by Paul Bacon
Rotherham, United Kingdom
March 2, 2006
After spending a few days in Shaghai, and then in Hangzhou, my eyes turned north to Nanjing; a city packed with sights both modern and historic. I had imagined that because of this, and also because of the city's location close to Shanghai and other big cities, there would be plenty of options in terms of hostels and budget accommodation—alas, I was sorely mistaken. My guidebook—the outrageously inaccurate Lonely Planet—divulged precious little, and scores of internet searches succeeded in unearthing just one hostel, the Fuzimao.
It was early February when we pulled into Nanjing's main railway station. By the time our taxi driver had gotten lost twice, consulted three policemen, and then eventually navigated us to our accommodation it was beginning to get very dark and very cold. Unfortunately as we entered the Fuzimao, I struggled to notice any difference in temperature; once inside I could still see my own breath, and the everyone in the staff was wearing heavy padded jackets. Regardless of that both my friend Oz and I had no stomach for going in search of anywhere different, since we were tired after our train journey and were in desperate need of a beer. The night at the Fuzimao turned out to be a curious experience. The place had plenty of attributes that could have made it into a great hostel. The beer was cheap and (not unexpectedly) very cold, internet access and the pool were both free, and the rooms were decorated with stylish bamboo wall coverings. There were even some very fun looking attic rooms into which you needed to climb a ladder (a bad idea if you plan to sample the nightlife). The only problem was it was just so damn cold. We left the next morning in search of other options, remarking that the place may well have been awesome in the summer.
From journal Nanjing