Hangzhou Airport Taxi
When you arrive in hangzhou, DO NOT accept taxi from within the airport terminal building.
Go outside the terminal building and then you have two options -
1. Metred taxi - There are usually red or green colored cars with a prominent "TAXI" sign on top. You may get Yellow colored taxis (which are Xiaoshan taxis). These are metered.
2. Airport transfer bus - This is an air conditioned bus which is quite cheap (I believe it was 15 RMB when I took it. May be a bit more now). Drops you at Wulin square, from where you can take a taxi to your destination.
The inside taxis are not authorised. They take strange routes, which may be a bit alarming for some.
Please note, you need to pay the toll fees.
- Family Travel
- Work Abroad
'Ware the toilets! ^_^.
As with anywhere in China, bring tissues everywhere you go, as precious few public toilets have toilet paper provided.
As far as toilets are concerned, be prepared for anything. In some places you may score a Western-style toilet, in most you'll need to use 'squat' toilets (the pan is embedded in the floor). In others you may find yourself in a toilet with no doors, no pan (you just go on the floor!), with just little walls separating the stalls...
And be sure to throw used toilet paper in the rubbish bin provided rather than flushing it. This is why Chinese toilets smell so good. ^_^.
Most tips I could give would be immediately obvious if you actually had to use these toilets. For example, if you're squeamish about using doorless toilets, try to get the one at the far end where nobody will see you by accident. For example, don't leave your bag on the floor in the toilets because it's disgusting. Stuff like that.
How to cross the roads in Hangzhou town ?
The main roads in Hangzhou town are quite wide & busy & usually with no traffic lights for paedestrian. A tried & tested way is to cross the road with a friend. While crossing, you watch out for the traffic on your left side whereas your friend watch out for the traffic on his / her right. This strategy will work most of the time.
- Family Travel
Hangzhou: Bike Theft
If you are going to be in Hangzhou for more than a wekk or two it might be a wise investment to buy a bike rather than rent one.
However, you must be very careful of bike theft, as it is very common in Hangzhou, and in a city of millions of people and hundreds of backstreets, there's no way that you'll see your bike again!
How to protect yourself?
Bike locks: you need 2 at the very least. When you buy the bike, they should outfit it with a small circular lock on the tire which locks the bike to itself. You will also need to buy a long, thick lock to secure your bike to something else, like a pole, rail, another bike, etc. I've already had 3 bikes stolen as well as 3 electric bike batteries, so I would recommend buying a 3rd lock at the very least.
Parking: park your bike in the underground parking lot if your hotel has one or in another specially designated spot. There is power in numbers! You don't want yours to be the only bike in sight. Plus designated spots usually have something that you can lock your bike to, such as a rail, giving you a little added security.
Ugly: buying the cutest model or a super flashy bike makes it an easy target.
Cheap: despite taking the above precautions, you still might find your bike lifted. So it's better to not spend a lot of money on it. Of course, with as with most things in China, the cheapest is also not a good bet. You can get a decent bike for 200-400 RMB (about $25-50).
- Study Abroad
- Budget Travel
Hangzhou is considered to be one of the safest cities in China, but small crime like pickpocketing is still very common. Tips from my experience:
* Use extra caution on rainy days.
The one time I caught a hand in my purse was on a rainy day. The theives take advantage of the crowded streets (it's difficult to squeeze into a bus and near impossible to catch a taxi on rainy days) to get close to you and use umbrellas to sheild themselves from sight. My theif even stole an onlooker's umbrella to aid his escape after he got away from me.
* Keep your belongings close.
Don't put your bag above you on the bus.
Don't leave your bag on the bench while you snap photos.
Don't even leave your water too far from you while exercising! (I've actually had my 1.5 RMB bottled water stolen from about 8 feet away while I was exercising at the park)
* Don't expect someone to come to your rescue.
In America if you see someone reaching into someone else's bag, you'll probably holler and make a fuss about it. Not in China. Don't expect anyone to alert you when there's a hand in your pocket or someone grabbing your bag. Most people won't. And don't expect any help if you catch your theif in action! About 10 people stood around doing absolutely nothing while I wrestled with mine, yelling at him in Chinese to give me my stuff back.
