Day 101 (2): Affordable luxury

Kashgar Travel Blog

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The streets of Kashgar (from my hotel room)

When my taxi dropped me off at my hotel I had been on the road exactly 10 hours. That was quicker than expected. I was feeling quite pleased with myself, here I was, in China of all places! Woohoo!

I checked in at the hotel Qini Bagh, which was recommended in the Lonely Planet as the best value in town. Well, apart from the disinterested staff at the check-in, it did not disappoint. At first impression, that is. I was given the choice between the new building and old building, the difference being that the room in the old building had a double bed. Hmm, after two weeks sharing a double bed with two other guys I was quite looking forward to having some room to move around at night, so I happily took the room in the old building. At 20 Euros a night it seemed quite good value too.

The view from my hotel room
I had planned on splurging a little in Kashgar, since my trip in Tajikistan had turned out much much cheaper than anticipated, so this seemed too good to be true.

The room had recently been refurbished and looked excellent. I was dying to have a shower. My last real shower had been in Dushanbe, 13 days ago. I quickly undressed, got my shower gel, jumped in the bathroom and... encountered an icy cold shower. And it did not get warm. I waited a few minutes, but no change in temperature happened, so I called the reception. They told me to wait 5 to 10 minutes. So I did, but still no hot water.

I got dressed and walked over to the reception (which, I should add, is 200 metres away in the 'new' building).
Hotel Eden, my home for the next 4 days
The receptionist told me to wait while maintenance would fix the shower. I did not want to wait. I wanted a shower. I had been travelling for 10 hours and I really, really wanted a shower. I asked them to move me to the other room they had offered. I'd be happy to pass on the double bed in order to have a hot shower right now. “Sure” the receptionist said, “that room is 280 yuan, so you need to pay 100 yuan, 12 euros, more”.
“No way” I said, “you had said there was no difference between the rooms you offered me!”
“oh, no, there is no difference between the rooms. Only the price, because this one is in the new building.”

Sod it, move me to another room in the old building then. I was told to wait and that is what I did, for the next ten minutes or so.
This is what 16 euros buys you in Kashgar
All the while nothing seemed to be happening and when I asked when I would get the key for my new room, I was told to wait again. I decided to take a walk and I walked over to the hotel next door, the brand new Eden hotel. The room rates published at the reception showed this place was way out of my price range, but I decided to ask them for the price of a room anyway. To my surprise the receptionist quoted me 140 yuan, 16 euros. That was cheaper than the Qini Bagh, so I would love to see it.
The room was a brand-new, four-star room, which not only had a hot shower, it even had an Internet connection in the room. Well, no way I was going to stay at the Qini Bagh now, was I?

I walked over to the Qini Bagh and told the receptionist I was checking out and I wanted my money back. At first she wanted to charge me for one night stay, but when I asked her to explain just why she felt she had to charge me (even though I had only been in the room for 10 minutes - the rest of my time was spent waiting in the reception area), she decided it would be easier just to give me my money back.

By the time I had moved my stuff, showered and changed it was already nine PM. China is two hours ahead of Kyrgyzstan, so I had lost two hours crossing the border. Although... maybe I should just keep using the Kyrgyz time instead. The locals do so as well, since Beijing time makes absolutely no sense, it doesn't get dark until 11 PM. So the locals use Pamir time as unofficial time (since officially there is only one time zone in China).

Anyway, Beijing time or not, it didn't make much sense to venture into town, so I just had a bite to eat in the hotel restaurant - something which I rarely do. The restaurant serves up a great combination of Turkish and Chinese favourites. I had a lovely kebab with Chinese vegetables, all washed down with some genuine Chinese green tea. Unfortunately no alcohol was served - this part of China is Muslim, so most places don't serve alcohol. They did have sheesha though, which was good enough for me.

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The streets of Kashgar (from my ho…
The streets of Kashgar (from my h…
The view from my hotel room
The view from my hotel room
Hotel Eden, my home for the next 4…
Hotel Eden, my home for the next …
This is what 16 euros buys you in …
This is what 16 euros buys you in…
Kashgar Hotels & Accommodations review
The best value in Kashgar? Not any more!
Recommended by travel guides as the best value deal in Kashgar and they are right - well, almost. The hotel consists of two buildings, one building wh… read entire review
photo by: Biedjee