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What are your favorite hostels in China?
Posted July 21st, 2010 - 3:55 pm by from Washington, United States (Permalink)
I thought of making this topic after having a tough time finding surfers in Beijing recently. So, what is your favorite hostel in China? Although all answers are subjective, this list still could help travellers in the future, if enough people respond. Likewise, you can mention hostels that did not impress you.

For those who might not know, hostels are like a mix between hotels and student dorm rooms, and are usually very cheap. Prices typically range between 30-60 RMB for standard dorms (4-6 people) in China. Occasionally you will find rooms that can hold up to 8 people, and these rooms are usually extremely cheap.

When describing your favorite place try to be as detailed as possible. Also, at the start, briefly list your overall experience with hostels in China. For example, I have stayed at two hostels in Beijing, and one in Xian, Changshan, Fenghuang and Chengdu.

My favorite hostel in China out of the six I have stayed in so far, is, by far, "THE LOFT" in Chengdu. It is far superior to four of the hostels in Beijing (2), Xian and Fenghuang and slightly better than the Changshan International youth hostel.

Unless I state otherwise, the following is about "THE LOFT".

-The prices were reasonable: If memory serves me, I paid 35 rmb for a 4 person dorm, with free internet access, free access to movie (DVD) room and hot showers included. I did not have a membership card and this was during spring festival, so prices may vary. The loft has a kitchen too, and food prices were also reasonable and food was pretty tasty.

-The general ambiance is very nice. The common room is well decorated and plenty of sunlight can enter into the room on sunny days. The dorm room I stayed in was basic, but personally all I need is a bed and a place to lock my valuables (which can be found under your bed). Unlike other hostels I have stayed in (the one in Fengshuan for instance) the windows are big enough for sunlight to seep in. Overall, The loft is well decorated, and unique. Lighting is important to me, I don't like dark and dank places, and The Loft has good lighting.

-Overall, the staff was helpful. But I found one girl in particular to be extremely helpful and sociable. If you stay at this place in the future, I hope you guys are lucky enough to meet her! She replied to all my questions and was very eager to offer advice. I think she goes above and beyond in her work!...Unlike other workers (like the girl at Lanting hostel in Beijing) who seem to be more interested in playing QQ on the computer while at the front desk. I said "Hi" in a cheerful voice to that girl and was not even acknowledged, never mind an actual conversation! My gf couldn't believe how rude she was and was not impressed in her general attitude either. You will not find any of this negativity at "The loft" and staff are very friendly!

-Location: Great area of Chengdu! It is on a small quiet street and very close to the famous "China lane." Buses are only five minutes away as well.

-Other things: I did not need aircon when I stayed, so I am not sure if the hostel has it. They will also rent bikes to you for a reasonable price.

This hostel looks better in person than it does in any pictures I found on the internet.

If you find yourself going through Chengdu, I would highly recommend "The Loft." Easily over 90 out of 100! I can talk about the hostel in Changshan later if this topic becomes popular enough.

Your turn, what are your favorite hostels in China and why?

Posted July 21st, 2010 - 10:42 pm by from San Francisco, United States (Permalink)
Monkey Jane's in Yangshuo. The bar above was happening, the rooms were cheap...they didn't nickel and dime you for everything.

Also, even though I didn't stay there, Cloudland Hostel in Kunming had a great lounge area (best I've seen at a hostel in any country, really) and the cutest kittens ever! Rooms appeared nice. The mushroom soup was disgusting, but it was such a sweet place! Definitely better than the Hump, which is the place I stayed.

I also stayed at Ma Ma Naxi's Guesthouse in Lijiang. Originally it was 20 kuai for a bed, now it is 25. It's a bit hectic staying there, but it was pretty fun.

I didn't include much detail because...well, who needs it? If anyone does, they can ask me.

Posted July 22nd, 2010 - 1:42 am by from Qingdao, China (Permalink)
By far the best hostel I've stayed in in China is "Sim's Cozy Guest House" in Chengdu. I'd go as far as saying that its the best hostel I've stayed at ANYWHERE.

