Selecting Accommodations In China

Fly by Night Hostel - Dongcheng, Beijing


I have been getting a lot of questions about how I often choose between hostels and I would like to dedicate a page to suggest how to go about finding accommodations in rural cities in China.


General tips on accommodation in China:

  • Always bring your passport to check-in. (You cant check into a hotel without a passport and this rule is strictly enforced in most cities.)
  • Hostels are usually much cheaper than hotels.
  • When getting off overnight trains you will be approached by people trying to take advantage of your groggyness. You get what you pay for! Make sure you see it, turn the lights on a fully inspect your room before making a decision!
  • Smaller cities do not usually have hostels, but usually have inexpensive hotels. Do a quality inspection first.
  • Overnight trains can double as a nightly accommodation.
  • is huge in the big cities and you can easily find free accommodation.
  • Chinese citizens are often very reluctant to house foreigners.

Resouces for selecting accommodations in China:

  • - free site that links you up with expats and locals who can host you for free
  • YHA China - Awesome resource. YHA hostels are almost always fantastic!
  • - I actually prefer this site over hostelworld
  • Wikitravel - I often use wikitravel to find accommodations in smaller cities that do not have hostels. Look thoroughly before you buy!

Suggestions how to go about booking a hotel in rural China:

  • Start with the sites above. Check hostel bookers to see if there are any hostels in the surrounding areas. Wikitravel many times has hotel suggestions that are not listed on the other sites. I like to call ahead and ask details about the hotel rooms such as price, location, etc. before i just show up and book the hotel.