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샹 그리 라 익스프레스

2013-09-04 17:49 ChineseTime

Introduction/History:

The private Shangri-La Express (formerly China Orient Express) is not a luxury train, despite its name, but it is the best way to see this fascinating country. It is at this writing the most modern hotel train in China and far surpasses regular train service in every aspect. The Shangri-La Express is modern, air-conditioned and has first-class sleeping compartments with two bunk-style twin beds. The luxury Tangula Express, which was supposed to launch in 2008, continues to be postponed. (We will keep you posted.) Thus the Shangri-La Express is currently the best private touring train available in China. This of course could change, but for the forseeable future, Shangri-La Express reigns on the rails in China.

Accommodations


The Shangri-La Express is modern, air-conditioned and has first-class sleeping compartments with two bunk-style twin beds. A small washroom with sink is shared between compartments. Two toilets are down the hall: only one has a chemical toilet which can be used when the train is stopped. "The shower car was very nice," according to J. Huelsman, a 2010 IRT traveler. Each has shower, mirror, hairdryer and changing area.  However, you must walk through the dining car to take a shower. The tour includes gorgeous silk robes for this purpose, which you get to take home. Service on board is cheerful; each car has  its own attendant who cleans the cabins, makes the bed and is on call to serve tea and coffee 24 hours a day. The staff speak little English; however, a translation card in your room helps. The tour operator brings its own additional staff on board to clean the showers after every use.

Dining

Cereal, fruit and eggs and toast are served for breakfast in the dining car, while the Chinese chefs offer a wide variety of local dishes at lunch and dinner. Do not expect Chinese gourmet on this train. Reports from our reviewers and travelers sum up the food as "fine" or "monotonous."  Two travelers described it as "too spicy" while others say it's too bland. Wine and beer are included with lunch and dinner, along with soft drinks, tea and coffee. Alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages are served in the bar car. Alcoholic drinks are additional cost outside of meals.

Lounge Cars


The train’s lounge/bar car serves alcohol and non-alcoholic beverages. Alcohol is chargeable outside of meals.

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