We actually went to the loft first, but because my buddy forgot his passport (we were living in Taiyuan at the time) they wouldn't take us. At Sim's they not only gave us permission to stay they helped us get faxed and stamped copies so that we could use it later in our trip.

The rooms were about 35rmb (this was in 2008) for an 8 bed dorm, but the beds were huge, each bed had curtains and bookshelves, were fairly far away from any other beds and each dorm had its own shower and bathroom. They have about 5 common areas including a sweet bar, patio area, mezzinine and garden with fishponds and shade. They had all the other usual hostel things like internet (not free but cheap), tour booking office and they quickly gave advice (this was especially usefull as the owners would sit down with you and just chat about what to do in Chengdu).

My other favourites are:
Yamen Hostel in Pingyao. I stayed there so often that they knew which breakfast I like to order when me and my friends dropped in at 8 or 9 AM in the morning after a long night out that ended at the trainstation. Comfy beds, and playing badminton in an 'ancient' street is tons of fun. (haha, they've actually repaved the streets twice since I've been going there in 2006). They also have tunnels that run under the hostel - it used to be the governers house. Dorms between 25-35.

Qianmen hostel in Beijing. Built in a couryard, this hostel is about 2 years old but it always seems a bit quieter than Leo just around the corner, even though its got an awesome location. The 365 in is pretty good also, even just if the Sakura Cafe is right in front of it (good cheap pizza).

The worst hostel I've stayed in was the Shenyang international youth hostel. It was the same price as those in Beijing (60) but it had no common area and bed bugs. Can't remember what it was called, but pretty much the only hostel in Harbin was a bit of a disappointement as well. It was miles outside of the city centre and had 2 other people in it - this was in the middle of August which is actually a fun time to travel around Dongbei.

In Qingdao Kaiyue hostel and the old observatory both have pretty good bars, good locations and nice food. I've never stayed there though. (There are not THAT many of us that host in Qingdao).

Posted July 22nd, 2010 - 2:48 am by from Washington, United States (Permalink)
Wow, great replies everyone!

These replies might help me (and my gf) very soon in fact, since we will go to Yunnan and also Yangshuo. Also, because we live near Beijing and go often!

One question:

About Monkey Jane's in Yangshuo, is this place quiet, if it has a bar above it? Because any little noise will keep me up, sadly. Otherwise, it sounds really cool!

Posted July 22nd, 2010 - 7:12 am by from Longwy, France (Permalink)
The Lotusland Hostel in Nanning. I love the lobby and the different bathrooms. There service is very friendly.

Posted July 22nd, 2010 - 11:33 am by from Shenzhen, China (Permalink)
Hi Carl!

Absolutely awesome topic! :)

Wish I could help but I don't know any hostels yet.

Hugs,

Kaisa

Posted July 23rd, 2010 - 12:38 pm by from Qingdao, China (Permalink)
2 more that I just remembered:

CAPTAINS HOSTEL in Shanghai (Fuzhou lu branch) is quite fun. The dorm rooms all look like they are in the inside of a ship seeing as all the beds are on different hights. The best thing about it though is the bar! On the 6th floor you can sit outside and get a perfect view of Pudong. There are very few places where you can see it some clearly. (and the prices are not too bad, considering that it is Shanghai).

SHUYUAN HOSTEL in Xi'an was also good. Cheap, right next to the city wall gate where you can rent the bicycles to cycle around the wall and with all the normal hostel extras. It looks pretty good inside too. (Bear in mind that the last time I was there was towards the end of 2007)

Posted July 25th, 2010 - 4:28 am by from San Francisco, United States (Permalink)
Oh, to reply to your question about Monkey Jane's being quiet...they can put you on a lower floor. They ask you if you sleep early. If you don't, then they would put you on the floor right below the bar, so it may be noisy. Otherwise I think the other floors were fine.

