While checking out hostels in China, it’s a hoot to read what the owners have written and translated about their own places! Lonely Planet is my resource so far, and it’s been rather entertaining, as well as useful. The Beijing hostel marketing is fairly earnest, and great Chinglish. The Shanghai hostels are slicker and really geared toward the foreign travelers. However, the Hong Kong hostels have the BEST descriptions by far.
Check out this write up by a very proud owner who warns about imposters calling themselves similiar names to his establishment: Kowloon Budget Hostel! The last line is great, too, where, “The pictures showed in the page is segmental type of our rooms.”
Here’s the Hongkong Lucky Hostel: “Lucky Hostel is newly decorated in 2009. It’s cheap, snug and located at the core of Hong Kong where the shopping mall, museum, street market, and restaurants surround us. All rooms are clean and have a washroom, air-conditioning, internet, fridge, TV, and a telephone. We have a license on safety!” Mark Twain would have LOVED the write up on this one! Safety licensing must be important.
[Notice the Chinese menu-like choices of types of rooms offered on most of the sites.]
This hostel just turned me off. Reminds me of school, if I flunk a test! Maybe it’s the name or something – Yiu Fai Guest House – but a little research into English might have helped. But then, it only has six rooms … so maybe it doesn’t try hard enough. And it only had one picture to its site. D- in marketing.
The New China Guest House welcomes one, “All staffs in our guest house are looking forward to providing the whole-hearted service for you. Your presence would be our great pleasure.” In addition, “Please understand that the hostels have to allocate late check-out, early check-in, walk-in customers everyday, the veracious ‘arrival time’ help you and all guests to have the best arrangement.” So, please, don’t be veracious! And, “(becareful it’s now many illegal south-Asia commission man standing nearby chung king mansion cheating and all Visitors to different black guesthouse )!”
Oh, there’s also that competitive spirit with a little “friendly rivalry” between hostels – Vincent Guest House explains it in the first few lines. Get a load of the last line in the paragraph, too.
“There are a lot of hostels in Kowloon, but by the time you arrive you’ll probably be too tired to check out more than a couple of them. Hopefully, this explanation will save you some time and energy. We suggest that you start your search on the 16th floor of the Mirador Mansion at Vincent’s. It’s easier to search from top to bottom, for one thing, but we think that you won’t need to look elsewhere, because Vincent’s really is a quality hostel. They’ve got the right facilities and the right attitude.
Let’s talk about attitude first.”
Or, a requirement first off from the Guangzhou Guest House:
“Please note: cash only.”
Then onto business! In the next paragraph, “CAUTION : Prevention for your loss of money, please don’t show your booking sheet to any stranger approaching you in front of Mirador Mansion. They might claim to be our staff and mislead you to other hostel, trying to get money from you. Don’t pay any money until you reach our hostel. If you need help, on the road side there are some public phone which charge HK$1 that you can use to call Tommy or get the information from security guards inside Mirador Mansion (lift area). The security will help you to find our hostel more easily.”
So, be sure to get ahold of Tommy – or that reliable security guard INSIDE the Mirador Mansion (lift area) ONLY! He’ll definitely help you find the hostel because he’s a plant from Guangzhou’s staff …
So, here’s a picture of the Mirador Mansion, in case you’re in front of it, and wanted the Guangzhou!