by Lauren T
May 4, 2002
At first I thought this place was an incredible deal. Sure, it's spartan, but at 20 Yuan ($2.50 US) a night, it's cheap even by the standards I have grown accustomed to on China's east coast.
The 20 Yuan covered lodging in a large, divided room with 16 bunks, two medium sized tables, a television, and a small attached bathroom. The hostel's biggest shortcomings are the bathrooms and the beds themselves.
The bathroom is tiny. There is a simple sink with mirror and toilet. Instead of a separate shower, there is a shower head in one corner of the room and a drain in the bathroom floor--so we essentially had a large shower that happened to have a sink and toilet in it--for 16 people to share. This arrangement also presented one with the minor challenge of keeping your clothes and towel dry while you showered. (And you have to bring your change of clothes with you into the bathroom unless you want to change in front of 15 strangers of both sexes.)
Also, hot water is only available during select times (at which times you can expect quite a wait in line to use the shower). Once, I found myself having to make due by filling the sink with hot water from a thermos and washing with that.
The beds were too small. I'm six feet tall and found them less than comfortable. And they weren't particularly stable--my friend in the bunk below me complained that the entire bed shook every time I moved.
Still, the place is imaculately clean, and the friendly reception staff make up for a lot of the hostel's shortcomings. Actually, I would have thought this place to be an incredible value for the money had I not visited two friends in their room a few hundreed yards away at the Sihai hotel. They shared a private double room, with shared bathroom down the hall (all of which looked more comforable than my arrangement) for 30 Yuan. This seemed like a better deal than what I was getting.
From journal Short Stay in Yangshuo