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Monday 24th of April 2017

Guangzhou (White Swan)

City: Guangzhou
Province: Guangdong
Month/Year of Travel: January 2006
Travel Route in China: Connecticut to Hefei (several flights) to Nanchang (train) to Guangzhou (flight)
Name of Hotel: White Swan (sometimes known as the White Stork due to the large number of adoptive families staying there.
Comments about Hotel: Rooms are beautiful, but very small. Beds are hard as a rock. In the winter, rooms are very hot and you cannot open the windows. The lobby staff is cold and unfriendly, but the floor staff (elevator attendants, etc.) is very nice. Usually a great view from the rooms. It's hard to take a shower, because the shower head will not stay propped up - you have to hold it in your hand. The best thing about the White Swan is the location....you can walk to so many places, and if the weather is bad you don't even have to go outside to do any shopping. There is also a wonderful playroom for kids on the lower level - the "Swan Room."
Office or Orphanage: American Consulate
Sights to See in this city: Six Banyan Temple, Chen Family Memorial, People's Memorial to SunYat Sen, Pearl River cruise, Pearl Market (for shopping). There is lots of local shopping within walking distance of the hotel, and you can bargain a bit for better prices. The old noodle restaurant is gone, and is a shop now with a very nice staff.
Baby supplies can be purchased at: Guide will take you to a grocery store not far from hotel if you wish. There is also a 7/11 store right across the street.
Places to eat we liked: The "coffee shop" is great, but incredibly expensive. If breakfast is included in your room price, just eat breakfast there and go elsewhere for lunch and dinner. There are plenty of restaurants within walking distance. I found that it was better to stick with Chinese food rather than American food. The fried foods at "Lucy's" were incredibly greasy and made us sick. There's a little bakery outside the hotel with Haagen Dazs ice cream.
Things you ought to know while staying here: You will receive a complimentary"Welcome Home Barbie" (Barbie Doll with adopted Chinese baby!) your second day in the hotel. The lobby of the White Swan is absolutely beautiful, and it is always fun to meet other adoptive parents there. But truthfully, the hotel is over-rated in many ways. The rooms are nice but not comfortable, and they are very small. You can stay at other hotels in Guangzhou for a far lower price, with larger and more comfortable rooms, and you might want to look into doing this now that the American Consulate is no longer on Shamian Island.

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