Hutongs are a type of narrow streets or alleys commonly associated with northern Chinese cities, most prominently Beijing. In Beijing, hutongs are alleys formed by lines of siheyuan , traditional courtyard residences. Many neighborhoods were formed by joining one siheyuan to another to form a hutong, and then joining one hutong to another. The word hutong is also used to refer to such neighborhoods.
HOW WE GOT HERE
From Beijing South Railway Station
We took subway line 4 for seven stops to Pinganli station and then transferred to Line 6 get off at Dongsi station Exit E (tickets are 2rmb).
Happy Dragon Hostel Map >>>here
Beijing Subway Map >>>here
Photo Direction to the Hostel >>>here
Beijing Happy Dragon Hostel is located at a Hutong area with a busy morning market everyday where you can buy cheap fruits and see everyday life of local people. It's a 5-minute walk to the subway station and China Art Museum, 15 minutes walk to Jingshan Park and Wangfujing night market. It's also 20 mins walk to Sanlitun Bar Street, 4 subway stops from Tiananmen Squareand also 4 stops to the Temple of Heaven.
The Hostel Offers
Like in most hostels, staff at Happy Dragon are friendly. Best of all, they can communicate fluently in English which is comforting if you are in a country like China where asking for even simple directions is quite an effort.
Room style/ Nov-March/ April/ May-Oct
Double room Ensuite- 175RMB 200RMB 280RMB
Triple room Ensuite - 70RMB/bed 80RMB/bed 100RMB/bed
Twin room Ensuite - 175RMB 200RMB 280RMB
4 bed dorm Ensuite - 50RMB/bed 70RMB/bed 90RMB/bed
Single room Ensuite - 130RMB 160RMB 220RMB
5 bed dorm Ensuite - 45RMB/bed 60RMB/bed 80RMB/bed
Though accommodation is rather simple and you might have to forget a little of privacy especially if you are staying in a dormitory room, the social aspect of it is the rewarding part. We had a roommate from Denmark and he is a nice young guy. He was generous to share tips to us especially about the Great Wall and he even made us borrow his Lonely Planet guide book, withou which, the trip to the remote section of the wall would have been impossible.
If there is one little disappointment, it would be the restaurant. In their website, I saw lots of photos of guests drinking, and having fun socializing at the resto. That made me think that the place is warm and alive and I was so looking forward to drinking beer with other guests at night and simply have fun. That didn't happen. The mood was rather quiet during the two nights that we stayed with the restaurant mostly empty at any given time of the day. And it was the start of travel peak season in Beijing. Too bad.
We almost availed of one of the tours for convenience but we managed to muster a great deal of courage to try a section of the wall which is not yet open to tourists. I will write a separate post on that one soon.
In their website, it states,
"we are a relaxed, super-friendly hostel in a great location, your comfortable one-stop for a great time to Beijing. Our hostel not only provides great value and comfortable accomodation, but also runs full tours to the Great Wall and other sites"
HAPPY DRAGON HOSTEL is located at