Folks, it’s been another hard year to get away and so I am bringing you another RETRO review, this time again back to 2011 and destination – Shanghai, China! And to start with, the name. Yes, it’s curious because, as far as I remember and perhaps I have forgotten, there aren’t a lot of mountains in Shanghai. The number I think there is, roughly speaking, is you know, zero. So it’s curious then that they would choose to name the hostel as such. Still, what I’m looking for in these retro reviews is something that was memorable, and this place certainly was.
My note book says I paid 170 Yuan for it – which today would fetch a little over $26USD. For that I got a double with bathroom, television and air conditioning which you know, that’s a pretty good deal. I did not have a window. And the room as such was very musty when I first entered and when I returned from a day out and about. But still, I wasn’t complaining.
I remember taking the metro to hostel from the train station. It was basically across the road from a station which was handy. The metro is pretty good in Shanghai, which is important because the hostel is not central. There is another one near the Bund, the central spot near the river which is probably more popular, but honestly not being in the centre of town has never bothered me as long as getting into town has been relatively easy, and it is. I think though this part of town was within walking distance of the French Quarter.
It has quite a nice façade actually, and inside there was a lot of dark-brown in the painting or the wood stain/wall paper. So I remember it feeling quite dark even with many lights on. There was a large, comfortable common space with wifi and couches and I think possibly a pool table, facilities to make 2-minute noodles. In the evenings actually it was a pretty good place to meet others staying there from here, there and obviously everywhere. I sat down and met a couple from elsewhere in China and was able to have a really good conversation where I actually got to learn a bit about what it was like to be Chinese and live in China, and to understand life from a very different perspective than the one I had, and very different experiences from the experiences I had had growing up for example with this young Chinese couple. And that is one of the main things that stays in my mind from visiting Shanghai.
The sleeping experience? Well, ok it wasn’t perfect. In that I mean that on the first night I had a room just around the corner from the entrance. This seemed to be where a few people congregated and chatted. For hours. And I just couldn’t sleep at all (disclaimer – I am a very light sleeper). On a very positive note though, at around midnight or a bit later I went to the staff who were still available at that time and they actually moved me to another room. A bigger room with a bathroom and a double bed. It was basic but clean, and once the air conditioner was on I didn’t notice the musty smell so I guess they were taking air from outside.
I would definitely stay there again with the caveat that I would need a quiet room. I think the original room did not come with a bathroom, so perhaps avoid those kinds of rooms. The other was in a different position which was the main reason it was quieter.
It’s a friendly and cheap place to stay, clean and a place where you can meet people. Thanks for stopping by today. Take care and May the Journey Never End!