There is a fantastic luxury bus that goes from the Tongli bus terminus to the Hangzhou North bus station. The tickets can be purchased at the ticket window at the Tongli depot. The bus number is PW9353 and it leaves at 08:10am. The tickets cost RMB51pp and the trip takes about 3 hours.
This was a wonderful find as we had spent 2 nights in Tongli and we thought we would have to go back to Suzhou and then find a train from there or Shanghai to Hangzhou. Thank you to our guest house for managing to communicate this with us!!
From Airport to Hangzhou:
We arrived at Hangzhou Airport at 11pm due to flight delay. We still can catch an Airport Bus outside of the first floor arrival hall exit 5. It comes with several stops, we stopped at West Lake and spend taxi Y14 yuan to ride to our hotel.
Tip: You can buy a map (Y5) on board. Don't worry it is a standard price.
From Hangzhou to Airport:
The Airport Bus Station in Hangzhou is located 500 meters away from the Hangzhou Railway Station. Once you arrive at Hangzhou Railway Station, look out for a hotel name " Goethe Hotel, 歌德大酒店， ge de da jiu dian " or refer my photo. In front of the hotel, there is a parking space for long distant bus. You can buy the ticket at the assigned cabin " 机场巴士售票处"。The bus will arrive in front of the airport departure hall.
Bus Fare: Y20 per adult
Duration: 45 minutes
Hangzhou Passenger Transport Central Station is the largest long-distant bus station in Zhejiang Province. It is located at east of Hangzhou City, Jiubao Town. This is a huge bus stop in a modern architectural building. It has two levels. The waiting halls are quite comfortable.
Transport to the Station: Bus 69, 100, 101, 104, 111, 314, 328, 508, 684, 848. (We took K28 from west lake, then change bus at Huanglong Bus stop, catch bus 101 to the station) It was a little jam in the morning. It took almost 1 hour to get there.
Taxi costs more than Y45.
You can take buses to Shanghai, Suzhou, Wuzhen, Ningbo, Shaoxing, Hefei, etc.
(We took a bus to Wuzhen from this station cost Y28, 2 hours )
If you happen to be in Kuala Lumpur or Singapore, you can buy cheap airfare flight to Hangzhou with Airasia.
The flight takes about 5 hours.
8:10 --> 13:10
17:20 --> 22:20
Hangzhou --> KL
23:20 --> 04:20
14:10 --> 19:10
check out the website!!
There are several boat trips across West Lake. I took one to the Lesser Yingzhou Island in the middle of the lake which cost Y45. Details and maps of the journeys that the boats take can be found at the different places they stop at around the lake.
The train station is located in the eastern part of the city centre. I took a train from here to Shanghai (there's loads during the day). The train was one of the new and posh CRH trains. Check out the website below for train times:
There are plenty of trains traveling bewteen Hangzhou and Shanghai.
The trip takes about 1 hour and 20 minutes with the new high speed trains.
Note, most trains from Hangzhou to Shanghai ends at Shanghai South Railway Station, it's different from Shanghai Railway Station. From South Station, you can take subway to get to Shanghai Railway Station.
Hangzhou has introduced a great bike rental scheme. You show your passport, plonk down a deposit of 300 yuan per bike and get a smart card. Swipe it at any bike station around the city (there are many) for FREE use of the bike for the 1st hour. It costs 1 yuan per hour after that. We were able to ride to & from tourist spots around the West Lake as well as to shop in the city without paying anything, by returning the bikes and re-borrowing at the different stations. Some of the bikes have baby carriers.
When you are through with the bike, go to the bike station and get back your deposit by giving them the receipt. Only certain bike stations can issue the smart card as well as return the deposit. The bike stations are open from 8 am to 7 pm daily. All the bikes are bright orange, so you can't mistaken them for bikes for rental by private operators. And don't worry, the workers will only allow bikes in good condition to be borrowed.
Hangzhou roads are very good to ride on. Smooth and wide. Many roads have bike lanes and the drivers there are used to sharing the roads with bikes, so you can enjoy your ride safely.
In Hangzhou there are automatic bike rental stations around town. You have to buy a magnetic card in advance, to use when collecting a bike and returning it. Nice thing is you can pick up and drop off at different locations.
I've done a lot of city cycling in Shanghai and Hangzhou. I do not rate it as "enjoyable", and unless you have good urban riding experience in chaotic places, I wouldn't recommend it.
