Backstreet Youth Hostel

Posted by : foongpc | Monday, August 17, 2009 | Published in


This was the place we stayed on our first two nights in Guilin city.

backstreet front 2

It's the Backstreet International Youth Hostel which was a popular backpackers' hostel in Guilin. Mostly Westerners and Caucasian tourists staying here.

From the outside it looked OK to me.

backstreet front lane 2

But not when I went into my room.

backstreet room 1

Well, I was not expecting too much. It was after all, a backpackers' hostel. And it only cost me about 120 yuan (RM63) per night. On first impression, the bed did look quite nice and I felt a bit like royalty. Haha! It's a double bed by the way. They did not have single beds.

I had the whole room (and bed) to myself as blogger Jam and his friend stayed together in another room. And I even had two cupboards whereas Jam was complaining their room only had one!

backstreet room 2

And this table lamp sort of looked nice.

table lamp 2

But that's all the nice things I can say about the room! Now let's go to the "lousy" part.

See this TV?


When I first saw the TV, I could not believe it! A TV provided in my room? We are talking about a low budget backpackers' hostel here! Not even a 3 star hotel!

Well, my happiness was shortlived. The TV could not be switched on. And guess what? They had a TV in every room and none of the TVs could work! I am not kidding.

Jam enquired about it at the counter at the lobby and that was exactly what he was told. Don't ask me why they bother to place the TVs there. The only TV I know that was working was the one at the lobby.

OK, fine. No TV, no problem. I didn't expect any TV anyway.

But the door was really old and worn out. I did not take any photos but there was a crack at the top part of my door and they just stuffed the hole with a piece of paper or something to prevent peeping toms from looking in!

I really think if I bang the door shut really hard, the whole door would crumble! The management should really look into replacing the doors with new ones!

The other thing was the toilet. It was not exactly filthy but it was simply not clean. I decided not to take photos of the toilet to spare you readers, but I really think the management should improve on the cleanliness.

I did not even dare use their bath towels. They looked dirty and there were some stain patches on them. Eew!

Now in case you think I got what I paid for, let me tell you beforehand that we had stayed in cheaper hostels in China with much much cleaner toilets and room!

But that's not the end of it. No, besides the lousy facilities, we had to be content with the staff's equally lousy attitude. Maybe they think they have too many customers and there is no need to provide good service. That really sucked!

I do not understand why backpackers rated this hostel highly. I guess it could be due its choice location which was just a few minutes walk to the city central plaza, commercial pedestrian street and some of the city's famous tourist attractions.

For me however, it's totally overrated. I don't think I would ever want to stay there again!

(102) Comments

  1. Anonymous

    They should really drop the word 'International' from the name of the hostel. From what you described and I am very particular about toilets, I wouldn't dare to put up a night there.

    I have nightmares of dirty toilets from some place I stayed at in the past....*shudder*

    August 17, 2009 at 8:52 AM
  2. Anonymous

    Maybe the TV was for decor? :)

    August 17, 2009 at 8:53 AM
  3. Shingo T said...

    The TV is actually a CCTV to capture what loving couples do on bed.

    Ok, I'm just kidding. Don't freak out. =p

    August 17, 2009 at 9:40 AM
  4. Pete said...

    The TV don't look like a real one the paper ones they use for Cheng Beng......ha ha ha!

    August 17, 2009 at 10:33 AM
  5. foongpc said...

    mei teng, surprisingly it was very popular with the Caucasian tourists! Well, I don't really know what's the TV is for. Maybe you are right - just for decor : )

    August 17, 2009 at 10:43 AM
  6. foongpc said...

    shingo T, haha! No freaking out for me. I stayed alone in that room, and there's nothing interesting that they could capture : )

    August 17, 2009 at 10:44 AM
  7. foongpc said...

    pete, really? I haven't really seen those paper TV they made for the dead. I think the hostel should just donate those TV sets for Cheng Beng. Haha!

    August 17, 2009 at 10:47 AM
  8. jam said...

    Haha, Foong, bear with it! I did not expect much since I only booked backpacker's hostel. In case of comfortable sleep at least, I think this hostel did serve the purpose well :)

    August 17, 2009 at 10:51 AM
  9. foongpc said...

    jam, don't worry. I did not blame you for choosing this hostel : )

    Well, yes I have nothing to complain about the bed, though. Did have a good night's sleep especially after only sleeping like 1 hour the night before!

