I read the promotional leaflet and was enticed by the warmth and friendliness it promised (upper case words were in bold in the leaflet): "Awaitng your visit with TIBET'S VERY OWN hot BUTTER TEA, we endeavour to bring you a sweet home away from home." and "When evening comes, a night of revelry begins as we light a bonfire in the yard, setting a warm atmosphere as you enjoy wine & music with fellow backpackers from all over the world."
When I arrive, there was no hot butter tea, and no fellow backpackers hanging around in sight. This could be due to the lacklustre vibe in the living area. There might be 24-hour hot shower promised, but the water supply is bad and it was cut off when I tried to shower. The reason given was the altitude and water pressure, but I don't see this happening in other hostels with higher altitude. The lack of water supply also meant that the toilets could not flush so the entire floor smelled like crap (literally). There is only one bath and one toilet per floor, and both were dirty and had no shower head (just a pipe). (The solution I was given was to go to ground floor to use the bathrooms there.)
Just to note, the bed I stayed at looked nothing like the picture. It was a thin mattress (less than 5cm) on a piece of wood - kind of ironic that the duvet was thicker - and not comfortable.
It probably would not have been that bad if I had not expected something 'homely'. I checked out the very next day, earlier than I had told the staff, and he did not even bother to ask why. Overall staff were friendly when asked questions, but does little to make travellers feel at home.
I've stayed in many hostels and this was one of the worst - I couldn't even last a night more. I did talk to other travellers to make sure I wasn't the only one who felt this way, but to be fair, some people staying on a different floor said it was OK for a short stay.
This hostel has a whole range of names, probably due to rebranding/business swopping hands so it makes it hard to pin down the reviews/feedback. Not many noticed but I've learnt to know it as Zanglingren (藏羚人), Chiruman Youth Hostel, Kangding Home, 背包客栈, and Sally's amongst other names. Now that you know as well, you can make a fair judgement for yourself...
- Also Known As:
- Zanglingren Backpacker Inn Kangding County, China - Sichuan