Posted July 25th, 2010 - 5:35 am by from Shanghai, China (Permalink)
I like the Hangzhou international hostel
And Le tour in Shanghai

Posted July 22nd, 2010 - 1:33 am by from Guangzhou, China (Permalink)
I think this topic is pretty cool and helpful. So I'd rather here to recommend one,365inn in Beijing.
I have few experience about hostel thing, the main reason is I thought hostels usually are dirty or unsafe. But, after living in 365inn, it totally changed my mind. That's pretty cool. I lived in a 4 bed room, 55 RMB per night(I am not sure now). They have pubic shower room and toliet, they are together, but very clean. I never thought the hostel could clean like that. Besides, the awsome thing is there is a bar. :P You can have drink whenever you want.
Oh,right, last but not least, they have services like organizing group trip to Great Wall. If you are alone and not willing to climb alone, you can take this chance. It will make things a little easier.

Posted July 22nd, 2010 - 7:06 am by from Shah Alam, Malaysia (Permalink)
yeah, i think this topic might be helpful for me and my friend. We'll going to Beijing next year for a week and haven't plan anything yet huhu...

Posted July 27th, 2010 - 6:52 am by from Adelaide, Australia (Permalink)
One of the best hostels we have stayed in China, perhaps even the best, was in Xingping, Guangxi Province just outside of Yangshuo.

This Old Place was possibly the cleanest, best pizza and the best rooftop view hostel in China. The wood-fire oven pizza, really good. The sunset from the roof was amazing. Wi-fi too.

http://www.hihostels.com/dba/hostels-Yangshuo---Xingping---This-Old-Place-Int-l-YH-024679.en.htm

I can't remember how much we paid but it was worth it.

Happy Travels

Posted July 27th, 2010 - 9:32 am by from Traunreut, Germany (Permalink)
Beijing: Happy Dragon Hostel
good location, really nice and helpful staff.

Lijiang und Dali: Mama Naxi Geusthouse
awesome!

Shanghai: City Central International Hostel
good rooms, nice stuff, has a subway near to hostel

Posted November 4th, 2010 - 4:45 pm by from Sanya, China (Permalink)
travelled the most of the chinese cities, hostel is the first option for every time. if my memory serves me right, my first time in hostel is the Ming Hostel in Hangzhou, every impressive, and then i fell in love to stick with hostels anywhere i go. the Loft hostel is nice one, i stayed there 4 night this May.

but all of them are none of my favorite one in there. because i am running my hostel now, i think my hostel is ok. i gonna post my hostel's information here, anyone of you guys have chance to come down to sanya i hope you can stay at my place and check it out.


here we go:
check the photos first http://justin520.blog.163.com/album/#m=0&p=1

Introduction
Welcome to the Sanya Raintree Backpacker Hostel, located at the centre between Sanya downtown and the famous resort beach Da Dong Hai. The hostel, facing the Sanya River, is surrounded by mangroves on both side, which is also known as “The Egret Nature Reserve”, which parallels with flourishing raintrees on each side of Sanya River East Rd.




Overview
Sanya Raintree Backpacker Hostel is a warm and friendly hostel that welcomes travelers from all over the world. The owner of hostel has well-rich travel experience, so we know what traveler’s need during their stay.

Guest can relax in our lounge bar, complete with cozy sofa; or sitting on the gorgeous river-view balcony to enjoy the tranquil moment. Plus we have playroom with pool table, foosball, very easy to everyone to catch up with friends.

We try to give you unforgettable memories through providing a wide range of facilities including many different types of accommodation, wifi, projector for movies, 24 hour hot showers, book swap service and laundry facilities, bike-rental. Train, bus, and flight bookings are also available from our reception. And we can book almost all the scenic spot tickets at a discount, we really enjoy helping you save money for your trips.