    But could not help comparing this hostel with the nice one we stayed in Xingping : )

    August 17, 2009 at 11:11 AM
  10. Twilight Man said...

    I travel very often and my word of advice is never believe any comments in the internet. They were often written by the hostel or hotel staff themselves. I am in advertising trade, so I know their tricks as testimonials lure gullible customers only. I usually judge the place from the photos and words from my friends. Ask me next time.

    August 17, 2009 at 12:53 PM
  11. [SK] said...

    yeah, it was quite a headache when searching for budget accommodations.. you often have to judge yourself whether the photos looks genuine, and whether the comments given by the reviews are neutral and frank enough..

    August 17, 2009 at 3:34 PM
  12. [SK] said...

    i don't really require luxury rooms, but at least it must be clean and tidy, and also bright!! the once i got in barcelona was just too crapy, it really somehow affected the mood lor..

    August 17, 2009 at 3:34 PM
  13. [SK] said...

    oh, btw, you didn't tell us whether you saw roaches and was bitten by bed bugs in the hotel?? hahaha~~

    August 17, 2009 at 3:35 PM
  14. Mariuca said...


    August 17, 2009 at 4:10 PM
  15. Mariuca said...

    See this is why I'm very fussy when it comes to hotels, must make sure it's comfy and has all the things I need. LOL @ the sorta nice lamp he he!

    August 17, 2009 at 4:11 PM
  16. Mariuca said...

    Stupid la put the TV for show only! And what is up with the dirty towels aiyoooo if it were me, sure change hotel!

    August 17, 2009 at 4:12 PM
  17. Mariuca said...

    Some more lousy customer service.... confirm la then I'll never stay here. For sure I'll throw tantrum if stay here LOL!!

    August 17, 2009 at 4:12 PM
  18. Mariuca said...

    Sorry to hear ur hotel was lousy Foong but lucky u could tahan la. And u got to visit China so yay! ;)

    August 17, 2009 at 4:13 PM
  19. khengsiong said...

    You went to China with a shoulder bag and a soft suitcase. You are NOT a real backpacker yet!

    120 yuan isn't exactly cheap, especially considering that it is in Guilin, not Beijing or Shanghai. The hotel rooms in Jalan Alor, Bukit Bintang, can easily beat this one at about the same price.

    From my experience, Western backpackers don't care so much about accommodation, but they want a jar of beer on their dining table.

    August 17, 2009 at 4:46 PM
  20. HappySurfer said...

    The place sounds run down but then again, it's a clean bed for a good night's sleep and a door that locks for security are the basic needs, I suppose. No hauntings lah, of course.

    August 17, 2009 at 5:17 PM
  21. HappySurfer said...

    I agree with KS that RM63 is not exactly backpackers rate. Come to think of it, I don't think backpacking is for me.

    August 17, 2009 at 5:21 PM
  22. HappySurfer said...

    That tv is a real con-job! Did you check what's behind it?

    August 17, 2009 at 5:22 PM
  23. A Common Singaporean said...


    I have worked in China for an entire year and I have stayed in a few places. Most are ok. I am sorry u hv to take this shit in your case.

    But eitherhow, I hope u enjoy the sightseeing bits!

    August 17, 2009 at 5:42 PM
  24. lina said...

    I'm like Mei Teng; I'm very fussy about the toilet. (But then again, I think I'm fussy about almost everything. LOL)

    August 17, 2009 at 6:05 PM
  25. lina said...

    the place looks pretty "rustic". Way too rustic for my taste, but then maybe the location is the main attraction, eh?

    August 17, 2009 at 6:08 PM
  26. lina said...

    Yuzu Manager promised a good table for us- don't know whether true or not. CU 2moro! :)

    August 17, 2009 at 6:10 PM
  27. Tekkaus said...

    Sounds like Backstreet Boys! Haha :D Ouh! Backstreet Youth? Why is it called Youth? A werid name indeed. From outside this hostel does look Ok! Lots of scooter aye.

