Naza International Youth Hostel
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.
Nearby Naza International Youth Hostel
Amenities at Naza International Youth Hostel
- Free Parking
- Free High Speed Internet
Shanghai Travel Forum
Need advice about Shanghai, China? Visit the Travel Forum for Shanghai and ask our Answer Gurus.