including one group who were there for a class reunion event. These visitors seemed to enjoy the site, the hotel and the spa. There was a generous number of Hondas and Audis in the parking areas as well as a few tour buses. Sort of a typical resort site. The "3 star hotel" showed signs of being frayed at the edges, lack of hot water in the bath, (but lots of too hot water at the spa), no functioning bar (only beer, tea and cola service in the hotel lobby). But it was liveable!
The food service was acceptable and we didn't suffer any digestive upset, which is a lurking menace for oversensitive Western digestive systems in China.
When I got home I felt that our overnight had been worth it to see the countryside around Dalian and get away from the city. But the city is looking better and better as its Spring and green mantle sprouts in parks and in the residential garden area where we live, New Hope Garden (Xin Xi Wang Huayuan in Pinyin).
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Check out Robert's Blog: Robert in China
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Published on 5/20/05