This is the Happy Dragon youth hostel in Beijing, its where I stayed, I really like it. It’s in a small narrow street off the main roads but easy to get to from the Metro trains.
It’s wonderful, the staff there are welcoming, the front entrance looks like ancient Chinese with its painted doorway and orange lamps, and staff are friendly, has a decent bar, and easy to book day trips to the important places you will want to see.
Beijing’s massive city street plan are several concentric square-ish circles. You won’t be able to see this map while you are in China – I’ll explain why a little later in this series.
The hostel pins up lists of tour groups to places like the Great Wall. It also gives details of how to not get ripped off, as confidence tricksters are out to take advantage of tourists.
I met a lot of really interesting people. A Canadian University lecturer who comes for a month at a time to teach English to Chinese students, me and him and a girl from Sudan had a few beers and chats about our previous travels, our plans to go next and my faith in Christ. I also met American Christians just here for a few days and another Christian lady who had just come back from – North Korea! I later met a secular Muslim from the UK who works as an engineer and was enjoying China and dreading going to Mecca in Saudi Arabia on a Hajj trip as he thought it would be boring! I also met two different groups of Israelis, some on a trip to celebrate finishing mandatory army service and some others about 30. I also met a lot of Australians and Germans. There’s always the odd one in a youth hostel. I’m sharing a room with strangers and its the way I have normally done travel, but some guy thought it was a good idea to make phone calls at 1 in the morning.
About two days after I got here, I wanted to make sure I was booked up for the Great Wall, as I wasn’t sure if the trips run every day or if there would be any problems with the weather.