* Don't fall asleep in public.
Seems like common sense, but people I know have fallen victim to this, falling asleep for a short time on a bus or train only to find their money or camera missing upon waking up.
* Use care if you must sleep.
On an overnight train across the country, you'll need to get some shut-eye at some point. Be careful. Your money and important items should be under the blanket with you. I find it best to actually have them inside your clothes, and recommend buying one of theose travel belts with several pockets to wear under your clothing. Sleep curled up in a protected position and don't use any sleeping aids, such as sleeping pills or earplugs so that you will wake up easily if necessary.
- Study Abroad
- Business Travel
Temple scam - burning your money!
I was visiting the Lingyin Temple with my friend. At the entrance to the temple, there was a counter offering guide services for 50 RMB. So we thought that 50 RMB seemed reasonable. The guide spoke Mandarin but it was not a problem. So we hired this petite little lady, who took us inside the Fei Lai Feng grottos. She took us to a shop to purchase incense for burning in the temple. After a lengthy explanation on the types of incense, we were persuaded to buy 5 bundles of joss sticks and some paper money. The price? 240 RMB!!
So we were taken on the ritual of burning joss sticks and paper money at the temple. At the end of the tour, the guide asked for 50 RMB each as gratuities, saying that the 50 RMB paid at the entrance of the temple was for administrative fees.
What a rip off! Never ever hire a guide at Lingyin Temple if you don't want to burn your money in the urns!
- Castles and Palaces
- Historical Travel
Stay out Night Clubs if alone
if you are foreigner please stay away clubs like Gaga,Before i read how foreigners are got hit by Chinese people , this time i had a incident .I like to share it for expats out here, please be safe.
I went to this club, as i was regular to there, one Chinese guy push me, i didn’t care it the first time , he did again,as i asked what’s wrong louder, then started hitting , to avoid the scene and for my safety (i was alone) i ran near to lift , those guys(2 of them) follow me and told something in Chinese to the guards ,then almost 4 guys around me , they pushed me to lift , they hit me in lift(including guards) , kick me in the back and chest region from both sides.
I was thrown out side the building.I was literaly broken, this is first ever incident in my life.
My back was severly injured, i couldn’t stand or move ,also i had deep pain in my chest region.For my excitement i called police (now i regret that decision) , once police van came , i explained everything to one english speaking police men,
I told him please check with the guards why did the hit me , instead they were laughing and having friendly talk with the guards , like i am culprit. So the police want to clean up the scene ,my hopes shattered, they want to take me to police van , i resisted it , i will call my embassy and you can’t do this to me .He got confused little.
I told them i will get a taxi and go home need not worry me , i laid down near to road since i couldn’t move , so i call ambulance , i don’t want die here and nobody want to help me , i called up the ambulance , after some 10 attempts , they came to scene along with the police , smell the misplay again . i don’t want to get into police again , fear my safety , my future, as club owner can be influential , they can turn around case in their favour.also i don’t want to get in those stuffs.
Finally i decide to get a taxi , one good thing they did , they carried me in their shoulder to taxi,i begged them don’t to follow me and make my life miserable. I didn’t disclose my identify in entire scene, one police try to pullout my valet to get my details , and i text to all my friends about this incident ,instead something goes wrong , they have some idea of it.
Much before the hotel , i changed the taxi , with much pain . I know they can track me down , so tried give to little trace.I will be leaving china in a week or two ,i am living my life in fear .I Pray to God Almighty to help to reach my county and see my family.
Please don’t go alone outside in china , also keep informed your friends where ever you go in china,or else go out with your best chinese friends and avoid these places.
I know writing my story also can invite problems for me , but i hope people out there ,won't face the same thing.
- Food and Dining
Do Not Go On Weekends!
If your length of stay permits, do not come here during weekends (or any national holidays). My precious stars, the place was packed shoulder to shoulder with humanity. You're not only fighting for space with other tourists, but also masses of local visitors. Not exactly what I would call a romantic outing! Go during a week day.
I bought a bicycle and had it for less than a day - stolen from the university campus within hours! People here are used to it; it is normal to buy several bikes per year. As some people seem to make a living out of it, they know how to open the locks.
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