Boat to Lesser Yingzhou Island
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.
Training It: Shanghai to Hangzhou
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).
- Budget Travel
How to get to Hangzhou
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.
- Family Travel
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!
- Family Travel
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
Sleeper bus to Hangzhou
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.
Bus from Tongli to Hangzhou direct
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!!
Tourist detector van
I got around Hangzhou on a tour (mine was through the railway, but I think they are all similar). It was not expensive and the guide was friendly and knowledgable. But, they hurry you through the good attractions to get you to 'sites' where you buy things (and they get a kick back). I just wanted to hang around the lake and look around the independant shops.
If you are in a hurry and a budget, these tours are a decent value. If you want a laid back experience in this calm city, go your own way.
- Budget Travel
- Historical Travel
Hangzhou station was, unsuprisingly, extremely simple to use. So much so that it was completly unmemorable and I can't remember anything about the place!!! This is probably how it should be...no crowds, good signs, easy access to trains.
There is an extremely regular service to Shanghai, taking 2 hours, and so there are few (any?) flights between Hangzhou and Shanghai.
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