Adoption in China
By Peggy Gurrad


The Gloria Hotel

  2004-06-08 - My brother and his wife just adopted a beautiful FengCheng baby and I was his travel companion while his wife stayed home to care for their other children. We traveled with CCAI group 608 and it was a wonderful group of people with some great babies. James Jin has to be the best facilitator in all of China. I have some notes from our trip that I thought would interest those of you who are preparing to leave shortly for JiangXi province.

First, if you can afford to do so I would highly recommend upgrading your room to a suite. We stayed at the Gloria Plaza in Nanchang and had a great room with a bedroom and master bath, a large living room with half bath and a small kitchen (especially handy for all the baby gear). The Gloria Plaza provided a crib, stroller and a baby bathtub (crib only at the White Swan although strollers were easily available without charge at any of the local shops). We had high-speed internet in our room. Fyi, Diet Coke is available in the lobby restaurant, you just need to ask for it. I never found it in any of the local stores.

It was incredibly hot when we were there and we had no problems with the clothing police even when the baby's arms and legs were not covered.

The Gloria Plaza is located near the Tengwang Pavilion and you should be sure to visit there. There is a show of traditional music and dance on the top floor at 15 minutes before each hour and extensive shopping on several of the lower floors. If you can find the time, I would also recommend a visit to the Youmin Buddhist Temple. Once you get past the beggars at the entrance it is a quiet respite from the bustle of Nanchang. The large Buddha in the rear hall is beautiful and the ladies in the gift shop love babies. Youmin Temple is about a twenty-five minute walk from the Gloria Plaza (or a short cab ride) on Huanhu Lu near the intersection with Minde Lu. There are also a few nice porcelain stores ouside the temple entrance.

Some of the best shopping we found was on the street behind the Gloria Plaza, Rongmen Road (just be careful crossing the street!). There are many small shops along this street, be sure to visit the shops on both sides of the street and also those past the Tengwang Pavilion.

Dieshan Road is the road that runs alongside the Gloria Plaza. You walk along Dieshan Road to get to Shengli pedestrian street, interesting for an evening stroll, and leading to the Pacific Department Store (Nanchang's more exclusive department store) and the street market. For everyday items there is a department store and grocery further up Dieshan Road past the entrance to Shengli on the left side of the street (look for the large inflatable red arch in front). There is also a Walmart in Nanchang.

We ate at several great restaurants. In particular I would recommend the dining room at the New Orient Hotel, just past the Tengwang Pavilion, the Sunshine Spring Restaurant on Fuzhou Road near the JiangXi Hotel and the 0791 Restaurant also on Fuzhou Road near the JiangXi Hotel (ask for the 0791 Jo-Dian if you go in a cab). We were the first foreigners to eat at the Sunshine Spring restaurant and had our picture taken with the manager and some of his staff. Our dinner was excellent, but one word of warning, the dining room got very smoky by the end of the night. If you want to have a fun night with your group, head out to the New Chinatown Restaurant on Liberation Boulevard (this is a bit of a hike from the Gloria Plaza). We had a great dinner and there was a show of singing, dancing and acrobatics (which the babies all loved). In all of these restaurants you enter and then are guided through the display of food to make your selections for the meal.

Once you are in Guangzhou I would highly recommend leaving Shamian Island and making the short trip to Wende Road. You can ask the concierge at the White Swan for a card with a variety of locations printed on it to show your cab driver. Stop by the Grand Buy Department Store (baby supplies on the 7th floor), walk the crazy-busy pedestrian street over to Wende Road which is lined with shops selling all sorts of beautiful artwork. The Guangzhou Antiques Center on Wende Road near Zhongshan Road is definitely worth a stop if you like anything in the White Swan stores, although be sure to visit the White Swan bookstore for some unique things. An evening walk around LiWan Plaza with dinner at the nearby Guangzhou Restaurant is another great experience (there is one English-language menu for the entire restaurant).

My best advice about staying in Nanchang is to get out and walk and experience everyday life in a small city in China. The people are friendly and around every corner is something new and interesting.

The Gloria Hotel is in Nanchang, right on the Gan River and a few blocks from the Teng Wang Pavilion.  We were there for nine days, since our trip coincided with the 50th anniversary of the founding of the PRC and all government functions shut down for a week. It is a brand new 20 story hotel.  The rooms are large and bright with double beds- although I believe you could request a queen or a king size bed.  The bathrooms are very modern and include a clothesline for hang drying hand washables.  There is a laundry service, health club with a small pool, gift shop and business center.  The coffee shop has a buffet breakfast and lunch which includes eastern and western food.  The San Pan restaurant serves excellent meals for dinner- specializing in seafood.  The hotel looks out over either the Gan River or the rooftops of Nanchang.  The staff were friendly and helpful.  The rooms were extraordinarily clean and contained hot water pots that boiled very quickly.  It was easy to walk to grocery stores, street markets and a pharmacy to get all the necessary supplies.

We stayed at the Gloria Hotel in Nanchang in June 2001 and had absolutely no complaints. It is a beautiful, luxurious hotel. They even had a crib in the room for us. The area around the hotel was poor but seemed very safe. I frequently went out alone and never felt nervous. In fact, I even took my video camera and went to an open air market near the hotel.  The market itself was fascinating, the people were great and I did not feel I was in any danger at any time. Some people let me videotape them, some did not, but all were extremely courteous and friendly.  (SS)

We stayed at the Gloria Hotel in April 2001. It was very nice. Good food, nice service, poor TV reception! It is right near the Pagoda Temple that everyone visits! There was of course everything near by. Groceries, dept store, markets, etc. The most interesting thing we found was a tiny little "Christian" church just a block or two away from the hotel. It was an intersting experience visiting a church in a communist country. It was Palm Sunday and one of our group got up and went to church that morning. Our guide went with her and helped translate the 3 hour service! I visited just on one of our walks and they do welcome you to come in at any time. (LS, a. from Yichun)

We also stayed at the Gloria In October 2001. They provided a hot pot in our room which we used for our drinking water and everything else which saved buying bottled water. The pool there is magnificant and our daughter soon learned what pools were about. We took swim diapers for her. The Pavilion is very close and a "must see" on your trip. Our guide took us there and we could've spent all day. Outside the pavilion you can see the typical Chinese boats that folks live and work on, so you get a good feel for the culture and daily life. The Gloria had a great breakfast buffet. We usually went other places with the group and guide for our "other meal" and ate in our room one meal with tuna or ramen noodles that we had brought. The play area and ball pit are a must also. Only children's TV we found was teletubbies which Brynn was crazy about--maybe she had seen before? Don't forget stacking cups if no one has mentioned it. Greatest toy for these guys. Play with, stack, eat out of, use in the bath tub, sit on, . . . . The bed in our room was king size which made a great play area and family bed at times. (PW, adopted from Guangchang)

LinkHow You Can Help the Children Still in the Jiangxi Province Orphanages!!

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