this hostel's main meeting area for making friends is the restaurant cum bar cum wifi hotspot cum movie and tv lounge, and this is where it gets my brownie points, folks, for, get this, smoking is not allowed here from dawn to dusk (7 pm to be exact). In case u didn't already know, the entire province of yunnan is a smoker's paradise, unlike civilised chinese cities like beijing, shanghai, shenzhen and of course hong kong. To cut to the chase, if u abhor cigarette smoke, head for upland!
second time i am staying here! location is ideal, altho it might be a bit difficult to find the first time around. host lisa is quite house-proud (outdoors shoes to be exchanged for sandals at the door, please!), but there is always a bevy of her friends visiting to make the place a very congenial and homely one. here's a tip on how to find the place: from metro station 'Shopping Park', leave from exit A, turn right, walk 60 meters and exit from exit B4 (NO TYPO!) head for brown condo 1 km away
the dragon is as central as u can get! the bus-stop for airport bus A21 (at only HK$33) is less than 100 meters away! the hostel is situated at mongkuk MTR subway station, which is by far the most convenient station to explore downtown HK for cheap eats. u have to try tai heng restaurant (a 10 minute walk away) for arguably the best roast pork in the world! in the HK$150 price range, no hostel can beat it for value! owner stanley is friendly, efficient and knowledgeable and speaks Eng well.
If u want to happily wander around Shenzhen, this hostel is as central as it can get! The lady who runs the place is friendly, as is her assistant. Here then is my take on how to find the place: from line 1 (green line), get off at the station "shopping center" and NOT "exhibition n convention". Exit at exit A. you will find yourself on a "shopping link"; walk for 30 meters looking for exit B4 on your right. At street level, u cannot miss an orange brown 40 story apartment condo 1.5 km ahead.
for me, its the hostel's location, location, location, and in the super budget category, this is IT! (the other hostel in the same price range is a good 25 minute walk from sapa town square vs 5 minutes for this one). terrific value for money; clean, quiet and safe. the owner, peter, is building a new safe shelter for homeless orphans 5km down the hill, and volunteers are always welcome... i enjoyed singing twinkle twinkle little star with Samai and friends - they are friendly, noisy and nice!
location is excellent, although the map given by this hostel is somewhat confusing. From the main town-square, just look for the church, and from there, look for the street, (Ham Rong). Go all the way uphill (2 minutes) turn left (1 minute) and you're there! The hostel icon on the map is totally misleading, grrrr! The dorms, the linen, the toilets are absolutely clean. No traffic noise at all! Got a very good night's sleep.
Good value for money! Mongkut is really central, and the Dragon is as good as it gets in the HK budget hostel category; owner speaks excellent English, whilst the lady receptionist is friendly and efficient. Fridge and hot water. Clean dorms & bathroom. Stayed at another hostel at TST (the infamous and seedy Chung King Mansions) and the dorm there was way more cramped. Forest Hill on HK Island is OK, but neighbourhood is boring. YHA on Mt. Davies has summer mossies and frequent water shortages
Heavens! I thought i was in heaven when i saw the bath-tub in my dorm's ensuite bathroom; in my opinion, the Crystal Garden is actually a 3-star hotel with a few rooms converted for dorm use, it's that classy! (Unfortunately, the prices in the restaurant reflect this, with a regular coffee going for 20rmb.) The hostel itself is situated almost at the end of a metro line, but it's located in a very high-end neighbourhood, with loads of western food establishments. Excellent value for money.
if a hostel's location is important to u, then this is it! right in the heart of downtown shenzhen, the short-cut to the hostel is literally a 2 minute walk from the subway exit, altho arriving for the first time, one would take the slightly longer route (about 5 minutes). the gripe about the occassional long bathroom wait from previous reviewers is accurate, and the trick is to go to bed / wake up very early or late. no microwave in kitchen, and the stove wasn't working when i was there.
