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.
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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
Today the boat leaves in the late afternoon from Hangzhou and arrives in Suzhou in the early morning.You can choose between luxury double rooms with the best view on top and 4 to 6 and even more bed cabins below deck. As far as I remeber I paid 60 kuai in a four bed cabin under deck,which means you have two portholes or windows just above the water level.Well,beds were a little bit short for my size-but that happens in sleeper trains, too.My friend Omed is more lucky with these things.Even though the Emperors Channel is not really cristal clear but more of a real sewer with kind of thrash passing by sometimes,it started as a slow relaxing trip.Houses pass by and we enjoyed a nice sunset before going to bed.I still have in mind thinking that the captain would really need the eyes of an hawk,because some ships which came to meet us had no light at night.And yes, in the middle of the night we heard a loud crash and an ongoing roaring sound. We were standing in our beds watching a black shipside scratching past our windows.We prepared to run on top deck to jump into the water to save our life (yeah,too much Titanic movies...)when the two Chinese people in our room were cool as ice,telling us to relax,it is nothing serious. Even if something would happen,the Channel is not deep enough to drown a whole ship......they turned around an fell asleep again as if nothing has happened.Ok, I needed some more time to fall asleep again. But I got acclimatized well enough, so that the hitting of some trees floating on the channel later did not really make me nervous anymore.Finally we reached Suzhou in the very early morning without enough sleep somewhere in an industrial park.That was not really the Chinese version of Venice first,but we were fetched up by a bus(included in the ferry price)to take us downtown to the older part of Suzhou.All in all it became a little bit more adventurous than we had expected,but in the retroperspective it was a great experience!!!!
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.
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.