Odd Question - Laundry Mats

Old Aug 30th, 2002, 10:04 AM
  #1  
zzz
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Odd Question - Laundry Mats

I will be travelling to Shanghai, Xian and Beijing next month. I have read many message on this board that hotels provide laundry service at a good price but I'm wondering if I can find self-service laundry mats in these areas. Any help is appreciated.
 
Old Aug 30th, 2002, 10:52 AM
  #2  
Peter N-H
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I've always been puzzled by claims that hotels do laundry at good prices, since those quoted were often the same as it would cost to buy the items new in China.

Laundromats may exist in China but I've never seen one. In a country where labour is so cheap and where tens of millions of laid-off workers are looking in desperation to start their own businesses, there are instead lots of back street laundries. Some of these charge by the jin (half-kilo, roughly) or gongjin (kilo), but others charge by the item, at a fifth of the hotel prices, or less. To find one of these you'll simply need to get someone to write down for you the characters 'xi yi' (wash clothing) and look in the back streets around your hotel.

I'd hand-wash any really treasured items, if I were you, but I've often used these back-street places for simple cottons, and for jeans and other items too heavy to hand-wash, and with no problems.

Peter N-H
http://members.axion.net/~pnh/China.html

 
Old Aug 30th, 2002, 12:51 PM
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Patty
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Peter,
I think most people are comparing the costs of hotel laundry in China with similar costs back home (not what it would cost to buy like items in China). The cost of dry cleaning for example in some of the most expensive hotels in China can sometimes be less than my neighborhood dry cleaner, so I usually have my clothes cleaned before heading home.
 
Old Aug 30th, 2002, 02:05 PM
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Peter N-H
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But the cost of having the item dry-cleaned at an establishment *outside* the hotel would be much cheaper still. Inside the hotel you're being taken to the cleaners.

Peter N-H
http://members.axion.net/China.html
 
Old Aug 30th, 2002, 02:17 PM
  #5  
Patty
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Yes, but if an item costs $5 to dry clean at home and $3 at the hotel, I'm not going try to find the place where it costs me a $1. Time has value too.
 
Old Aug 30th, 2002, 06:12 PM
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Mike
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Hotel laundry service at the bigger Chinese hotels is not cheap. But then nothing is cheap at the hotels. We spent on average of 35 USD - 50 USD on laundry. Soda pop from a mini fridge 3 - 5 USD. Bottle of water 3 USD. Most of the hotels give you a couple of small complimentary bottles of water. As far as laundry mats, didn't see any, but did see a few mom & pop laundries scattered around. Wonder if they would be cheaper.
 
Old Aug 30th, 2002, 10:19 PM
  #7  
zzz
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Thanks for your input. Peter, what is the turnaround time for these back street businesses?

jan
 
Old Aug 30th, 2002, 10:44 PM
  #8  
Peter N-H
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Usually next day, or later same day depending on the weather--clothing is more often than not hung up to dry before being pressed or ironed, although occasionally they can be higher tech.

Peter N-H
http://members.axion.net/~pnh/China.html
 
Old Aug 31st, 2002, 10:49 AM
  #9  
Patty
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Mike,
You mentioned bottled water - I always ask housekeeping for extra water as those two little bottles are never enough. I've never been charged for the extra bottles, just ask.
 
Old Sep 1st, 2002, 01:01 AM
  #10  
Andrea
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I can second Peter's comments. I haven't seen any self-serve laundrymats here, but have regularly used the street-side ones. They can do regular laundry as well as dry cleaning, but regular wash seems to be the default, so be sure you specify. I'm pretty sure the Berlitz Chinese pocket phrasebook has all the words you'll need (regular wash vs. dry clean, hangars vs. folded, etc.). I can't remember exactly how much it costs, but I do remember thinking that it was rediculously inexpensive. I'd walk across the street with an armload of clothes (both casual wear and numerous suits and dress shirts), and seem to remember the bill was always under $20 US. We always asked for next-day service, but they had same-day as well.
 
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