wow! I cant think of a hostel in china that's closer to the subway than this one! very professionally run, with a very cosy lounge, excellent for meeting fellow travellers, soothing background music. (lazybones has got it right, unlike some other hostels who think young western travellers prefer non-stop loud disco/motown music). lovely young friendly receptionists, welcome coffee or beer, close to the top malls and a popular noodles restaurant right across the street. oh, and clean bathrooms!
a very well-run hostel, with a lift which came in very useful for the forth floor dorm i stayed in. very clean, with ensuite bathroom. tour desk is very professional, and there is a big notice board outside at the entrance to the hostel with lots of useful information about tours in and around chengdu, including szechuan province. a little far from the metro, and close to a long distance bus station teeming with out-of-towners.
the biggest plus-point about this hostel is the member's kitchen, which is a great boon if one has had an overdose of szechuan's infamous spicy hot-pot. as an aside, restaurant prices in chengdu seem to be a little bit on the stiff side.
the dorm-room i stayed in had a really swanky, boutique-like bathroom. the lounge area on the ground floor is really big, with many games available including pool and even an air-puck (correct name?) table. great place to meet other travellers. previous reviewers have mentioned mr. panda's extensive knowledge about tours around chengdu, but when i was there, i met this lovely student trainee receptionist who could single-handedly sell me quite a few tours when i return this summer.
between the Jasmine and Nanjing Time, (the 2 top-rated hostels in nanjing), the Jasmine is 5 rmb cheaper for the bunk-beds, but Time offers a YHA discount and also accepts Union Pay (china only) debit cards. Jasmine has a university in the vicinity, whilst Time has a supermarkt (500m) nearby. Jasmine has a good restaurant down its alley, and Time has a super cheap (3.5rmb) wanton restaurant close by. But Time has nice clean ensuite toilets and a very cosy and friendly lounge. 55-45 for Time.
between the Jasmine and Nanjing Time (2 top-rated hostels in nanjing), the jasmine is 5rmb cheaper for the bunk-beds but the Time offers a YHA discount and accepts Union Pay (china only) cards. jasmine has a university in the vicinity, whilst the Time has a run-of the mill supermarket. jasmine has a really good regular restaurant down the alleyway, with the Time a super cheap wanton joint next door. Time has nice clean ensuite toilets in the dorms with a warm cozy lounge during winter. 45:55
the young man at reception and the lady house-keeper are very very nice, but unfortunately do not speak english, so the western traveller without any knowledge of chinese might feel a little lost. catering to local chinese during winter, more westerners should hit this hostel in summer - they will be rewarded with cleaner bathrooms compared to the big 2 other hostels in town, and a fantastic street scene with bars and restaurants. give the 'net master' a miss and no local knows its english name!
for the budget traveller, this hostel ranks among the top 2 in value for money in SZ. bathroom and toilets need renovation for sure, but what the hell, u get what u pay for. hostel is close to the 'no pedestrian' shopping area, a big plus for eating out. no where near any water, despite the hostel's name, haha. one trainee helper from anhui is real pretty, but pretty short (private joke?) staff is helpful and nice, despite the fact that they will be booked solid come summer. great notice board.
like its competitor for value for money budget dorm hostel, mingtown could do with some renovation work in the bathrooms and toilets. its closer to suzhou's arguably biggest attraction, the humble administrators residence (50rmb) much better value than master net (20 rmb). give the later a miss. the hostel is situated beside a waterway (more like drain) where wedding couples get their photos took. very interesting to look at their off-camera expressions, says yours truly, a humble divorcee.
this has just got to be one of the best value hostels in beijing. most of the popular back-packer destinations in china have amazingly low rates off season and the dragon hostels in BJ is a prime example of this. as mentioned by other reviewers, real real close to subway, (closest?), nice staff, nice travellers, nice food (hey, if u want a western breakfast anywhere in china, be prepared to pay western prices). during my 5-day stay there, the corrider smokers were 2 separate french couples.
for the partying crowd or meeting fellow travellers, this hostel is it! catering to this sector of hostellers, i was very very pleasantly surprised and grateful that this hostel enforces a strict 'no smokong' policy - bravo and keep it up! i believe the silent majority (including most smokers) are strongly behind you! music a little too loud, and ethnic-centered, a little beatles, b-gees, country and western would be nice, and have most westerners tapping their feet. too much motown and hendrix!
