This is rapidly turning into one of the hilariously worst hostels of my entire travels.
I've stayed in probably hundreds ranging from 50p a night fleapits to £35 a bed Norwegian flashpackers.
My China accommodation so far has definitely been a tale of two halves.
The Happy Dragon in Beijing was down a fascinating hutong full of vendors selling interesting items and just 5 minutes from a subway station. The staff were friendly and it was cosy with a nice café attached.
Moyan Outdoors meanwhile (stupid name!) is miles out of town (apparently an hour on the bus although the staff refuse to confirm which number) It’s sterile and cold with huge dorms. They’ve clearly been inspired by the old style YHAs. There is a "pub" attached. I attempted to order a coffee despite the price being at least double Starbucks. The server wandered off and returned with a mobile phone. Pressing a button an automated American voice repeated “the server is not yet attending” at me. I shrugged and left.
I’m getting a feeling they might also be segregating nationalities by dorm. Despite the huge size of the room it appears to be myself and possibly the only other Brits in the entire city. Other dorms seem to have Chinese in them. I’m not sensing the friendliness of the capital in Harbin at all. Maybe it’s the cold but while Beijing is definitely on my itinerary again for 2015 Heilongjang’s main city isn’t.
A good hostel sets the atmosphere. In a hostel where the staff care it rubs off on the guests. Moyan Outdoors simply doesn’t have it.
I originally wrote 'Every Han for Himself' for the now closed Travelpod site. In January 2014 I was lucky enough to able to tick off a long held bucket list ambition by visiting both Beijing and the Harbin Ice Festival.
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