I’m an utter snob.
There, I said it.
Hostels, to me, seemed like a weird sort of transit place where hordes of grubby travellers in limbo use, abuse and sleep in dorms with floor-to-ceiling beds, before moving on to their next destination.
Truth is, I’m now one of them…
Pure ignorance and fear of the unknown meant I’d always opted for the tried, tested, three-times-the-price hotel jobby, preferably with city views and a rooftop pool to boot. I know, I know.
Go on… Roll your eyes!
Truth be told, I’d never actually stayed in one until me and my rucksack rocked up to Shanghai, totally shattered from a slightly-traumatic experience on the bullet train (involving a freely-weeing child) and totally dumbstruck as to what I might find next.
Before that, I’d been blissfully unaware of the comfort, convenience and bargains to be had in hostels. So, once again, I was way off the mark; i.e. totally naive / wrong / a right silly billy.
Le Tour Travellers Rest was a breath of fresh air. I was staying in a 6-bed, female dorm – but I found out after check-in that I’d been upgraded to 4. It was clean, homely and welcoming after a weary day of travelling.
The walls behind the reception desks were ram-jam-packed with travel guides and maps of practically every country in Asia you could think of, to borrow for free as and when you pleased. There were also bikes to rent, pingpong tables, communal internet rooms and a super rustic rooftop bar. It really was incredible!
For a meagre £9 per night, I was without a doubt spoilt for my money.
I spent 5 nights there, sleeping soundly in my cosy top bunk and gradually ticking ogg the sights from my Lonely Planet guide, on loan.
This particular haunt was a 5 minute stroll from the Metro Line 2 (Jing’An Temple), en-route and a couple of hops away from all of the major sites. Travelling solo, I felt super safe and met lots of like-minded girls just like me!
Jiaozhou road, leading up to the hostel, is lined with yummy and uber-cheap places to eat. I’d recommend the Hainan chicken shop, which draws cues out of the door, and the traditional dumpling place across the street, filled with delicious soupy Shanghai fried baozi. I’d give you the names, but unfortunately I can’t read Chinese just yet…
You can also get your Western staples towards Jing’An square too.
I paid the Dragonfly massage parlour a visit, which is just down the road from Le Tour, for a reasonably priced, but ultra relaxing 60 minute workout on my back and shoulders. I awoke to a panicky masseuse shaking my arm; “lady, lady, your massage over”. I think she’d been at it for a while… Whoops!
So thank you Le Tour Travellers Rest for an incredible stay in Shanghai. You popped my hostel cherry, and I loved every minute.
Until next time,