As a tourism-oriented city, Hangzhou has very mature and developed city transportation. You even no need to take ONE taxi in the city because there are so many Bus lines which can send you to all famous spots.
Taxi in hangzhou is very cool. All you have to do is wave your hand. During rush hour, it will take a little time to get one. Also, around train stations and airports, they have to come and go in an organized fashion so you might have to stand in line. Sometimes drivers won't stop next to a train station because they can get ticketed by the traffic cop because it is considered an illegal stop, so don't get mad if that happens. Fare is not that much. A 20 mins ride cost about 4 dollar. Finally, all legally operated taxi have meters. Please don't get on a taxi without a meter!
Train is very convenient if you are travel within China. Hangzhou is the state capital and a famous tourist city, so there won't be a problem with your rail trip. Hangzhou has an international airport but with limited international flights. Today, flights can be considered international depart from cities in Japan, Korea, hongkong, and a few other Asian cities. There are plenty of domestic flights though. As a result, unless you come from the above cities, a stop is probably required in shanghai in order to change flights. Highway system around hangzhou has been developed pretty fast last couple of years. It sometimes takes the same amount of time as train. As a tourist, road trip in China is not recommended.
The best way to get around the city is by bus (well, if money is not a concern at all, taxi is quick too). One destination is usually served by several bus lines, and they come every 10 to 15 min. However, they are crowded, so be prepared to stand. Also, in the summer time, pick a line with letter "K" in its name, like "k152". Those are the ones with air condition. Bus fare is very cheap in Hangzhou; they go bettwen 15 to 25 cents. Unless you will be in the city for a very long time, don't even bother getting a bus pass, just have changes ready when you board because they don't give out changes. How about bus schedule? well, they are very hard to find because the city has over 100 bus lines and it's rare to wait more than 15 min for a bus.
Trains run between Beijing and Hangzhou
Beijing - > Hangzhou
Z9 depart from Beijing at 18:53 get Hangzhou at 08:23
Hangzhou - > Beijing
Z10 depart from Hangzhou at 18:03 get Beijing at 07:33
Ticket price: Soft seat 316, soft sleeper RMB532
(Updated in August 2006)
The West Lake is an exotic place to staggle around. However, if you don't have much time to do so, there is an easy and economic way to go around the Lake, -- take a tram. It is a kind of electric-driven tram, going around the waterfront of the Lake on a specially paved path. It can be found anywhere if you go near the waterfront. and you can get on and off at any spot on the way. For one stop it is RMB10 yuan, but if you take a round-trip, it is only RMB40 yuan, which takes about an hour and half.
If you able to spend 3 hours journey from Pu Dong airport to Hangzhou, it's better to get on the bus. Bus station is located outside of terminal and you can ask for the schedule and ticket price there. This station is actually caters for all long distance bus from Pu Dong airport.
The bus will end at Dragon Sports Complex in Hangzhou and from there you can hail a taxi to your desired hotel. Remember to make some homework of your hotel name in Chinese characters.
Within Hangzhou, if you would like to experience real China community. Try to take a bus. Bus route map is easily to get at any bookstall, especially at the bus stop, but it is in Chinese characters except bus numbers.
City buses only charge 2 Yuan for air-cond and 1 Yuan for non. If not you can take a taxi and it is cheap.
Quoted "Hangzhou Tour Bus (Yellow Dragon) Centre is a tour supermarket with a combination of multifunctions including self-help travelling, tourist information consultation and passenger transfer."
It seems that the Yellow Dragon bus can take you around Hangzhou to nearby towns for good package deals. They have more than 50 long distance tourist routes for travellers either as singles or in groups. They provide 25 kinds of tickets for every beauty spot in Hangzhou around the West Lake.
The Yellow Dragon bus company also offers shuttle buses to Shanghai Pudong Airport which will set you back just 100 RMB.
I took a day trip to Yiwu which also has a page all about itself!..or should soon anyway! Buses to Yiwu go throughout the day starting at around 06:30. We took the bus from the South Bus Station (bus no. 9333) which left at 08:30. They pretty much leave every 20mins throughout the day both to and from Yiwu. It cost 43.00 RMB.
On the way back from Yiwu, we caught the same kind of bus (bus no. K1031) which left at 16:30. The trip each way took 1h45m. Everyone is assigned a seat so there's no pushing and shoving like on most Chnese transport.
