Saturday, March 12, 2011

Where I spent my [cold] nights in Beijing

It was a cold winter for me when I arrived Beijing. But it would not be for someone who already acclimatized to cold weather. Average night time temperature of -2 degree C is nothing compared to -20 degree C isn't it? I was concerned with any temperature lower than Malaysia has simply because I couldn't stand cold. In school's hostel, I would choose my bed the furthest from fan while everybody else aiming to have theirs exactly under the fan. So, the space and the bed in Beijing must be warm enough to keep me sleeping the whole night. 

My bed for the first 2 nights was so comfortable I forgot to capture it ;p
But lemme show u the place. It is situated in JiaMingTongCheng, a walk away from Datunlu East Beijing Subway. According to Steph, my host, this is a very good neighbourhood, the price of this apartment was CNY 3 millions when she bought it! (opsss no, actually her parents-in-law bought it as a gift to her and her husband) Would I marry a Chinese man? Not sure. Depending on what my parents-in-law can buy me :p

Steph's apartment

Steph Zhao, a local Chinese hosted me and Sayra for 2 nights. We had a room to ourselves complete with the most comfortable bed and warming duvet. I didn't wanna get up when I first lay myself down on the bed covered with delicate Pierre Cardin bedsheet and the pillow and duvet made from I-don't-know-what kinda make me lost in total comfort! Totally more comfortable than what I have back home :) She also let us use every other common facilities in her apartment freely. Do u know what I found most fascinating in her apartment?


Yes, it's a coral reef aquarium. I got to see an underwater lives at 20th floor apartment! They are just too amazing I admire Steph's husband dedication and passion maintaining it. I know it's not easy to have one like this. The oxygen, the temperature, the lighting, the water quality must all be correct.

Here are some views from my bedroom and the balcony.

And this is my lovely host, Steph. Thanks for the 2 wonderful nights stay!

The number of hutong decline drastically in Beijing to make way for new building and before they are all really gone, I decided to spend my nights in courtyard hostel at one of the hutong. 

Typical narrow alley in hutong

People here might not be living in posh apartment, but some own a Mini Cooper! My fav car :')

Located at Wangzhima Hutong, Peking Yard Hostel is easily accessible from Zhangzizhong Lu subway station and very near to main road.

If u wonder how does the hostel look inside, first let me bring u to the main door as an introduction.

Welcome to Peking Yard Hostel, Beijing 

Once I stepped in behind this door, I was greeted by one Malaysian family about to heading out for sight seeing. The parents were so cool to stay in hostel with their kids. I mean, not many couple with kids wants to stay in hostel right? But I think I would consider staying in hostel with my family too if it's Peking Yard Hostel. Now, I let u judge the place and tell me how u like it :) 

This is a common area where everybody freely do their stuff anytime they like. Most pictures in the frame hung on the wall are from the owner's masterpieces. You can found her in one of the pictures too! I can tell she has a very good taste in art from how she decorate this place. She managed to turn the old courtyard into this amazing modern contemporary hostel that not only provide bed at night but also bring real feeling of own-home's comfort after thousands miles of travelling.

And here are some of the facilities.

And this is my private room for another 2 nights in Beijing. The room was clean, spacious, sound proof and the air conditioning (heater) worked fantastically.

I LOVE this place.

The last day before checking out, I spent the whole morning till afternoon having breakfast, writing postcards, reading, checking email and talking to the other travellers in the common area. 

The tranquil ambiance they created and relaxing music they played made my mind rest for a while before hitting the busy subway again. I would extend my stay here if I could but I knew somebody else was waiting for my arrival at their home with open arms. So, till next time Peking Yard Hostel!

I was shocked when I saw this when I arrived at my second host's place.

Oh no, is he a criminal?!
I'm sure if he is, many girls would try their best to keep him away from police but under their own good care :')

Ok, that is Matteo. He's not a criminal but my Italian host in Beijing. How can a guy with such look be a criminal aight?

Matt was working when I arrived at his house but Jessica, her girlfriend was at home and welcomed and greeted me and Sayra happily. We stayed at their place for 2 nights until our last day in Beijing. Both Matteo and Jessica are Italian and they first met in Beijing 3 years ago. Since then, they decided to become Beijinger :)

During my stay, they really made me feel like I was at my own house. They even gave me one set of their house key! Having a room enough for the two of us and be able to stay in the same house with them was such a pleasant experience. Jessica cooked a wonderful, authentic vegetarian Italian pasta for our dinner together on the first night and so many stories were shared over dinner until we didn't realize midnight had passed us. Topics covered everything from life, travel, politic, love, future, geography, history to religion. Jessica studied political science for her degree, so it makes the conversation more interesting. Matt on the other hand studied language and it was kinda cute when Jess had to explain some layman term in Italian to Matt when we talked about something factual ;)

Here I present to u my 'Little Italy in Beijing'.

Great people are everywhere :) I am thankful and feel blessed to get to know this wonderful couple and hope our paths cross again one day! Ciao!


fatt said...

u couch surfing kat beijing ke? i tot u duk hostel sepanjang trip ni..but ur hostess are supercool!!
peking youth hostel punye deco remind me a lot of shanghai youth hostel..i suke deco dorg..mmg lebih kurang nice! :D

u buat i nak ripit beijing laaaa... :)

Biqque said...

ok jugak hostel dia ek? nice!

Traveller's Anatomy said...

yeah, i surfed in Beijing! So, dh boleh update dekat 'Who's byya?' tu hehe...if u yg suke travel solo ni mesti lg best CS, a chance to meet local and other travellers. Diorang mmg sgt cool, tu pon ade CSer yg I xsmpat nak jumpe.

Suke kan hostel mcm tu, rase mcm xnak kluar jln2 hehe...i nak stay kat situ jugak la if i pegi Shanghai nnt.

I SANGAT nak g Beijing lg! ;)

Traveller's Anatomy said...

I mmg slalu dok hostel je if g travel mane2 tp hostel ni mmg best! Nnt boleh la try :)

3plepl8 said...

sometime lepak hostel menariks jgk...ada chance nk make more frens.

Amber DeGrace said...

What a great post! Love the photographs and your words. :)

Traveller's Anatomy said...

yup, hostel=new friends=cheap

thanks dear! this is the trip my father worried about.

fatt said...

when do u plan to go to Shanghai? i bet u'll love Shanghai once u see it..ada byk French building along the stretch @ the Bund.. i will try surfing in Korea.. :D

Traveller's Anatomy said...

If i ade byk mase mcm u, mau je direct Beijing-Shanghai haritu tp maybe akan pegi skali ngan HK kot, insyaAllah.

Cool, surfing adalah best!!! Barulah ada perasaan backpacker wangi sejati hehe...Org yg I kenal kt Seoul dah pindah, klau x boleh recommend u kat dia. Btw, i ade email nak tny psl Bromo kat u. Nnt check ek :)

tiffany oktoriana said...


Thanks for sharing about your accomodation.

I will ask, at the first you told you stayed 2 nights, where can I contact her?

Thanks for your reply :)