'every drop of water counts' is a YHA mantra, and i call myself eco-conscious, but this hostel's owner seems to be too money-minded - he lurks around the washbasins all the time just to switch off a running tap! was brushing my teeth and left water running to get it warm (winter time) and he just turned off the tap. and this happened to another dorm-mate! small heater in dorm has to be switched off during the day, and permanently set to medium. kitchen use not allowed in winter and TV 'broken'?!
stayed 3 nights at the Harbin Russia in mid-February (peak of Ice Festival and COLD!) altho i am writing this review 1st April, so i have been reading some of the previous reviews to jolt my memory: 1) staff are not rude, just not super jovial cuz they dont need to sell tours. 2) bathroom area smells just a little, but nothing to scream about 3) yes, notice board is real handy 4) NO cockroaches in winter! dont believe this reviewer. 5) bed frames are OK 6) dorms and lounge area warm. Recommended
location is tops, a 7 min walk from a centrally located subway. along the route is a cheap wonton joint (11 rmb) and spicy-sour soup (12 rmb). next door is a very popular restaurant where queues form at 5.30 pm. hostel reception is staffed by some friendly and helpful girls. my dorm was warm, albeit a bit small. given that the bed price is one of the lowest in town, the travelers i met there during my stay (mostly westerners) were very nice people. wash basin water was hot, shower a trickle.
this hostel seems to be owned by a chain, saw the same 'U' logo in shanghai. very well run, very professional. staff are friendly, dorms and bathrooms are very warm, even walk around sans clothes especially if u are finnish (had very nice finnish dorm-mates). showers are veeery hot, says the sign. lounge is very cosy, altho music is non-stop reggie, which i think is uncool - how about some abba? lockers in my dorm were the best i have ever used in my 3 years of hostelling in china.
what might seem initially to be a liability for this hostel is actually its greatest asset - the lack of a lively rooftop bar scene. the yangshoa 11 actually has a great rooftop balcony with a view comparable to its 2 main competitors (monkey jane and showbiz) but without a bar, there is almost no NOISE! (U can still buy beer downstairs at the reception and bring it up though, minus the disco thumping. go next door to showbiz for the boom boom and return for a quiet rest at the eleven.
no KIDD inn is a new KID on the block on the YS ACCOMMODATION scene, OPENING a year ago. the owner is ACCOMMODATING and OPENLY FRIENDLY - when i made FRIENDS with a Mexican couple at the hostel and they later looked for me for a dinner OUTING, the owner went OUT of his way, RUNNING up the stairs to call me in my room. reception is RUN by an all male STAFF, and while this may SOUND STUFFY, i prefer girls, who usually SOUND FRIENDLIER. electronic room door LOCKS, but no LOCKERS in the rooms.
for the best mountain sight-seeing by motorized or gondola-style rafts, or even down-sized white river rafting (summertime only) xinping town beats yangshoa or guilin hands down. with absolutely no bar scene here, this very small town attracts the eco-loving types (mostly nordics, germans and uni chinese girls). reception girls are lovely in face and personality, rooms n beds are spotlessly clean. bus ride from YS is bumpy though (7 rmb, one hour), so try to sit beside a loved one!
yes,plum flower is all that its made out to be; WA (the host), is really friendly, and goes out of his way to make your stay a very pleasant one. the place is spotless, thanx to mommy, (who unfortunately cannot speak english) but for lady travellers who want a spot of female comeradie, there is always the girlfriend, who is really helpful too. guards downstairs, but no lockers in the dorms means no 100% rating. however, travellers who choose highly rated hostels are usually trust-worthy n honest
When in Lijiang, the Panba is probably the most popular choice for westerners and western-minded travelers like myself. The guy at the reception (aptly named 'River'!) has an in-depth knowledge of the the Tiger Leaping Gorge as he is an avid hiker himself. Like most hostels in Yunnan, Panba's lounge is unfortunately quite smoker friendly, although River MIGHT be rectifying the situation after my grumbling. Could other reviewers keep up the pressure and make hosteling a smoke-free experience?
