Naza International Youth Hostel
No.318 Baoding Road, Hongkou District, Shanghai, Shanghai Region, 200082, China
I am relatively new to hostelling, and like travelers the world over with more plans than money, I decided to try dorm accommodation during my recent trip to eastern China. I would like to share a little about hostels in China in the hope it will be a boon to solo travelers like myself.
In large cities, a dorm bed costs about 50 yuan; in smaller towns 35 yuan or less. And it's best to get your membership BEFORE you go because they will tell you they're sold out of membership cards.
One load of laundry in a washing machine costs 6-10 yuan(occasionally free). You get to hang dry your clothes on lines outside or in some covered area.
Free internet use(10 - 60 mins, depending on the hostel).
Many have free water refill, others have hot drinking water.
Most IYH have at least one person at the reception who speaks English. They are helpful with questions like what bus to take, etc. In fact, some hostels even have the answers (as well as tour packages) on permanent display on the counter or bulletin board.
The environment and cleanliness aspect in most IYH are superior to that of a budget Chinese hotel.
The lockers provided in some cases are large enough to hold a carry-on suitcase.
Hostels also have private rooms(with 2 or 3 beds) besides dormitories. Compared to a budget hotel where you can get a room without bath for 60-80 yuan, the same hostel private room costs more. At one hostel where they were solidly booked and turning away customers, I walked farther up the same street and found a budget hotel with plenty of rooms, all cheaper than the hostel's regular room rates, such is the demand for hostel accommodation.
Pre-book for Fridays and weekends or you might be out of luck.
Some hostels don't have same sex dorms but you can ask to be put where you will be among your gender. I always asked and was placed in dorms with other females but there was once a lone male amongst us (probably because the male dorms were full?). But I don't see them doing the reverse and putting a female in a male majority dorm, so don't worry.
The price of a dorm bed is not cheap by local standards. Therefore, you are likely to see younger, better educated Chinese nationals (many with their own laptops) besides the usual mix of foreign travelers. So if you are traveling alone and wondering if hostelling is an option...... esp in China....... GO FOR IT! I did and really enjoyed the experience. During my entire 3 weeks' stay, I stayed in the hostels and hooked up with other travelers for day trips.
IYH are pretty prevalent around China where the scenic spots are. I've seen posters of Xi'an and Chengdu IYH in the various hostels I was at, and they all advertised basically the same facilities. In fact, one of my day trip partners hailed from Chengdu and she told me that her hometown was where the IYH really started.
Many IYH have pool rooms, and common rooms where you can hang out.
BTW not all hostels are created equal in China. In Tangkou I checked into a hostel by the roadside where the bus dropped me off and I had the whole room (3 beds) to myself, but the place was grotty and there was no hot water for showering. But I've not had these problems with hostels (IYH) that cater also to international travelers.
Also, you can ask the staff at the front desk to book your onward hostel accommodation in the next town. They will ask for 10 yuan and give you a receipt for it. You will get the same amount discounted when you show the receipt to the hostel they booked for you. Now that is a useful service for people who have a flexible itinerary.
When you leave one hostel and are travelling on to the next hostel, they have some kind of a leaflet/flyer exchange, usually at the notice board in the reception. It's a good idea to get the leaflet/business card to the hostel you're going to, with a location map and the address written in Chinese in case you need to show it to a local for directions.
More about Shanghai
the live fish tanks!
The outer entrance to Qi Bao, 1/2 mile from subway
Old man selling woks in the street (Jing'an Area)
Shanghai - China
I am going to Shanghai and wish to know about MOBILE SIM CARD,
1- where i can find it ?
2- how much it cost ?
3- which company is best in rates and coverage ?
4- i want to use mobile in shanghai , yiwu, guangzhou, shenzhen
** as i visit VT several time, i geuss ELLYSE will be the best to answer it
Re: Sim Card
You can buy prepaid SIM cards from either China Mobile or China Unicorn from the time you get off the plane in the airport to any corner stores or new stands on the street. Most pre-paids have slightly higher rates once you are out of the city you bought them because of the extra roaming charges but overall they are cheap compare to western countries. One hundred RMB charge of my SIM card usually goes for a whole month including out of town calls. For international calls look for instruction on how to dial using IT suffixes.
ELLYSE of course can give you the official version if you choise to wait.
Re: Sim Card
Make sure you get one that can be recharged from a coupon in any province. The one I had could only be recharged from a voucher bought in Guangdong province.
Re: Sim Card
China Unicorm card bought in Shanghai is sometimes impossible to charging from other cities but lately they have improved a great deal.
Re: Sim Card
Just come back from China. I bought a China Mobile sim card from an actual China Mobile shop in Beijing and recharged it in Xian, no probs.
Re: Sim Card
I'm going to Hong Kong, then Shanghai and Beijing. Any suggestions as to best Sim card to obtain? Would it be best if I purchase a Sim card in HK for use there, then purchase a different one when I arrive in Beijing/Shanghai? Thanks.
