Shadows of a more graceful era
If you're still mourning the loss of Macau's storied Bella Vista Hotel, take heart. The Jiangmen Youth Hostel is even better - more authentic, less pretentious, clearly Chinese deco at its best. Built in 1928, the hostel was originally known as the Zhonghua Hotel. It's full of pastel shades, dark wood, coloured glass windows, and old-fashioned floor tiles. Those airy breezeways and high ceilings hark back to a more leisurely era.
The hostel is full of common areas that help create a convivial atmosphere among guests. Included are activity rooms, meeting rooms, a card room, a self-service kitchen, and a self-service laundry. There is even broadband Internet access. An adjoining glassed-in coffee shop, open daily from 10 am to 1 am, is a meeting place for both backpackers and the city's young and trendy.
Conveniently located on the waterfront in historic Chandi Road, the hostel offers both shared rooms with bunk beds in typical youth hostel style as well as hotel-like accommodation. Shared rooms run from 40 yuan to 55 yuan per night. Hotel rooms run from 185 yuan for a single to 330 yuan for a two-room suite with a balcony affording a view of the Peng River.
86 Changdi Middle Road
Tel: (0750) 3271388
Rooms with a riverfront view
Taxies cost 5 yuan at flagfall and 2.5 yuan per kilometre thereafter. If you want to experience the real Jiangmen, try getting about by motorbike-taxi - not the safest way to travel, but the cheapest (and the most fun).
If you don't speak Chinese, the Chinese place names and addresses in this guide will help you get around - just point to the place you want to be taken to and show it to your driver.