Thursday evening in review

11/08/2013

Thursday evening is date night for my husband and me. Our date night adventures allow me to collect all kinds of information for my readers. Here’s a recap of yesterday.

First stop, Xin Cheng Hotel. We just stopped in at their fitness center to check on if what recreation was still offered there and if there had been many changes from the last time we had been there years ago. They still have swimming, squash, bowling, tennis, and a gym/fitness center. Prices vary according to time of day and according to if you want to buy a card to use again and again or pay each time individually. The gym/fitness center seemed to be a really good value. The most expensive time/method was 30 RMB/hour.

Two crazy things we saw at the Xin Cheng:

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a camper. The camper itself isn’t that random, but parked at the Xin Cheng, yes, it seems random. I think the Xin Cheng is the main hotel for all the high ranking government officials, so I wasn’t expecting to see a camper parked there.
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sheep. lots of sheep. grazing on a gravel basketball court. I’m not sure if the purpose of the sheep is to bring the grassland culture to the city or to provide mutton for their restaurants. or perhaps both.
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the sheep again. With the Inner Mongolia Hotel in the background. Sheep. Right in the heart of the city.
Second stop was brief. We wanted to see exactly what kind of kids activities the 少年宫 shao nian gong Children’s Palace had to offer. It was now a pile of rubble. No kids activities there. Last time we were over there it was already in disrepair so I should have predicted its demise.

Our last stop was dinner at the Shangri la. Before you go thinking, “Whoa! Big spenders!” 1. It was date night. 2. We don’t do it often. and 3. It really isn’t that expensive if you order from the menu. If you don’t know, the Shang ri la has a really great buffet. It is truly great. Indian food, sushi, steaks, a chocolate fountain, breads,
desserts, Chinese dishes, and more. But, it is pricy. I can’t remember, but it’s 248 or 268 or 2?? per person.
However, if you order from the menu, two people can eat for under 200. They have many selections for 78 or so RMB. And they provide a basket of assorted rolls with your meal. So for me, I’m generally not hungry enough and probably too frugal to splurge on the buffet, but ordering from the menu makes it a nice treat without the guilt of spending so much.

My other comment (disappointment) with our trip to the Shangri la was the bathrooms. Not a single stall with a  properly functioning locking/shutting mechanism on the door. I just feel like if people are paying 200+ RMB per person, they shouldn’t have to walk in on/be walked in on each other in the restrooms.

But I will thank the Shangri la for the kid’s play area they have outside the restaurant. We haven’t taken our kids there, but the presence of a play area and the fact that they have hig chairs

In review, check out the Xin Cheng’s recreation activities next time you’re looking for something to do. Shao Nian Gong is n longer in existence. I’m not sure when or if they wil change the bus stop name. And next time you’re craving nice Western food/atmosphere, order from the menu at the Shangri la.

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