A lot of intrepid travelers, the sort who bristle at being lumped in with mere tourists, would never go to a Holiday Inn. I’m glad I’m more flexible and perhaps less intrepid.
I went to Datong wanting to see two sights: the Hanging Temple and the Yungang Caves. There wasn’t much in my guide book about Datong. After staying there I know why. There isn’t much to Datong other than it’s proximity to these sights. The city’s at a low ebb, to be kind.
Thus I’m so glad I stayed at the Holiday Inn. The staff spoke English well and offered good directions on how to get where I wanted to go on my own. They didn’t try to convince me to take a tour.
My room was decorated with modern furnishings and an ultra-comfortable bed. Compared to the bathroom in campus housing, the bath and shower in the room were divine.
The workout room was fine and the location was close to the bus stops I needed to sightsee. While I wish they had the BBC, I did enjoy CNN, Channel News Asia and CCTV News. They also have HBO, Discovery, NHK and a French station.
Tip: Go to the Chinese website and print out the address in Chinese for your cab driver when you arrive. Increase the print to about 140% since so many Chinese cabbies need, but don’t wear glasses.