Re: Sim Card
There are sim cards in HK that can also be used in the mainland but not sure if the calls are more expensive. Every day somethig new came out!
Travel Tips for Shanghai
Old Street, next to the Yuyuan Bazaar has lots of souvenir stalls. There is some good presents, but you must bargain hard. The Chinese won't rob you directly, but they will rip you off if they can. They enjoy the game of bargaining though. It's fun for them.
Bargaining here is much different that elsewhere as you have to bargain harder. Your goal is to get the price down about 75%. So I start with 10%. This is where the guides can be wrong. The say to originally offer 50%, whereas I offer 10%. That's because the salespeople offer the locals a much lower starting price.
Carry a small calculator as you can punch in numbers if they do not speak English. (However, they actually speak the best English here.) If you want fake watches or purses, they are not on the main street. People will come up to you and solicit you, but you must follow into some back room down an ally.
This is how it goes:
-Always pretend you are not reallly interested in any particular item. Pretend that you don't care.
-If they say 100 yuan, I would counter with 10.
- Then they would pretend to be shocked.
-Then they would say for me they give me a special discount, and they would punch in 85.
-Then I would say I'm not interested in the item.
-They say well, 10 is too little, and they lose money. So I need to offer more.
-So I offer 20. They counter with 50.
-I say nah and put the item down.
-They say wait, what is you final price?
-Then I say 25. They counter with 40.
-I say "no, I said final price is 25."
-They said they 25 is too low. I said well, okay and start to walk out.
-I get about 2 feet out of the stall and they say, okay 25.
Don't worry. Many shops sell the same thing. So if you cannot get it at one place then you can go two stalls down. Chopstick Sets. For a pair, you should pay 15 yuan
Silk Scarves: 20 yuan
Fans: 25 yuan
Fake perpetual motion watches: 150 yuan
Fake fine quality leather handbags: 250 yuan. About 100-150 for non-leather. You can get a lot of suveniors for $200.
Now Closed !!!!!
I have to say this probably the best restaurant I have ever been to in the entire world, and boy I have been to some great restaurants (read my other travel tips). From the minute you walk in you know your at a special place. We had probably the best martini's ever at the ultra cool bar area before being seated near a window facing the Pudong skyline. The menu is heavy on fresh seafood. The Chef himself, David Laris(an Australian), buy's all the seafood everyday, fresh, so the food is outrageous good !!!!! The service is perfect. Everyone speaks perfect English. The price's are standard international prices so this isn't a cheap place to eat; especially when China is sooo cheap. The prices run from 100 RMB to 450 RMB a plate, but it's well worth the prices. After looking over the 30 page wine list, I had seared scallops with parma ham....WOW !!!! and then as a main course, lobster ravioli's in lemon sauce !!! WOW !!!!! and the house made chocolate's are out of this world !!!!! Next time I will I come here I am gonna have the chef's 8 course meal. How can you go wrong with everything being sooo good !!!! So this place is a PERFECT 10 out of 10 !!!!! HIGHLY RECOMMEND IT !!!!!! Update May 2009:
I must say that when I visited this place 3 years ago it was all the buzz around town, now it's about to close it doors according to many of the people I talked to. Maybe is the prices they charge, since last being there the prices have shot up thru the roof !!!!! We were charged 100 RMB for a small bottle water...that's almost $14 US dollars for a $1 dollar bottle......
We were there on a Saturday night at 8:00 p.m. and there must have been only 10 people inside the entire restaurant, now I must say this place can hold about 50 tables and at least 200 people.... The service continues to be good, but the food and prices have changed quit a bit..... no longer the best place in Shanghai..... What a shame.....
Update: Jan 2011
Just came back from Shanghai, and sad to report that Laris is now closed !!! It closed in November of 2010 ... Chef David Laris continues to cook and open up great places. Story goes that Chef David Laris gave up control of this place and it went straight down hill after that. What a shame, one of the best meals I have ever had was here !!!!
Visit the Pearl Tower aka Dong Fang Ming Zhu Ta
The symbol of modern Shanghai. No trip to Shanghai is complete without a visit to the Tower itself. Come visit the 3rd tallest tower in the world and reward yourself, on a good clear day, a grand view of Shanghai and its surrounding. There are 3 levels you can rob your breath away...which of course also mean you pay different prices. To ascend right to the top (with the rights to visit the other 2 levels thrown in), the ticket is RMB100.
Pottery & Ceramics
The museum had a special exhibition on when I visited which specialised in Roman and Greek pottery due to the fact that the Olympic Games were being staged later in the year. It was quite interesting to see the differences of similar aged exhibits from Europe with those from China. The gallery also features different kiln techniques for firing the pottery.
Open: 9am-5pm every day. Admission: Free.
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