    August 17, 2009 at 10:19 PM
  28. Tekkaus said...

    Feel like royalties? My...must be the feel of the bed huh? They did not have single beds? How come? Why? Hmm....My mind is wondering away. Anyway RM63 per night is quite ok.

    August 17, 2009 at 10:22 PM
  29. Admin T.H said...

    so long time not listen their songs :(

    the price sound ok.

    August 17, 2009 at 10:24 PM
  30. Tekkaus said...

    So you are alone lar? 2 cupboards some more? Did you experience any paranormal stuff there? LOL :D

    The lamp is indeed unique but is it hot?

    August 17, 2009 at 10:27 PM
  31. Tekkaus said...

    Hahaha :D Indeed lousy. They have TV in every room and yet none of it can be switched on? You know why? I bet it has something to do with Feng Shui! LOL :D

    August 17, 2009 at 10:29 PM
  32. Tekkaus said...

    The room is in such a terrible condition? No wonder it does not even have 3 stars. Haha :D

    Perhaps the toilet is also part of their Feng Shui Supersitious? If they make it clean, then all their "money" will be cleaned away?

    August 17, 2009 at 10:32 PM
  33. Tekkaus said...

    Hmm...the staff attitude is not good either. Now that is really not OK huh! Perhaps these backpackers did not rated it? Some insiders of the hotel were rating it?

    August 17, 2009 at 10:33 PM
  34. foongpc said...

    twilight zone, you travel very often? Is that part of your job? OK, will ask you next time! : )

    August 17, 2009 at 10:43 PM
  35. foongpc said...

    SK, no roaches in Backstreet Hostel, but there are some (although small ones) in another hostel in Yangshuo. I killed them all!!

    No bed bugs so far, thank God!

    I also don't need luxury hotels, just clean ones will do : )

    August 17, 2009 at 10:45 PM
  36. foongpc said...

    mariuca, I know you are fussy with hotels. Hehe. For me, as long as it's clean, I'm OK with it.

    Yes, the TV for show only, does not serve any other purpose!

    I didn't dare touch those dirty towels! LOL!

    Yeah, lucky i can still tahan : )

    August 17, 2009 at 10:49 PM
  37. foongpc said...

    khengsiong, haha! I didn't say I'm a real backpacker! I'm just a backpacker wannabee. LOL!

    I know 120 yuan is not that cheap. Last time I stayed in KK for RM65 a night and that was so much better in terms of cleanliness and service!

    August 17, 2009 at 10:52 PM
  38. foongpc said...

    happysurfer, yeah it's pretty run down, but the bed is OK - clean and big enough for me! Haha! Definitely no hauntings although that would make my trip more interesting, right? : )

    No I didn't really check what's behind the TV but there's a wire connecting from the wall to the TV.

    Backpacking not for you? Actually I'm not really 100% backpacker. So still OK with me : )

    August 17, 2009 at 10:55 PM
  39. foongpc said...

    a common singaporean, well that's the downside of budget traveling! I did enjoy my sightseeing though, so the hostel problems were just minor issues for me and did not affect the enjoyment of my holiday in Guilin : )

    August 17, 2009 at 10:57 PM
  40. foongpc said...

    lina, you said it! You are fussy about almost everything! Not just the toilets! Haha!

    Yes, I think it's popular because of its location. Very good location actually!

    Wow! We get a good table at Yuzu? Great! Looking forward to another round of Japanese food!! Yay! I'm bringing my camera along. Haha! : )

    August 17, 2009 at 11:00 PM
  41. foongpc said...

    tekkaus, backstreet boys? Haha! Are you a fan?

    I'm not sure whether they do not have single beds or those rooms were fully booked. Anyway, sleeping alone on a double bed sure feels good provided the room is not haunted lah. Haha!

    Fortunately or unfortunately, it is not haunted : )

    What do you mean the lamp is hot or not? It is not hot when I go near it, but I don't know if it's hot if I touch it! : )

    Haha! I doubt the TV and the cleanliness of the toilets have anything to do with feng shui : )

    Well, the backpackers could have rated it badly, and the hostel insiders could have deleted them and placed their own "fake" ratings.

    In one of the hostels we stayed in China, the hostel owner actually asked us to write good comments on the website! Now you can see why those comments can not be fully trusted!