Location
It is only few steps away from the newly opened international shopping mall (supermarket, karaoke, sushi bar and local special products), bar street, and duty free superstore famous for luxury brands. Cross the river and there is a popular market named “the first market ”. It is well known as the cheapest market, not only for the local snacks, tropical fruits and seafood, but also for all kinds of daily necessities. In a word, you can find anything you need at this market especially when the night market shows up at night. We all know what that means! The only one word you have to keep in mind is “BARGAIN”.
Speaking of food, if the nearby western restaurants can’t feed you right, you have no reason to refuse to hang out with your buddies in Shang Pin Jie. It has 13 lanes which collectively has restaurants from all over China, placed closely side by side. They must have some certain flavor you like.

We are also conveniently situated near many bus routes, so that you can travel to and from the hostel easily from anywhere in the city.




Posted November 4th, 2010 - 11:13 pm by from Manila, Philippines (Permalink)
wow! this topic is great. im going to beijing on january 17-21, 2011 with my mom and dad. and im looking for a cheap place to stay with tour. maybe you guys can help me since you've been to that place or maybe now you are living there. ive asked a local travel agency and for a private tour it costs US$389 per person seeing atleast 7 of the tourist spots with hotel accomodation and transfers. i find it expensive. if it is a group tour it would cost US$250 and the spots is quite different with the private tour and more of shopping. im not after the shopping thing. we want to see nice places. what do you think of the price? is it cheap or expensive? this would be our first time in beijing and most of the comments i hear is to get a tour because of our short stay. i want to maximize our stay since i know this would be a once in a lifetime vacation. any suggestions??? pls help me... thank you very much.

Posted November 5th, 2010 - 2:21 am by from Shenzhen, China (Permalink)
Hi Justin,

Nice hostel!

I assume you're offering a free stay for CSers?

Hugs,

K

Posted November 5th, 2010 - 11:44 am by from London, England (Permalink)
I've stayed in 3 hostels in China:
Central Youth Hostel in Beijing. I chose it because of perfect location right next to the Central Railway Station and as well just in front there was entrance to the underground. Hostel itself reminded me more of a hotel. Big, clean rooms (we had a double w/o bathroom) although we had one without the window which sucked. The staff wasn't of much help. I wanted to put pics from my camera on my DVD and they directed me to go to the post office which was next (basically it seemed all problems there were, post office was the solution). If you want to do the laundry, you need to buy your own washing powder. There was a free wi-fi, but you had to pay to use their computers and guys in charge of them (and the bar) were rather unpleasant. There were a lot travellers, but most of the clients were Chinese, I'd say. I must admit they had a good breakfasts though. To sum up not a bad place, but next time I'd search for sthg else.
Harmony Guesthouse in Pingyao. Lovely place located right in the heart of Pingyao in an adapted old house. Great staff, VERY friendly and helpful, nice atmosphere. We had a room in the backyard under the roof with a bathroom which was nice and clean. They had decent meals and a cool bar next door. Also helped with getting hard-sleeper tickets to Xian without much of a charge. If I'm in Pingyao again I definitely go back there.
Bell Tower Hostel in Xian. Located right on the Bell Tower square. The hostel itself is quite gloomy, but I found the staff quite nice and helpful. Rooms were quite small and again we got one w/o window, but it wasn't a big deal. It was a good place for someone on a budget. I liked the writtings on the wall people were putting. One might assume it's an act of vandalism, but for me it rather created a travelling atmoshpere.
Hostels in order of how I liked them: Pingyao>>>>>>>>Xian>>>>>Beijing.

Posted November 5th, 2010 - 11:49 am by from Beirut, Lebanon (Permalink)
In Kunming I stayed at the Hump hostel: if you can survive the sewage smell in the surroundings then you'll like what you get when reaching the hostel. Very comfy bed, delicious food, helpful staff and good prices (they have all options from dorms to privates)

In Dali: The Lilly pad is THE BEST.With only 100 RMB for a double room you are treated like in 3 stars hotels (if not more). The manager is just an amazing lady who makes sure guests are always satisfied...she even gave us souvenirs :)

In Lijiang, the Garden Inn is not bad.