To the best of my knowledge, this is the only top-rated hostel in KM situated right beside the pedestrian area (where all the action is). The hoo-ha from previous reviewers about the noise factor is a bit overdone; if staying in a dorm, expect some inconvenience, man! My own personal gripe (haha!) : Yunnan province is a heaven for smokers (of which i am not!) and the lounge here (as in practically ALL hostels in YN) has no smoke-free area, gasp gasp! Top bunks in the dorms have platform steps!
Whenever I pass thru Guilin to Yangshou, Kunming or Hanoi, oh, how I look forward to chilling out at HOW! The lounge has a terrific atmosphere - the management actually encourage the trainee staff to play mahjong and pool with the guests. They should easily beat u at MJ, but would definitely lose to u shooting pool; for better or worse, there's Wii (spelt arrgh??!) and a great DVD collection. Smoking is confined to the outside stairwell, and the lounge is one of the most smoke-free in China.
Lounge is very very cozy, its impossible not to make friends here, altho u can still chill-out alone if that's your thing. Ditto for YS's best roof-top balcony, no beer-pong, no bar, no wild party scene, but u can still bring beer up (purchased from reception downstairs). Best of both worlds. Staff is helpful and cheerful, as is the owner, who has an in-depth knowledge of train and bus departures to onward destinations like Hanoi. Free laundry. Hundreds of movies plus TV for news in Chinese haha
Location n environ is absolutely tops, a 5 minute walk to the bus station, and at the beginning of Guilin's high street. The lounge and cafeteria is great for meeting international travelers, and the area is not too big, not too small, really cosy, just the way i like it. Background music is usually great, altho there's occasional heavy metal. Thankfully, ciggy smoke seldom filters in from the stairwell smoking area. Look out for the student trainees on work attachment, very sprite-n-perky!
Hey you gripers, e'nuff already! Really good hostel, located in a middle class suburb far away from the train station ghetto. Bathrooms are 4 star clean with soap gratis. Only 3 beds in a dorm! 'Fun' factor - lounge is cosy with soft music, beer is available but no loud-mouth types. As for perceived surliness of staff - they are just being efficient and business-like: eg. no outside guests in dorms, no long-winded reviews of Lonely Planet... (others need to check-in!) Whats wrong with that?
Hostel located next to the zoo, so its 'out of town', BUT great value for money. Some middle-class local students venture out here over the weekends, making for an excellent mix and atmosphere in the lounge area, which has really good BBQ food at very fair prices. The lounge is the biggest i have seen anywhere, with an actual-sized pool table and large TV, even a separate 'conference' room on another floor! Unfortunately, there is not a single no-smoking area to be found anywhere, cough cough..
Location is tops if doing West Lake, n conveniently close to Hefang night market for trinklets. Close to Grandma's Restaurant, the best value in town. Hostel's lounge is terrific for meeting travel-mates, although marred by the smoking zone tables (just a few feet away), which is staked-out by the hostel's male workers (but NOT the male reception staff). Reception staff (both male and female) is friendly and helpful. Hostel has a kitchen and fridge! Bathrooms above average for Chinese hostels.
Hostel is located in a quiet alley 50 meters away from Hefang Street, the main 'tourist' street in Hangzhou, well known for its above-average night market and so-so (mediocre) food street (try the Chinese fast-food joint at the other end of the food street instead.) Hostel's lounge area quite small, altho there is a pool table. There is an affiliated restaurant next door which gives a 10RMB discount to hostel guests if they order steak. At least one of the male waiters is a heavy smoker tho.
No customer comment
excellent lounge for making friends to party in shanghai. very friendly and happy staff.