    August 17, 2009 at 11:06 PM
  42. foongpc said...

    TH, songs? What songs? Oh! You mean the Backstreet Boys? Haha! You want to listen? I even have one of their CDs! Used to listen to them but not anymore.

    The price of the hostel is not really OK unless you are sharing it with someone else, like Jam and his friend. They paid half of what I paid since I took the whole room! : )

    August 17, 2009 at 11:09 PM
  43. Anonymous

    Just dropping by to say a big TQ for the lovely green butterfly. Received it today in the mail :)

    I am thick skinned eh?! ;)

    August 17, 2009 at 11:18 PM
  44. annant said...

    since it's only backpacker lodge, dont expect too high...
    but i see that lavender lodge in kk is better huh

    August 18, 2009 at 12:42 AM
  45. Robo said...

    HI foong,
    Did you rent the bike? And also hire a driver as a tour guide for you? My friend did it on his last visit.

    August 18, 2009 at 12:53 AM
  46. Neo said...

    Nevermind 1 night there only ma... :)

    August 18, 2009 at 1:32 AM
  47. Tekkaus said...

    Yeah! I used to be...a BSB fans...but not anymore I guess. LOL :D

    The big room.....does look like haunted. Maybe that's why the door is in such terrible condition?

    August 18, 2009 at 5:00 AM
  48. Ayie said...

    1st-the bed is really the size and the frame

    2nd-the wood accessories are also a good match in the room

    3rd-poor service and not-so-maintained accom..very bad!

    August 18, 2009 at 7:12 AM
  49. lina said...

    Crap! I forgot to bring my camera!

    Have to nick your photos then! :)

    August 18, 2009 at 8:12 AM
  50. wenn said...

    some hotel rooms are even worst. I have been to one where there were food under the bed cover. yuk!

    August 18, 2009 at 9:31 AM
  51. levian said...

    the hotel looks familiar. either i had been there before, or the hotel i lived in back then looked similar to this. :)

    August 18, 2009 at 9:57 AM
  52. ladyviral said...

    The bed looks comfy. The cupboard looks like those olden days cupboards...

    Sad to hear such review from you though. The toilet is one of the most important place to be clean! And if it is dirty.. ewww =x. Well, a non-working TV? Only for display? hmmm I wonder if it is for...

    August 18, 2009 at 10:25 AM
  53. Che-Cheh said...

    Imagine the tv is a hidden camera...gulps

    Make sure you rate this hostel to alert others.

    I hate unclean toilet. Urggh

    August 18, 2009 at 11:57 AM
  54. Merryn said...

    The tv is for you to connect your camcorder and record BEDminton and watch it LIVE lah foong! They are world champs in that Game what.. lol.. anyways, when i went outskirt of beijing... i was horrified to find the toilet dug out of a hole in the soil.. i hold n hold until almost 'died'

    August 18, 2009 at 12:00 PM
  55. Merryn said...

    Oh yeah, btw, congrats for finally being the First Commenter in my blog.. but then again.. no prize there.. hahahha

    August 18, 2009 at 12:01 PM
  56. Faisal Admar said...

    i couldn't stay in a hotel that has dirty toilet.
    toilet is the most important thing for me and that is the first thing i will look at whenever i enter any hotel room.

    can't you write a complaint to the manager about the bad hospitality and the bad condition in the room?
    it's not just a plain complaint but actually it can help them to improve.

    i like the lantern and bed.
    romantic! :)

    August 18, 2009 at 12:05 PM
  57. eastcoastlife said...

    The bed and lamp looks oriental and pretty cool.

    August 18, 2009 at 1:19 PM
  58. eastcoastlife said...

    It's quite a clean and neat room. I have been to worse ones. Cheap room rates wat, cannot expect too much.

    August 18, 2009 at 1:20 PM
  59. eastcoastlife said...

    Anyway most of the time I would be out. Only go back to sleep. So can tahan the few days of inconvenience. :P

    August 18, 2009 at 1:21 PM
  60. Unknown said...

    i am very sad again, i dont get to be your first commentor,,,, will try,,, i vulge to beat the rest..

    take care now

    August 18, 2009 at 2:10 PM
  61. Superman said...

