I didn’t think we would like Guangzhou, but I was hopeful that I would be wrong. I wasn’t. We cancelled the rest of our reservations there, caught a high-speed train, and hoped our next adventure at Wada Hostel in Guilin would be a better fit.
Guilin is in Guangxi Province, a region of China I haven’t been to, but have been looking forward to visiting for years. The area is part of the South China Karst region which is a UNESCO World Heritage property famous for its karst topography. The rock formations here are unique to areas where acid water has broken down the rocky landscape over time. This causes a lot of interesting rock and mountain formations as well as more prevalent caves and sinkholes.
I like to call these rock formations “gum drop mountains”. They are truly a sight to behold. During our short train ride from Guangzhou to Guilin, my eyes were glued to the windows and the passing scenery.
We are staying at Wada Hostel while we find an apartment in Guilin. It is not located in the central district of Guilin, but still has quite a few attractions near by. Wada Hostel is highly rated on HostelWorld (I later read and believe that these ratings were falsely inflated) and has nearly all of the amenities I look for.
Wada Hostel: Cool Factor
One of the major things I look for in a hostel is one with a good vibe. This place has a great vibe. The staff is friendly, the common areas are large and comfortable. I can absolutely see how Wada Hostel would be amazing in the summer time. In the winter time however, they leave a little to be desired. The only heat for the large common areas come from one, small stove next to the bar. This made it very challenging to spend any time in the common room without a coat, hat, and gloves.
Wada Hostel: Food
Another down side of the common area is the lack of a kitchen. There is a large and tasty menu at the bar, but it is quite expensive. I do enjoy hostel food (and Wada Hostel’s menu was no different), but I also like the option to cook or bring in to-go orders from the street vendors.
Wada Hostel: Rooms
For $8, we got two bunk beds in a four person room at Wada Hostel. The room is quite clean by Chinese standards and the amenities are good. Each bed comes with a locker and lock, another locker with a charging station inside of it, a privacy curtain, lamp, and a heater blanket! The room also has an attached bathroom to share among the four bunks.
We are very thankful for the heater blankets and use them probably more than we should. Unfortunately, there isn’t a heater in the room and our window is broken. In case I haven’t made myself clear, “I am very cold at Wada Hostel!” I enjoy the hostel a lot, but I think it wasn’t the right choice for a winter accommodation.
So far we only have one roommate. Yu is a gentleman from Korea who is half-way through his 10 day trip around China. He is whirling through the sights while studying Chinese. His English is quite good and he has been a friendly and polite roommate.
Life in Guilin
So this is our home for the next few days. I think it is likely we will stay in Guilin for the rest of the month, but I don’t know for sure. Everything will depend on what we find for apartments this weekend. Until then, here is my work space:
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