As for parking a bike, it's not a big problem. If you have a lock, you can leave it just about anywhere.
Some people suggest bicycling around the West Lake area of Hangzhou -- I think the pace on foot is much more enjoyable.
From Shanghai to Hangzhou I had a comfortable seat for 33.00yuan (that was on the N 509).
On the return trip I caught the T730 and paid 48.00 yuan, but I don't remember it being any more comfortable for the extra yuan... maybe it was slightly faster.
I found it easy to get tickets on the day, but I had to get used to the lining up system at the ticket windows (i.e. some people will line up, but generally people just push in and the line means very little).
We took a sleeper bus to Hangzhou. WOW, what a good chinese idea, a bus with bed! Leave it to those chinese to make your trip as comfy as possible. Well, not really, come to find out, if you put in these small (about 4 ft long) toucher bunks you can fit in about 3 time more people the a bus with seat. Your head rest is the foot rest of the behind you. (Hmmmm, smelly feet). On the map it looked like a 3 hour trip, but the bus driver said it would take 6 hour. So after 5 hours we asked if we were getting near, the driver told us it would be another 3 hours. By this time it was already dark and I managed to fall asleep. When we finally arrived (it should around 9:30) it was 2 am.
It's very convenient to go hangzhou from shanghai. Either by train or bus. There are 2 stations in Shanghai both run trains to Hangzhou. Shanghai railway station and Shanghai south railway station. Better chose those trains start from South station. They are more efficient, also because the main station is a big mess. South station was renovated in 2005, turned to be very neat and modern. To me it's more like an airport than a railway station. Hongqiao Airport looks awful compares to it.
The fast trains take only 80 minutes, departure only from Shanghai South railway station (close to Xujiahui). You can reach there by Metro Line 1 or Line 4. There are 2 classes, RMB53 and RMB44. Since there is only tiny difference i stuck to the 1st class always, it turns out very worth the price..neat carriage, brand new facilities and comfortable seats, enough space for those tall ppl.
There are many ticket offices in downtown where you get tickets (I always buy from the one near Jin An Temple). Now they are 10 days available in advance (might change later). Make sure to get the return tickets if you are only stay there over weekend. Or you don't mind to stand back... (Note it definite not only 1.5 hours but 3 or even more, the fast train doesn't accept stand ticket) You will be amazed when passing by the queue in front of the ticket window in hangzhou station on your way back.
Hangzhou is not very big, and the travel spots are close to each other. Besides of walking, taxi is a good way to travel in hangzhou. The price is same as shanghai. Start from RMB11 (10+ 1 for the extra fee), RMB2 per milimeter. The vehicles brand are various than what we have here though inside was not very clean. The drivers are normally nice but barely speak English.
Hangzhou is accessible by train from Shanghai in about 2 hours. Do remember to book your train ticket before your trip, especially if travelling on weekends and public holidays. Your hotel concierge can do it for you for a small fee. The soft seat train ticket to Hangzhou is about 40 - 50 RMB and the ride is quite comfortable. There is a separate waiting room for soft seat passengers so you won't have to jostle about with the rest of the passengers in the hard seat compartment.
All right, taking a train from Shanghai to Hang Zhou is convenient. Prices are cheap even for a soft seat. Around 50RMB, most travel agency will purchase the tickets for you and deliver it by hand to your room for a nominal fee of 5rmb/ticket. Why buy a soft seat ticket? Firstly, you get a seat reserved for you reflected by a seat number on your ticket. Next, you avoid the mad rush to get a seat on the hard seat cabin, as its free seating. When push comes to shove, no one can beat the Chinese. If you are alone or not travellng with children and want to interact with the locals, the hard seat cabin may be a good idea, the ticket is significantly cheaper. At the train station, its basically a long warehouse with large barn style doors, which the conductors will open when its time for boarding, which is a mad rush for the hard seats. Its confusing for soft seat cabin passengers to find out which is the soft seat cabin though. Take note that the train station is extremely crowded usually, so please take a look out for pickpockets...From Shanghai, its a 4 hours train ride to Hangzhou. The train is roomy, seats are pretty hard though, and has large windows for looking at the numerous factories that you will see when you move out of shanghai prefecture. On board, push cart vendors will peddle hot drinks and snacks. Prices are cheap, but the quality is dismal. The other downside of the seats is that, the position is too upright and its hard to sleep. The other issue is that, sound isulation is pretty bad. But the ride is smooth enough, but don't expect european standards though.