    Cleanliness is not an important thing for Chinese in China. I had an experience where the chopstick they provide is in a plastic cover and stated hygiene chopstick. When I take it out, the chopstick is wet!!!

    August 18, 2009 at 2:55 PM
  62. bluedreamer27 said...

    i never had a chance to stay in a hostel or hotel before
    hope i could someday!!

    August 18, 2009 at 3:14 PM
  63. Anonymous

    I forgot to warn you that there are many stories of hidden cameras in low budget hotels in China. Don't worry, I will check those Chinese voyuerism sites and If I encounter any familiar characters (though normally they blanked out the eyes), you will be the first to know!

    The owner usually work with a syndicate and get extra income. I read about it in one of the "hidden camera"site out of curiosity..I am so paranoid about it that I always check every thing I can lay my hands in hotel room before I am satified! Most common places are photo frame on wall, table lamp, water sprinkler on the ceiling or ceiling corner near curtain, the spot under the table or any decorative and bulky item around the room!

    August 18, 2009 at 3:39 PM
  64. HappySurfer said...

    Anonymous gave a very good insight on hidden cameras - kinda giving me the creeps. Perhaps one can cover the tv with their not-so-clean towel but jeezzz there are not enough towels to cover all the possible hidden camera points as mentioned.

    Crap! I'll stay home..

    Thanks, Anonymous.

    August 18, 2009 at 4:06 PM
  65. renaye said...

    i never liked places that give poor services and LCLY.

    August 18, 2009 at 4:57 PM
  66. Nizam Gtz said...

    wow... journey is the most wonder of human activity... wanna follow??

    August 18, 2009 at 6:31 PM
  67. lina said...

    my post abt yuzu is up already. I had thought want to post it a few days later, but what the hey. I'm bored reading my own blog! :D

    August 18, 2009 at 8:51 PM
  68. Monica said...

    LOL @ the door and the TV! :-D oh i certainly couldn't stand dirty toilet!!

    August 18, 2009 at 9:10 PM
  69. keeyit said...

    I dont like to stay at wooden bed in hotel.. i will get bite by insects.

    August 18, 2009 at 10:01 PM
  70. manglish said...

    i died laughing at the tv....been to shanghai recently and will share some stories soon....:) see if we feel the same way abt china...:)

    August 18, 2009 at 11:07 PM
  71. Ben said...

    Wow... this is the scary post and follow-up comments I have ever read about budget hotel. Thanks for sharing this Foong, it really open my eyes and a good lesson learn in choosing budget hotel in the future :)

    August 18, 2009 at 11:14 PM
  72. foongpc said...

    mei teng, you are welcome! No I don't think you are thick skinned, well maybe a little bit. Haha!

    August 19, 2009 at 1:49 AM
  73. foongpc said...

    annant, I didn't expect a lot! But yes, Lavendar Lodge in KK is definitely better! So much cleaner and better service! : )

    August 19, 2009 at 1:50 AM
  74. foongpc said...

    robo, will let you know whether I rent a bike in future posts ; )

    As for hiring a driver to act as tour guide, no we did not do that. Many people offered to be our tour guide : )

    August 19, 2009 at 1:53 AM
  75. foongpc said...

    neo, it's 2 nights, not one. Actually, we ended up there again on the 4th night, so total it was 3 nights!

    August 19, 2009 at 1:54 AM
  76. foongpc said...

    tekkaus, haha! Let me assure you the room is not haunted. I stayed in there for 2 nights and did not experience anything paranormal. I think the room is not fit enough even for ghosts! LOL!

    August 19, 2009 at 1:57 AM
  77. foongpc said...

    ayie, I thought you are going to praise about the room and the hostel! Luckily your 3rd point criticizes them! : )

    August 19, 2009 at 2:01 AM
  78. foongpc said...

    lina, I only read your comments after I came back from our lunch. Should have taken more photos of your dish! : )

    August 19, 2009 at 2:02 AM
  79. foongpc said...

    levian, you've been to Guilin? If yes, then most probably you've stayed there before!

    August 19, 2009 at 2:03 AM
  80. foongpc said...

    ladyviral, what do you think the TV is for?

