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YOUTH BEAT

Three New Places to Hang Your Hat in China

November 08, 1998|LUCY IZON | Lucy Izon is a Toronto-based freelance writer and author of "Izon's Backpacker Journal." Internet http://www.izon.com

Travelers who want to explore mainland China via Hong Kong will find three new youth hostels in the neighboring province of Guangdong.

These Hostelling International-affiliated locations, which have been opened under the hotel management division of the Guangdong Provincial Tourism Bureau, provide dormitory accommodations for $5 to $10 per night, including breakfast, dinner and linens.

Guangdong's capital city, Guangzhou (formally known as Canton), has more than 4 million inhabitants. It can be reached from Hong Kong by jet-powered catamaran, train or bus in less than four hours. The 80-bed Guangzhou City Youth Hostel is located at 179 Huanshi XI Road, opposite the main railway station. The hostel is air-conditioned and has 24-hour access.

You can travel to Zhuhai from Hong Kong by jet-powered catamaran in about 70 minutes. The 120-bed Zhuhai Hostel is inside the Zhuhai Holiday Resort, which is in the city center. It is a 10-minute walk from the pier, which has ferry service to Hong Kong. Hostel guests are entitled to use the resort's recreational facilities, which include bowling, tennis and a swimming pool. There is also direct bus service between the resort and the Macao Customs Office.

The Mt. Dinghu International Hostel is located at Zhaoqing, 65 miles from Guangzhou. Situated in a nature reserve that has been recognized by UNESCO, the hostel can accommodate up to 100 people. Hostel guests will get their entry fee to the reserve refunded.

Future plans call for a youth information service with a link to the Hostelling International IBN reservation system, to open in Shamian, a central and historic section of Guangzhou. Hostelling International also hopes that the three youth hostels in Guangdong will set an example for other provinces in China for developing international youth hostels in their own regions.

Details on these hostels will be published in the 1999 edition of the "Hostelling International Handbook" for Asia and the Pacific. Copies will be available from HI-American Youth Hostels; telephone (310) 393-6263. When you are traveling in the region you can check with the affiliated Hong Kong Youth Hostel Assn., Room 225, Block 19, Shek Ko Mei Estate, Sham Shui Po, Kowloon, Hong Kong; tel. 011-852-2788-1638, fax 011-852-2788-3105.

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Young travelers to Mexico should avoid divulging personal information to strangers. The Canadian government is warning its citizens of a recent scam in which parents receive a call in the middle of the night reporting that their son or daughter has been detained or hospitalized and are requested to wire money immediately via Western Union.

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