Posted December 20th, 2010 - 10:14 pm by from Johns River, Australia (Permalink)
But The Hump is not for people who want to sleep during the dark hours: it's a strictly partying hostel

Posted December 20th, 2010 - 10:16 pm by from Johns River, Australia (Permalink)
But The Hump is not for people who want to sleep during the dark hours: it's a strictly partying hostel

Posted December 12th, 2010 - 9:38 am by from Guangzhou, China (Permalink)
first of all , i'm a chinese and i work for government, a typical middle class.

i have travelled to many cities in my country, when I travel with my foreign friends, i found out we have different requirement and understanding about accommodation.

-the concept of "cheap". I think 100-200 is cheap, 200-350 is acceptable price, while my friend never accept the price above 200, below 80rmb is cheap.

-the type of room. We trend to stay in a private room but not sharing with others for the safety of our body and property.

so when I travel to other city, we will book hotel on ctrip.com or on the website of some chain hotel. we also accept camping.


Posted December 16th, 2010 - 6:58 pm from Paris, France
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Posted December 21st, 2010 - 2:28 am by from Chengdu, China (Permalink)
SIM'S COSY GARDEN! NO DOUBT!!

3 Reasons why not to go to Sim's cosy garden!

1)Chengdu suddenly will not be interesting anymore and getting yourself out of the hostel area seems like a waste of time :) - when people ask me how is Chengdu I always answer "the hostel was cool"

2)your plans will change for you will no want to leave - being there for 10 days...he he, they always laugh at me that I'm always was saying that I'm about to leave and then staying, when I actually left they say "see you tomorrow"!

3)Any hostel after Sim's will be dissapoitment - Even Cloudland which considered to be a very good hostel, for me it was a dissapoitment....he he

The staff became my friends, I was still calling them to help me in translation after I left!!

Cloudland eventually turned out to be a very nice hostel but not as cosy as sim's place :)

Posted December 23rd, 2010 - 7:20 am by from Chengde, China (Permalink)
I've lived in China for nearly 6 years and have stayed in A LOT of hostels.

In Yangshuo (3 separate trips): Monkey Jane's, China Culture House, and Outside Inn. Outside Inn wins hands down, at least for me. It's located out of the town, in a small village near the Yulong River. The rooms are very nice and the staff speaks great English. I believe the owners are Swiss. This is a great place for peace and quiet and to be out in nature. Monkey Jane's was fine--good if you are looking for something by West Street and more of a party atmosphere. Culture House was interesting and I enjoyed my stay there, but that was over 5 years ago.

Guilin: On two separate occasions I've stayed at Guilin Flowers, right across from the train station. It is pretty cheap and has a large restaurant/bar. The rooms aren't amazing, but not too bad. The staff seems okay. I remember their internet policy being a bit stingy.

In Beijing (many, many trips): I HATE City Center Hostel (by the train station) primarily due to the rude staff and the impersonal, hotel-like atmosphere but I keep going back due to the location. Sometimes I mix it up with a stay at Tiananmen Sunrise which is a bit of a hike from the subway (15 or so minutes) but near Tiananmen and Wangfujing. Not amazing, but sweet staff and a social atmosphere. I've also stayed at Jade, which is near Tiananmen Sunrise Hostel (Beiheyan St), but is more of an upscale, hotel atmosphere. I stayed at Beijing Backpackers once as well. Nice area--I love Nanluoguxiang. The hostel itself was clean and pretty social from what I remember.

Shanghai: I've been to the city a few times, but only stayed in a hostel for one trip. My husband and I stayed in a private room at Le Tour. It was such a cute hostel with a very pleasant room. It wasn't located in the city center, but very near a subway station. I would recommend it.

Xi'an (2 trips): First time I stayed at Bell Tower Hostel which is in a central location. It was a long time ago, but I remember having had a good overall impression. The second time I stayed at Han Tang Inn and that was good and all, but I remember feeling a bit jealous when I went to visit some travelers I met at Shuyuan. I don't know what the rooms there looked like, but the place at a cool atmosphere, fun and cheap bar, and was right next to the ancient city wall.

