Wednesday, August 29, 2007

I Knew I Was Forgetting Something

When I said yesterday that the China trip was just about set, I was leaving out one detail: We didn’t yet have hotel reservations.

We do now. I don’t know exactly why I procrastinated so badly on this. I think it was because I knew that making the reservations would be an adventure. I don’t feel confident enough with my Chinese to try making a reservation over the phone. (And at the price I’m willing to pay, you can forget about English.)

Not every Chinese hotel has online booking yet. Many have web sites, but few let you book directly. At best you can email a reservation request and wait for a reply in creative English.

That leaves Western chains and online travel sites as the best option. I ended up using both. In Shanghai, we’re staying at a Chinese hotel that is bookable through Hotels.com. In Hangzhou, we’re staying at a Best Western that was bookable through the Best Western site. It was fairly exhausting narrowing down all the options to get to this solution, but I’m happy with our rooms. And happier still to have this over with.

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