Well, this is the start - first, who would be able to find the entrance of the hostel? It was one of the many buildings in the busy Mongkok, with only a very small signboard. And with HK having addresses that reflect the building rather than the building no., it was a tough find.
The next thing I found quite interesting - the lift, for one side goes on even floors and the other on odd numbered floors. Well this may seem common for bigger buildings, but not so when it's only 2 lifts. This makes time faster if you are only going to one level, but not if you are visiting 2 different levels. Anyway, this system appear quite a fair bit in the buildings in HK... many of which only have 2 lifts.
Well those weren't much a shock, till I arrived to the floor.... well this hostel is actually located in a mix block of residence and business! More like a flat that allows business... and with clothes hanging outside, and all over.
Then of course the biggest shock - the rather cram hostel room. But because being most often out, it was rather ok - after all, the room is quite neat... yes, they change the towels daily and sweep the floor too.
Island Pacific Hotel, Hong Kong Island
Now this is not a hostel... but actually a 4 star hotel. Anyway, after a good 3 nights at the first hostel... and with this hotel having some promotions, thought I'll give myself some good treat.
Arriving at the hotel was a shock again - a pleasant one this time. This is a building on its own (ie easy to find, even the taxi driver know it), have a good reception area (not large but good enough). The room is comfortable (again not large, but compared to the hostel, this is superior!).... plus I got one with a seaview! That's quite something! Oh and yes, it comes with a gym and swimming pool....! Now, that's a holiday (minus the wifi)!
Maple Leaf Guesthouse, Chungking Mansions, Tsim Sha Tsui
But of course, spending too many nights in the hotel would be rather costly, so I then decided to head back to another hostel 3 nights later.
Actually I dreaded going to this hostel reading the reviews of where this hostel is located - inside Chungking Mansion, which is apparently a somewhat rundown building. I've not seen any images of it, but having already stayed in the clothes hanging hostel, I was prepared.
And true to its form, the building looks like a flat that needs some painting. And the main floor downstairs is simply crowded with many shops like foreign exchange and souvenirs... this is really not a hostel like entrance.
But all that aside, the room was clean & bigger than the previous hostel, though the toilet remain small (to shower by the toilet bowl). It was pretty comfortable as well.
And besides it is located in the heart of Kowloon at TST. Superior location is a big plus!
Mapleleaf Guesthouse, Mirador Mansion, Tsim Sha Tsui
But that only lasted for 1 night, as the other nights were fully booked. So I had no choice but to go to their sister hostel - USA hostel. Again, I cringed upon hearing I had to shift - "What will I see next?"
The hostel I was introduced next was just in the next building - also another building known for many backpackers' hostels - Mirador Mansion.
The ground level also have shops, but are more organised and less chaotic. But similarly, it is flat like with again, clothes hanging all over the shop.... and a building that would need some touch up too.
Only difference with this hostel - it has a reception at the corridor, which is just a table with stools.
But as far as the room goes, this is Super! It's the most spacious hostel of all 3 - the bed I stayed is a superior single. It has a desk large enough and just like the rest a TV hanged at the corner. What impress me most of all - the toilet was huge! There was no bathing by the toilet bowl! Lol!
I enjoyed this hostel the most for its price and space, and if I come back, I might just consider this... though the thought of a 4 star hotel seems like a welcoming idea as well.
Well, staying in hostels in HK was quite an experience. Other destinations do offer better value for money & way bigger space, but well, this is one experience to remember HK - though not the most memorable... for next up, the most memorable thing in HK!
*The hostels range about HKD250 and above - some charge extra for double beds (though I think this price fluctuate based on peak/ non peak season). The hostels I stayed all came with free Wifi.