Destination TBD


Dates of travel :
May 8 - July 4, 2005

Lessons learned:
Don't come to China without a phrase book, some basic Chinese language skills, or at the very least, a mastery of the art of charades. Also, bring hiking boots!

Best food-related dicovery:
Garlic Cucumbers

Horror stories:
The stairs of Emei Shan, being placed in charge of cooking a Chinese family dinner, squatting over the shitter with sore quads

Blog Posts:
May 2005
June 2005

Go to Photo Albums

Where we stayed | Rates are for a double room with private bath unless noted / Y* = rates for double with shared bath


The Far East Int'l Youth Hostel |
90 Tieshu Xie Jie, Xuanwu District
Located in the historic hutong of Beijing, the Far East was a great place to start our travels in China. They've got an English speaking staff, travel service, laundry facilities, a 'yourself kitchen', several mellow cafes, etc... We've become believers in the hosteling circuit. Hostels offer more than just a room... a place to hang out is key to relaxing travels. Listed in Lonely Planet
Rate: 200 Y ($25.00 +/- U.S.)



Jiudu Hotel | Across from train station
The staff doesn't speak a lick of English, but still several of them managed to herd us in and out of the dark, rainy evening at the end of a long day in Shaolin Si. The room was decent and the hotel's location near the train station made it ideal for our many trips to the ticketing office... the staff at there doesn't speak English either.
Rate: 150 Y ($18.00 +/- U.S.)



Xian Shuyuan Youth Hostel |
Near the South Gate
Make online reservations
Part of the Hosteling International network, this place felt familiar, an extension of the hostel where we stayed in Beijing. It's a great place to hang out, meet other backpackers, and get information about local attractions like the Terracotta Warriors or farther away places like Tibet and the Yangtse River.
Rate: 160 Y ($20.00 +/- U.S.)



Dragon Town Youth Hostel |
27 Kuan Xiang Zi Street
Dragon Town has the usual hostel hang out spaces, amenities and travel services for Tibet, Juizhaigou, Yangtse River cruises, the panda research center, and more. Dragon Town is located on a cozy, historic street -- it can be noisy, but the helpful staff make up for it (Leonard rocks).
Rate: 90 Y*, 160 Y ($11.25*, $20.00 +/- U.S.)



Jiutong Hotel | Next to bus station
Located outside of the Juizhaigou nature reserve, this hotel is a decent option for a night or two while visiting the park. Its location next to the bus station makes it convenient after a long, 12-hour bus ride from Chengdu. Technically speaking, it is prohibited to stay inside the park, but it is possible to discreetly find a room for the night in one of the villages for around 40 Y.
Rate: 60 Y ($7.50 +/- U.S.)



The Traffic Hotel | Next to bus station
Most of our nights in Songpan were spent camping in the mountains as part of a 3-day horse trek, but having to spend one night in a hotel, the location of this place, next to the bus station, makes it convenient for an early morning bus back to Chengdu. The hot water shower is a bonus, too -- when it works, that is. There is a considerable lack of options in Songpan, and the price and service reflect the lack of competition.
Rate: 90 Y ($11.25 +/- U.S.)


Mount Emei

Teddy Bear Hotel | #43 Baoguo Rd
The Teddy Bear is a decent place and serves its purpose as an 'overnighter' for people who are only in town to climb the mountain (there really is no other reason to come to Emei Town). Listed in Lonely Planet
Rate: 100 Y ($12.50 +/- U.S.)



Wanchunyan Guest House |
#10 Xin Yung Lane, Old Town
Probably the best guest house in the whole of China, Wanchunyan is a cozy and tranquil courtyard hotel -- rooms surround a garden with song birds in the trees. This place is run by a super friendly married couple who go out of their way to ensure the comfort of their guests... it is truly a home away from home, where guests are family.
Rate: 60 Y ($7.50 +/- U.S.)


Zhongdian (Shangri La)

Delamu Guest House |
#152 Jinglong Street, Old Town
An historic 'Tibetan style' home, this rustic guest house has simple rooms with shared toilet and shower facilities (as do many of the options in Zhongdian's Old Town). The staff are friendly and there is a cafe that offers drinks and snacks.
Rate: 25 Y per person ($3.00 +/- U.S.)


Tiger Leaping Gorge

Half Way Guest House | On the Trail
This place is not really 'half way' -- it's more like 3/4 of the way along the Tiger Leaping Gorge trail... But it is well worth the extra bit of walking to stay the night. The rooms are basic, but clean (with comfy mattresses!) -- toilets and showers are shared. The place is run by Mr. Feng and his family, a friendly bunch. There is a great terrace cafe that looks out upon the mountains. Listed in Lonely Planet
Rate: 30 Y* ($3.75* +/- U.S.)


Dali (Old Town)

Birdbar & bird's nest | #22 Renmin Rd
The Birdbar is the cool place to hang out -- it's 'artsy' in the hip way, with grafitti on the walls and has a dark and cozy lounge area with bar, pool table, good music, and comfy couches. The rooms are decent -- we sprung for the 'luxury' room which was better than the standard rooms.
Rate: 100 Y ($12.50 +/- U.S.)



Kunming Cloudland Int'l Youth Hostel | #23 Zhuan Tang Rd
This hostel is new (4 mos) and very nice. The rooms are modern, there is free internet access, a reading room, DVD room, and a cool restaurant/bar to hang out in. Staff is friendly and helpful -- the owners are travelers themselves.
Rate: 75 Y* ($9.00* +/- U.S.)



Monkey Jane's Guesthouse | #28 Lianfengzhongxiang
Monkey Jane's is right in the heart of things, but thankfully quiet for its location in an alley set off the main street. There's a nice rooftop bar with great views, and the rooms are a great price. Jane is always around, too; she's a great resource for local info.
Rate: 50 Y ($6.25 +/- U.S.)

© 2005, Cheryn Flanagan