Day One- A Night at the “Simple Love Fashion Guesthouse” Anyone?

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Tangshan is pretty pretty odd town (or is this a city? It’s hard to tell in China). It seems like it’s relatively new, with the city center spotted with tall buildings that don’t quite feel as if they’re quite occupied yet. The area is covered in Neon lights which is not as inviting as it might sound. The range of available accommodations for the night range from state mining companies’ official hotels (very high-end) to spas that come included with a room, hot springs, and a magic show and finally, if it suits you there are “rest accommodations” available or 休息馆 in Chinese (a Chinese category of hotel I had never heard of before, one of which was the inspiration for the title of this post) that conveniently offer hourly rate options. Unfortunately for us there wasn’t much left available in between so we settled for the best option that could accept foreigners and wouldn’t charge us by the hour.

Regardless it was nice to be back on the road again today. Nearly five months since I’ve been able to enjoy the dust, pollution, and entirely careless driving that is the Chinese 国道, or National Road. The dust (and probably coal power plant exhaust) got so bad at one point that visibility was probably somewhere around 20ft. We even got ourselves caught in a major traffic jam! We had to weave in and out of massive trucks and avoid rickshaw drivers at the same time that were doing the same thing. This went on for about 5km and took 20 minutes to get through (no doubt much shorter than if we were in a car), before we found that the whole thing was cause by a poorly organized police checkpoint and highway construction.

Tomorrow we’ll be moving on first to Changli for some dumplings from an over century old restaurant with a co-worker who’s from the area, and then on to the beach side resort town Beidaihe, where I’m hoping for fewer Rest Accommodations!

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