K111 Shanghai - Guiyang 10:35 - 17:07 (+1 day)
K163 Shanghai - Fuzhou 14:17 - 05:55 (+1 day)
K47 Shanghai - Guangzhou 15:49 - 17:51 (+1 day)
K79 Shanghai - Kunming 17:49 -11:01 (+1 day)
K351 Shanghai - Chengdu 18:39 - 15:04 (+1 day)
All the above trains are again subject to change, but were right at the time of writing. They are trains which go through Hangzhou at some point en route.
5087 Hangzhou - Yiwu 16:56 - 19:01
Z10 Hangzhou - Beijing 18:03 - 07:33
1515 Hangzhou - Guiyang 10:39 - 18:59 (+1day)
2249 Hangzhou - Xiamen 13:02 - 15:40 (+1 day)
2308 Hangzhou - Xi'an 14:28 - 14:43 (+1 day)
T730 Hangzhou - West Nanjing 14:44 - 20:10
1025 Hangzhou - Chongqing 15:20 - 10:58 (+2 days)
T178 Hangzhou - Ji'nan 18:47 - 06:56 (+1 day)
T32 Hangzhou - Beijing 22:10 - 13:20 (+1 day)
The above train times of course could vary but these are right at the time of me writing. (Start Nov 11, 2004)
Hangzhou Railway Station
Well I personally took the train to Hangzhou from Shanghai, so can shed a little light on that. Being the capital of Zhejiang Province means several trains pass through this city every hour of the day. From Shanghai to Hangzhou is very convenient with about five trains heading that way everyday. We took the K109 leaving at 07:38 arriving at 10:18. We were going to get the K111 leaving around 08:10, but it turns out that that train takes you into the Hangzhou East Station which means that to get into town would be another 30min taxi ride, so we opted for the earlier train. A fairly easy ride eventhough we had hard seats..and boy were they hard! I had a window to lean on though!
And of course, taking a train with Chinese people is a tourist activity in itself sometimes..but Im not sure who's the tourist site..us or them! Watching the way people eat..WHAT they eat and how they act on trains amazes me everytime, eventhough I've done countless train journies in China.But they're probably thinking exactly the same about us!
I'll write about trains to and from Hangzhou more generally in the next tip page.
Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport
The airport is around 27km from the city centre and can be reached by either bus or taxi...or of course bicycle if you're feeling energetic enough! But I suggest NOT to try the latter! For bus info, you need to go to the Wulinmen Ticket Office of Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport which is the starting place for the shuttle bus. It takes about 50mins to get there by bus and Im sure a shorter journey if you were to go by taxi!
By bus costs just 15 RMB and by taxi will cost around 90 RMB, if leaving from the same starting point.
The buses leave every 15-30 mins starting at 05:45-06:00 running till 20:00.
High shuttle bus between Shanghai Pudong Int'l Airport and Hangzhou Tour Bus Center
From Pudong Int'l airport to Hangzhou:
10:30,12:00, 13:30, 15:30, 17:30, 19:00
place: the parking lot on the second floor opposite to No.15 Gate of int'l airport
From Hangzhou->Pudong int'l airport
10:30,12:00, 13:30, 15:30, 17:30, 19:00
start place: Hangzhou Tour Bus Center(3 Huanglong Road, the Stadium of Yellow Dragon Sports Center)
The model and condition of taxis in Hangzhou are one of the best among Chinese cities. There is a sign saying "TAXI" at the top of a taxi. Taxies charge according to the meter. The start price is RMB10 yuan within 4km. RMB 2 yuan for one kilometer within 8km. RMB 2.4 yuan for one kilometer beyond 8km. RMB 2 yuan per 5 minutes is charged for waiting.
Hangzhou is a very small city, generally, the charge of taxi is around 15yuan. and never overpass RMB30yuan even to the very far surburn of the city.
NOTE: The taxi service is 24hour, BUT you should notice that at 7:00 to 8:00 am and 5:00 to 6:00pm, it is VERY hard to get a taxi, because at that time, the daytime driver and the night driver are shifting their service and that happened to be the rush hour everyday. This is very anoying. therefore, you should avoid to take taxi at that periods.