Per the suggestion of my friend, Laura, whom I met back in St. Petersburg, Russia, I spent my first 2 nights in Beijing at a hostel called Fly by Knight Courtyard hostel. Prior to my arrival in China, I reached out to them to see if they would be willing to exchange 2 FREE nights for this post. As it turns out, I did not get those 2 nights for free so I shouldn’t even be writing this right now, but I’m a woman of my word.
Fly by Knight Courtyard Hostel
No.6 DengCao Hutong, DongCheng District, 100010 Beijing, China
(5-10 minute walk from Dongsi Station on Line 5)
First of all, this hostel is difficult to find, especially at 7pm when it’s pitch black and the directions have you walking through sketchy streets where risk of being murdered starts to climb. Needless to say, it’s very intimidating to a first timer to China. Even during the day time, it can be a bit of a challenge because the hostel is not marked.
It was my first time staying in a private room in a hostel, and I need to do so more often. After my 6 hour flight and nightmare of an experience navigating to this hostel, I welcomed a private room with wide open arms. This particular room, however, had a chilly draft coming in through the night, and the heat was simply a fan. On the upside, the beds, pillows, and blankets are super fluffy and comfortable.
In the room, they provided slippers, a free bottle of water, a hair dryer, a huge towel, and a hot shower. The staff also gave me a free local phone to call if I ever got lost in the city. The phone is a perk you don’t get at many hostels, but granted that people don’t speak English in China, it was great to have the phone on me in case of emergency. To top it all off, they provide a free American breakfast every morning consisting of one sausage, a piece of ham, eggs, a hashbrown, toast, and bananas. Coffee and tea are available as well.
The hostel is certainly a unique space. As the name suggests, it’s actually a courtyard with tables outside to eat or read, and their common area has lots of books and maps to reference during your time in Beijing.
The helpful, friendly, and knowledgeable staff speak English, they’re willing to answer any of your questions, they can book train tickets for you, and they can book tours and other activities as well. Speaking of activities, every Saturday and Sunday afternoon, they have kung fu classes in the courtyard. I didn’t have the opportunity to participate, but if you stay there, it’s definitely something worth checking out.
Finally, the icing to the cake. There are two resident dogs, a black dog named Obama and a white dog named after China’s prime minister, Wen Jiabao
Would I Stay Here Again?
No. I think the hostel is a great alternative, but there are better options in the city. Thanks anyway, Fly by Knight.