    Yes, the bed is quite comfy and the cupboards are made to look like those olden days cupboard : )

    August 19, 2009 at 2:04 AM
  81. foongpc said...

    che-cheh, well, I won't be too concerned if the TV is a hidden camera as there is nothing interesting that they captured of me! But not sure about other people in other rooms though. Hehe.

    August 19, 2009 at 2:12 AM
  82. foongpc said...

    merryn, haha! I don't think I am interested to watch BEDminton on that TV!

    Luckily I never experienced such toilets like what you experienced in the outskirts of Beijing : )

    No prize for being FC on your blog? Start thinking of one! LOL!

    August 19, 2009 at 2:15 AM
  83. foongpc said...

    faisal admar, the lantern and bed are romantic? I didn't feel it that way then. Maybe the room's just too run down for any romantic feeling! Haha!

    Maybe we should have complained, but I think with their lousy attitude, they would not even bother!

    August 19, 2009 at 2:20 AM
  84. foongpc said...

    eastcoastlife, you've been to worse ones? I think maybe I only took photos of the nice parts. If I had taken photos of the door and the toilet, you might just commented differently! : )

    But you are right. I can still tahan cos I only used the room to sleep and we went out most of the time.

    August 19, 2009 at 2:22 AM
  85. foongpc said...

    eugene, haha! Don't worry. You will be my first commenter one day! : )

    August 19, 2009 at 2:23 AM
  86. foongpc said...

    superman, really? That's bad!

    August 19, 2009 at 2:24 AM
  87. foongpc said...

    bluedreamer27, never stayed in hostel or hotel before? You have never traveled before? Well, don't worry! There's always a first time for everything! (my tagline) Haha! : )

    August 19, 2009 at 2:26 AM
  88. foongpc said...

    anonymous, really? Well, you should have warned me earlier! Wow! You check out all those voyeurism sites? It doesn't matter even if they have my pictures. It's not like I'm somebody famous! No one cares right? : )

    August 19, 2009 at 2:30 AM
  89. foongpc said...

    happysurfer, haha! I guess we must be smarter when we check into any hotels. Maybe get those anti-spy devices?

    August 19, 2009 at 2:32 AM
  90. foongpc said...

    renaye, yeah, me too : )

    August 19, 2009 at 2:33 AM
  91. foongpc said...

    zamspotte, sorry, I don't get what you mean. Wanna follow what?

    August 19, 2009 at 2:36 AM
  92. foongpc said...

    lina, wow! you're so fast! I've read your post! I will blog about our lunch soon : )

    August 19, 2009 at 2:37 AM
  93. foongpc said...

    monica, funny about the TV thing right? And of course the door! Oh, me too - can't stand dirty toilets! But I can still tahan if don't spend too much time in the hostel room : )

    August 19, 2009 at 2:38 AM
  94. foongpc said...

    keeyit, really? Luckily, I've not been bitten by any insects!

    August 19, 2009 at 2:39 AM
  95. foongpc said...

    manglish, will go and read your blog post about your China trip! But you went Shanghai, I went Guilin. I think can't compare these two places, or can you?

    August 19, 2009 at 2:41 AM
  96. foongpc said...

    benedict, well I guess this will make us a little wiser right? But don't get too paranoid, otherwise it'll spoil the fun of traveling! : )

    August 19, 2009 at 2:42 AM
  97. LifeRamblings said...

    with RM63, what much can you expect? i've seen worse hostels but at least the bed looks comfy enough what.

    August 19, 2009 at 9:22 AM
  98. foongpc said...

    life ramblings, well I didn't expect much but I've been to cheaper hostels with cleaner bathrooms, and much better service!

    August 19, 2009 at 9:55 AM
  99. Borneo Falcon said...

    I can still see the condition of the door from one of your photos. Man, this place sucks big time

    August 19, 2009 at 11:20 AM
  100. foongpc said...

    borneo falcon, you can say that again! : )

    August 19, 2009 at 9:46 PM
  101. levian said...

    honestly, i don't remember which part of china had i been to previously. usually i just tagged along. :p

    August 20, 2009 at 8:28 AM
  102. Ken Wooi said...

    the room looks nice.. =)

    August 23, 2009 at 9:26 PM