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Sichuan 2019-20 Days 8.5-9

Hotels that look fair and feel foul; the end

sunny -10 °C

Day 8

We dumped our rented stuff and got our room at Aliben Hotel (a few doors away from Milan, as Milan and many others were fully booked over the new year period).

I was entranced by the cute interior design at first. It was a 4-bed dorm and all light woods. The stairs for the bunk beds were central, shared, and built into the room, not the annoying flimsy and hard-to-climb things we normally get. The ceiling lights had cute branches in them. There were two toilets/showers with 4 buttons each to control the lights and hot air, and 2 hair dryers.

But the toilet air was warmer than the room's, which didn't really warm up much from the frigid 8 degrees. By morning the air was only 20 degrees. The hot water was so spotty most of us were left shivering long after getting out. The shower door was translucent (for a dorm!) and impossible to hide your silhouette given how small the toilet was. You have to hang something on the IKEA hangers given to cover the door (two of which popped out and one went into the toilet bowl). Speaking of that, 50% of the toilet floor space is taken by the squatting toilet. To shower, you really have to maneuver around the hole in the floor. There's no toilet paper or kettle. We had to put on the bedsheets ourselves (which is fine if they mention it, but they didn't), and these had huge holes in them (mine was the size of my face) and were ill fitting or non-fitting. There was an open soft drink bottle in the storage area of my upper bunk that hadn't been thrown after the previous occupant. We were all annoyed. J was fuming and kept going on about it.

It took us a while to do some basic cleaning of our hiking stuff and to shower and dry and warm up. By that time I didn't even want to get out of bed. The one sweet thing in that place was the bed warmer. Took a while to get started but so good. I was falling asleep. Once I finally got up I wanted to go to the places I'd scoped out before, but I changed my mind once I stepped out the door. It was freezing! In the end we went to Milan again.

This time we ordered a mala hotpot and a beef hotpot. Added two plates each of yak shabu shabu and pork belly, then topped up with a few glasses of homemade spirit. They had one with some red berry and another with sea buckthorn (shajiguo). I tried it. Really strong, so I passed. We had a really good new year's eve dinner though! Almost a bunch of strangers, but brought together on the hike, and now conversing as friends.

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We thought about staying up til midnight to hang together, but decided we were tired and had had enough excitement for the year. Nay, decade. So like oldies we were in bed at 11pm and snoring as we collectively marked another revolution around the sun. (credit: nathanwpyle)

Day 9

Got up and packed. Driver was picking us up at 9am so had to hurry. There was no breakfast at our hotel, in fact, the lobby was closed and the receptionist only came out of his room as we were standing around confused. (another strike against them). He said that most places wouldn't offer breakfast because it was new year's day. What the heck. Do you not at least warn your guests??

Given our experiences here, when in doubt what do we do? Go to Milan.

B and I walked across and lo and behold! They do serve breakfast. By then was too late for us to have breakfast so B and I chatted with them and warmed ourselves by the heater, and had hot water. It was like we never left, we were there at all times of the day! Love that the rooms are better and all the staff is super friendly and homey and helpful. Unlike Aliben.

Went back once the rest were ready and lugged all our baggage down. We were greeted by the awesome sight of this mega 9 seater VIP van pulled up to the hotel. Felt like a star. There was even more than enough room for all our bags in the boot. Swung by to another street to pick up NPC who needed a ride to Chengdu. In contrast to our terrible night, he was staying in a swanky hotel that had a super fancy lobby with wine bottles in chillers. We were all flabbergasted. It was a last minute booking at inflated rates. He laughed and waved it off by saying he had connections. Some connections!

Our new Shifu was really nice and brought us places take pictures and eat breakfast. Last Sichuan noodles! Best food I had in Sichuan was the noodles.

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Dropped NPC off somewhere in Chengdu then we had good cheap hotpot buffet (10 bucks per person??) near the airport. By the time we were done it was 4pm and time to check in. J and S dropped us off and went around Chengdu a little while more.

It was a long trip to Chengdu and then to Singapore and I spent it typing all this out. I knew that if I stopped, I wouldn't be able to finish it after real life set it. I've already run out of steam, but thankfully it's only 10pm on the flight home!

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20y breakfast noodles
73.40y Huoguo last lunch

  • *All nice photos were taken by W. Anything not as nice was likely taken by me.*
  • *Unless otherwise mentioned, all listed prices are per person*

Posted by seaskimmer 04:20 Archived in China Tagged end new year sichuan lastsupper hotelreview Comments (0)

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