Even though it's been years since my days travelling around Europe and a yonk since I've been anywhere close to Australia, my loyalty to Hostel Bookers has remained firm during my travels around China.But after using Hostel Bookers to pay over the odds to stay at quirky but charming hostel in Qingdao, my wife warned me against being ripped off next time.
She introduced me to the top Chinese travel site, Ctrip which now has an English language version. I was sceptical to say the least. I told her Ctrip was just a site inexperienced Chinese travellers use because they've never heard of anything else.
|The amazing youth hostel overlooking the city of Stuttgart. Booked through Hostel Bookers for £10 (not sure how many Euros) a night, including breakfast. It remains the best hotel/hostel I have EVER stayed in (including 5 star hotels).|
What a stupid thing to say.
Whereas Hostel Bookers charges per person, Ctrip charges per night, per room and sets a limit to how many you can cram in, slashing prices.
With Ctrip, I paid 128RMB for 4 people per night. 32rmb (£3.20) per person to stay in a private en-suite room. The cheapest bed on Hostel bookers was 106rmb per person in a dorm with 8 beds.
Ctrip offers the same info, photos and maps you'd get with hostel bookers but gives you a great choice, listing hundreds of hotels and hostels in a Chinese city where Hotel Bookers or Hostel World might only list a dozen. This is because Ctrip allows hotels to register on the Chinese Language site using Chinese, and translates the information into English manually, allowing thousands more hotels in China to advertise to English speakers. With Ctrip, international visitors can get the same dirt low prices enjoyed by Chinese travellers.
Ctrip also allows you to book without creating an account making booking extra speedy.
In China, I won't be using Hostel Bookers again.