There are so many others! But I think this hits some important spots that a lot of travelers like to visit. It's just my opinion, but I hope it helps, especially since I've gotten to experience more than one hostel in some cities.

Posted December 23rd, 2010 - 7:25 am by from Chengde, China (Permalink)
I've lived in China for nearly 6 years and have stayed in A LOT of hostels.

In Yangshuo (3 separate trips): Monkey Jane's, China Culture House, and Outside Inn. Outside Inn wins hands down, at least for me. It's located out of the town, in a small village near the Yulong River. The rooms are very nice and the staff speaks great English. I believe the owners are Swiss. This is a great place for peace and quiet and to be out in nature. Monkey Jane's was fine--good if you are looking for something by West Street and more of a party atmosphere. Culture House was interesting and I enjoyed my stay there, but that was over 5 years ago.

Guilin: On two separate occasions I've stayed at Guilin Flowers, right across from the train station. It is pretty cheap and has a large restaurant/bar. The rooms aren't amazing, but not too bad. The staff seems okay. I remember their internet policy being a bit stingy.

In Beijing (many, many trips): I HATE City Center Hostel (by the train station) primarily due to the rude staff and the impersonal, hotel-like atmosphere but I keep going back due to the location. Sometimes I mix it up with a stay at Tiananmen Sunrise which is a bit of a hike from the subway (15 or so minutes) but near Tiananmen and Wangfujing. Not amazing, but sweet staff and a social atmosphere. I've also stayed at Jade, which is near Tiananmen Sunrise Hostel (Beiheyan St), but is more of an upscale, hotel atmosphere. I stayed at Beijing Backpackers once as well. Nice area--I love Nanluoguxiang. The hostel itself was clean and pretty social from what I remember.

Shanghai: I've been to the city a few times, but only stayed in a hostel for one trip. My husband and I stayed in a private room at Le Tour. It was such a cute hostel with a very pleasant room. It wasn't located in the city center, but very near a subway station. I would recommend it.

Xi'an (2 trips): First time I stayed at Bell Tower Hostel which is in a central location. It was a long time ago, but I remember having had a good overall impression. The second time I stayed at Han Tang Inn and that was good and all, but I remember feeling a bit jealous when I went to visit some travelers I met at Shuyuan. I don't know what the rooms there looked like, but the place at a cool atmosphere, fun and cheap bar, and was right next to the ancient city wall.

There are so many others! But I think this hits some important spots that a lot of travelers like to visit. It's just my opinion, but I hope it helps, especially since I've gotten to experience more than one hostel in some cities.

Posted April 17th, 2013 - 7:24 am by from Johns River, Australia (Permalink)
Undoubtedly, Sanya Backpacker Hostel is the best of more than 50 hostels I have stayed in in China. See my 'exclusive review' at www.hostelz.com/hostel/+181256 -Sanya-Backpackers

Lotusland in Shanghai Street, Nanning is also a favourite: small cozy and great staff (bt it's a couple of years since I was last there).

In Beijing I'd choose Heyuan YH, plenty of common area including an enormous courtyard, good location. (Also see my review in hostelz.com)



Posted April 18th, 2013 - 12:22 am by from Vienna, Austria (Permalink)
I always liked the Jade Emu in Dali, Yunnan. They have another one - The Jade Roo almost next door. Although they are not right inside the old city, they are a short walk from there. I have stayed there about 4 times in the past and would again if I went back to Dali.

http://jade-emu.com

Posted April 18th, 2013 - 5:14 am by from Seattle, United States (Permalink)
I think Lost Garden in Kunming is a pretty nice place. Quiet, tucked away, but good location right in the city center. friendly staff. Reasonable value for the accommodations and excellent food.

The hump (also in kunming) has no place on a best hostels list in my opinion. Its a decent place to go for drinks, but as a guest... its crowded, staff disorganized and very bad at communicating, food is not good, and if you are interested in sleep.. good luck you are essentially staying in a bar.