TYPHOON Dot has forced the closure of the 553-room Shangri-La Hotel in Shenzhen, which suffered serious flooding. Only a few guests were staying there when Dot struck, and no one was injured. Most had checked out the day before. But the management cannot say when the hotel will-reopen. Engineers are still trying to solve the problem. NOW the Japanese can go ''abroad'' without ever leaving the country. They do so by renting from the Home-A-Loan company, which provides apartments in Tokyo with the foreign touch. The ''Kensington Mews,'' for example, contains leather-bound editions of Dickens, pipe racks and, in the refrigerator, steak and kidney pie. The ''Calcutta Condo'' is kept very warm, TV Bombay is piped in and saris occupy the closet. Telephones at these apartments are fixed so that local calls are charged at overseas rates. This discourages calling the neighbours and thus shattering the pretence. TWO Spanish tourist cities are solving the problem of traffic congestion in historic districts by banning cars and installing escalators and elevators. Granada's Albaicin quarter is an old Moorish neighbourhood of steep, narrow streets. A system of elevators will be built next year. In Toledo, meanwhile, there are plans to build two large parking areas on the northern edge of the city with escalators leading 80 metres up to the Zocodover, the old quarter. The projects are designed to help eliminate vehicle noise and pollution, and make it easier for large numbers of people to move about the districts. On the Road information should be faxed to 980-3140 or mailed to GPO Box 47.