Welcome - front gateCome on in - front door
Gladys Garden - casual living
2 guests
1 bedroom
2 beds
1 bath
2 guests
1 bedroom
2 beds
1 bath
Please set the number of adults.
Please set the number of children.
Ages 2 - 12
Please set the number of infants.
Under 2
2 guests maximum. Infants don’t count toward the number of guests.
You won’t be charged yet

This is the home of a Canadian-Chinese retired historian couple. We enjoy hosting individuals of similar age and/or interests as ourselves.

The space

Please note: Currently we only cater to English-speaking foreign travelers who cannot speak Chinese very well or need assistance getting around Beijing.

We do allow smoking in our kitchen (not the living room and bedrooms), people who are sensitive to smoke please do not book.

We are located in the heart of Beijing. The house is in one of the few remaining Hutong areas (alleyways) of old Beijing, with courtyard houses. Along the nearby lakeshore it is very scenic and there is a lively nightlife. But once inside the alleys, there is no sound of traffic and the tranquility of traditional life still prevails.

Our home is a 7 minute walk to Prince Gong’s Mansion; a 15 minute walk to Beihai Park; a 30 minute walk to Jingshan Park ("Coal Hill"), where the last Ming Emperor ended his life; a 3 km walk to Yonghegong (Lama Temple); and a 4 km walk to the Palace Museum (Forbidden City) and Tiananmen Square. We have excellent access to public transportation including subway lines 8 (station called Shichahai, 450m from us) and 6 (station called Beihai North, 800m), plus bus lines to many parts of the city.

This is a private home of a Canadian + Chinese couple, with backyard garden (in spring/summer), rooftop deck, kitchen, living room, and laundry room. We have modern comforts including decent bathrooms, hot water, purified drinking water, coffee machine, floor heating, air conditioners, and comfortable mattresses.

We are an English-Chinese bilingual and retired couple who can offer assistance in getting around Beijing. We are happy to show you around the neighborhood, the local bank, post office, swimming place, and the like. We can help you figure out what public transport to take to get to places in Beijing or suggest places to go for buying specific things or having items made.

Our ideal guests are mature English-speaking travelers who are interested in sampling life in Beijing but not wanting to give up some basic comforts. We prefer guests closer to our own age. Young travelers: please check out Backpackingchina, it's a youth hostel in our neighborhood, cheaper and more suitable for you.

We have one short-haired house cat (but may add another). So people with cat allergies please be forewarned.

This is an ensuite room (i.e., with private bathroom).

Interaction with guests

Normally we are at home most of the day and are happy to help at any time--unless out shopping or taking a noon siesta (12 - 2 pm).

Other things to note

The following are tourist destinations we recommend. All these are accessible by public transport (or tours). Places with easier access are put in the front. Peking is huge. Long travel time means above 1 hour.

1. Houhai and hutongs: Old Beijing residential area; common people’s lives, lake. This is not crowded, especially in the mornings. An easy walk of about 4km. Right outside of our door.
2. Drum and Bell Towers: Old Beijing monument; cultural relic. Not crowded; 20 or 30RMB entrance ticket (prices change); less than 10 minutes walk from Gladys Garden.
3. Beihai Park: Oldest royal garden in Beijing; local people’s recreation spot. Not crowded; easy walk; about 15 minutes walk from Gladys Garden.
4. Jingshan Park: Small hill overlooking Forbidden City; weekend singers and dancers gathering place. If you have no time for the Forbidden City, this park offers a bird’s eye view. About 30 minutes walk from Gladys Garden.
5. Forbidden City: Palace Museum; can rent GPS-guided audio set. Very crowded all the time with Chinese tourists. Exhibitions inside charge extra. Go by bus no. 5 or 82.
6. Lama and Confucius Temples: Tibetan Buddhist temple; Confucius Temple is less crowded; nice little private museum Songtang close-by. Can go by bus or walk 3km.
7. Ancient Observatory: Star-gazing equipment designed by Chinese and Jesuit priests on top of a Chinese tower. Not crowded. Easy to get to by subway.
8. Ming City Wall Park: Remnant of a once magnificent city wall; nice little walk in the city. Not crowded, 10 minutes walk from the Ancient Observatory.
9. Zhihuasi Monastery: Ming dyn. Quiet little Buddhist temple, marvelous sculptures, Buddhist music. Not crowded. Can be reached fairly easily by subway.
10. Temple of Heaven: Sample of Chinese ancient architecture; large green grounds. Not crowded. Can be reached fairly easily by bus or subway. Close to the Pearl Market; the Museum of Ancient Chinese Architecture.
11. Great Wall at Mutianyu: Day trip with English guided tour groups. This is not crowded. Takes 2 hours to drive out there, therefore it makes sense to join an English guided tour, either a hiking one or a sight-seeing one. Pick up is close to home.
12. Great Wall at Badaling: Most visited part of the Wall by Chinese tourists. Easier to get to by bus and hence cheaper.
13. Great Wall at Jinshanling: Unrestored part of the Wall, spectacular hiking trail. Best way to get there is to join an English-guided tour.
14. Summer Palace: Qing dynasty. Royal garden, very popular with Chinese tourists. Pretty crowded. Fairly easy to reach by subway.
15. Olympic Forest Park: New man-made forest park; good for easy hiking. Not crowded. Very easy to get to by subway line 8.
16. Fragrant Hills: Peking residents’ “mountain climbing” park. Fairly crowded during holidays; takes over one hour to get there by bus.
Botanical Garden: Botanical garden + Monastery of Sleeping Buddha + small mountain valley with a spring; nice picnic spot. Takes over one hour to get there by bus.
798 Art District : Modern art districts with galleries, studios, and shops. Not crowded, can be reached by bus but complicated. Best go by taxi.

