by Paul Bacon
Rotherham, United Kingdom
March 2, 2006
The Hangua was clean, comfortable, and unlike the Fuzimao, nice and warm. However, despite the place serving us well for two days in Nanjing, I could not help but feel that it was in the early stages of a process of decay. The examples of this were small, but clear. For instance in the foyer there were eight clocks above the reception desk giving the time in cities across the world, only two of which were actually working—London and Beijing. Places like Tokyo and Sydney were wildly inaccurate, whilst poor old New York had simply stopped completely. Along with the errant timekeeping, the "business centre" seemed to have transformed itself into a kiosk, selling nothing but cigarettes; and the linen in our room was, like the hotel itself, beginning to fray around the edges.
The whole place reminded me of ex-Communist countries, where once impressive buildings and once luxurious hotels have eroded thanks to a lack of funds. I wondered if this was what was happening at the Hangua, and was it the reason we got such a discount? Maybe it was even the reason we got three calls from prostitutes in the middle of the night offering their wares. Regardless of that though, the Hangua was cheap, clean, well-furnished, and the staff members were some of the friendliest I have met in China.
From journal Nanjing