Telecom and Internet:

Getting a Chinese SIM card has become more complicated recently, so if you see a kiosk at the airport selling SIM cards, please get one there.
To access various foreign web sites, e.g., Youtube .... in China you will need a VPN. Please get one before you come. If you don't know what a VPN is, please find out from others before you come.


Extra people $14 / night after the first guest
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House Rules
Not suitable for pets
No parties or events
Not safe or suitable for children (0-12 years)
Check in time is 3PM - 11PM
Check out by 10AM

Household Courtesies

Please note: No late night (after 11pm) arrival please.
Smoking is not allowed in any room except the kitchen or outside of the house.
Please note: Please do not flush personal hygiene items down the toilet. Our sewer system can't cope.
•Common areas are:

the master bathroom downstairs
the bathroom upstairs (shared by two or three residents) - this may be used "in a pinch" by other guests;
the kitchen;
the living room/dining room;
the garden;
the laundry room;
the study downstairs (for borrowing novels or use of hosts' computers and printer on request)

Please feel free to use the living room at any time. We often watch TV in the evening, but except for a very few programs, we generally prefer conversation with our guests.


Breakfast from 8AM to 10:30AM. Basic breakfast supplies (coffee, cereal, eggs, milk, etc.) are supplied by the host. Please speak up if you need anything.

You are welcome to any fruit, cake, chocolates, coffee, tea, and beer when available in the house.

•Room cleaning

Unless requested otherwise, guest rooms are cleaned after guests leave. Bed linen and towels can be changed whenever necessary or on request.


There is a washing machine in our laundry room. No dryer. Clothes are hung up either outside or in the laundry room to dry. You may operate the washing machine yourself or have your laundry done by us. Laundry detergent is provided.


For the safety of everyone living in the house, at night residents should keep doors locked and all open windows screened. We are not responsible for any burglaries that occur because of doors and windows left open at night.


We normally own one or two cats, so if the resident has a cat allergy, this is a problem. Residents may not keep their own animals on the premises.

You must also acknowledge
Cat(s) live in the house


2 nights minimum stay

106 Reviews

Check In
Elaine User Profile
August 2017
We had a delightful stay with David and Yang Zhi. They made us feel very at home and were helpful with information, suggestions and directions. We hope to return again in the future.

Yi-Ling User Profile
August 2017
It feels like a home to stay at Yang and David's place. They are easy to communicate with. I also meet other interesting guest while I was there. I feel welcomed and was always looking forward to getting back to this temporary home after a long day in Beijing. Homemade fresh bread and cookies are the best, and fruit salad is a wonderful idea. I would like to come back next time when I am in Beijing.

Jessie User Profile
May 2017
We really enjoyed our stay here. Dave and Yang are very interesting people to talk to and their house is full of culture and art. It's easy access to the subway and also next to the beautiful hou hai lake. It's nice that we have our own bathroom and there is a garden and rooftop to use too. We would love to recommend to anyone looking for a place to stay in Beijing. Great airbnb experience! Thank you Yang and Dave!

Hingman User Profile
March 2017
This is my second time staying with Yang Zhi and David who are amazing hosts. The house is beautiful and very comfortable, quiet and clean. It's super well situated, 5 minutes to the metro and you're right in Houhai, a really cool neighborhood. I will never consider staying anywhere else in Beijing!

Saam User Profile
March 2017
We had a marvellous time at Gladys garden with David and Yang. They are the perfect hosts that made me and my ten-year-old daughter feel at home at once. Yang made special chocolate chip cookies without eggs and nuts for my allergic daughter! David and Yang helped out with all practicalities to make our stay in Beijing so great - we really recommend Gladys garden to families and all other types of travellers.

喆 User Profile
February 2017
This is much more than I expected, especially for a person who majored in English and tried to work as a translator (you'll know what I mean when you live here). Besides the amazing location(I should say the best spot in Beijing) of the house, the well-lighted, warm and lovely decoration of the rooms, the friendly cat with soft furs, the soothing Jazz and yummy banana bread in the morning, the hosts are definitely intriguing people, good sense of humor, full of culture&wisdom, knows Beijing so well, and got stories. I just love this place so much and enjoyed my stay a lot. Only the house itself and the hosts would be so worthwhile to explore. I simply feel so lucky to be able to stay here, wish you the same luck :)

Elizabeth User Profile
January 2017
If you are looking for a welcoming, supportive, comfortable experience in Beijing, this is the place for you. The house is right in the heart of the city, convenient to all kids of walking adventures as well as the subway, but you would never know it from the tucked away location down the hutong. Every morning we planned our day's adventure over a lovely breakfast of freshly cut fruit salad and homemade yogurt as well as homemade bread and eggs. Yang Zhi and David were extremely helpful with advice on what to see and how to get there and even leant us subway cards and let us use their bicycles! If you are particularly sensitive to cigarette smoke, keep in mind there is some smoking in the house (as mentioned in the listing), but if not, then this is probably the perfect spot for you!

This host has 307 reviews for other properties.

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Beijing, ChinaJoined in December 2012
David User ProfileDavid is a superhost.

Traveled a lot. Lived for last 26 years in China. Before that, Jordan. Before that, Chicago, New Orleans, Missouri, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Canada, West Indies...

Languages: English, 中文
Response rate: 100%
Response time: within an hour

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