Tuesday, June 5, 2012


Was in Shanghai for the week, so decided to go drop by earlier and explore the area out of the city. Having then heard of the beauty of Hangzhou and Suzhou, I was stuck with these 2 choices however after reading the forums, made my mind for Hangzhou.

Reading that I could either sit the bus from the main train station or the airport, I was glad that I caught up to the morning airport bus to Hangzhou. Arrived at the airport at around 7am,I walked to the domestic terminal grabbed snacks and food from the nearby convenience store , then cross back over to the long distance buses terminal on 1st floor. My bus left at 8.40am and I reached Hangzhou at around 12.30pm.

Upon arriving, looking at the small map that I got from lonely planet, I wanted to walk and explore the area ( with my huge silver trolley luggage) and find my hostel. What a bad idea it was. It was many many streets even though it looked near and on uneven roads so I had to carry my luggage most of the time. And FINALLY, After walking for close to an hour, I found the hostel but to my dismay, they told me " it was full house" and even the hostels nearby were. They then recommended me to West Lake (which was opposite the West Lake but far from the town) . At that moment of time, I was thinking " URGGGHH" and after my taxi could not find the way I was thinking " URGGGHHHHHHHHHH" but after arriving at the hostel, Thank God for this hostel. It had such beautiful surroundings and the rooms were so nice and clean and airy!(The only problem: Not very near shopping area - But of course, you can sit the taxi only costing 10-12RMB each time)

Here's the entrance. Its direct opposite the bell tower. You have to walk through this path to get to...

 The hostel bright yellow sign, and its door beside

Enter the hostel, and you will be greeted by.... and their white dog. 

And the hostel mixed dorm room. With toilet. And each bed has its own charge points. Only cost 60 RMB per night. 

 This was the other room that I peek into. For 2 persons. Imagine looking at the stars at night!

Put my bag down and made my way to West Lake! It was a long LONG walk. Should have wore my sports shoes.  This place is very good to just chill with the breeze blowing in your face. But since it was a tourist venue. Had to wait some time for the seats to be freed.
You can also take sometime to sit on their boat and relax in its scenery

The crowd. Its like this every weekend. And its not the holidays. Imagine when its the holidays.

 Along the way, you will also see this - English translated: Release life shelter. So whats this,

In Chinese traditional custom, they believe releasing life can help them release guilt, can help them garner 'people' points from the above etc etc. Specially on vesak day, in most countries that have Buddhism that's what they do. 

 My legs were screaming for rest and my stomach screaming for proper food, so I stopped halfway, stave off my hunger with some street food - corn and fav tofu.

Oh and if you want to cycle, Hangzhou is the best place. There are bicycle renting and you can return it back anywhere and everywhere. This should be the best government idea so far I have seen. This should be implemented in Singapore! And for west lake - RECOMMENDED.
For me though, I did a lot of walking. Depends on you. So for the bicycle rental, the steps are.....
1. Buy a Transportation Smart Card T or Z. Z card which is specially designed for visitors. You need to show your ID or Passport and store at least CNY300 in your new card(200 as deposit and 100 as prepaid rental fee, which can be returned together with the deposit if there is any remaining amount left.). The Smart Card Center opens from 08:00 to 17:00.
0-59 minutes (1st hour) Free
60-119 minutes (2nd hour) 1 yuan
120-179 minutes (3rd hour) 2 yuan
180-239 (4th hour) 3 yuan
240-299 (5th hour) 6 yuan

4 Places to buy the card
  • The main entrance of Orioles Singing in the Willows Park (Liulangwenying 柳浪闻莺) at No. 11 Nanshan Road (Nanshan Lu 南山路) near West Lake Museum.
  • The main entrance of Wushan Square (Wushan guangchang 吴山广场) at Hefang Street (Jefang Jie 河坊街) near Wushan Square public transport station (Wushan guangchang gong jiao zhan 吴山广场公交站).
  • The main entrance of Youth Palace (Qingshao niangong青少年宫) at Beishan Road (Beishan Lu 北山路), Baochu Road (Baochu Lu保俶路) near “Broken Bridge” (Duanqiao 断桥).
  • At Hangzhou Bus IC Card Service Center (Long xiang qiao). Address: 20 Longxiang Road.
** From the 5th hour onwards, rates will increase by 3 yuan every hour. (E.g. 300-359 minutes, 6th hour is 9 yuan, 360-419 minutes, 7th hour is 12 yuan, etc.).
2. Taking the bicycle
When renting bike, you just need to put your card on the electric locker. When the light turns to green and the buzzer beeps you need to take the bike out of the locker within 30 seconds. A CNY200 deposit is required to rent the bike. This deposit minus the rental fee is returned when the bike is secured a locker at any service spot.
3. Returning the bicycle
When returning the bike, you need to firstly make the bike locked by the electric locker, and put your card on the locker when the green light is on. The return of the bike is a success when the green light stops shining and the buzzer beeps.
After this procedure, it is highly recommended to make sure the bike is rightly locked; pull it to see whether it is still movable or not, if yes, repeat the returning procedure. After you are convinced that the bike is secure, check on the self service machine to be sure that it is recorded as returned. Put your card in it and you'll see your renting and returning record.
Sometimes the electric locker shows that you have finished the process, but the returning record would not show up. In this situation, make sure your bike is not rented by other people, for the bike would be regard as lost and you'll have to pay for it. In this situation, you can ask the staff for help or contact the IC Card Center.

Famous Tourist Routes
 North Route (7.7 kilometers): Long Xiang Qiao—Xue Shi Lu—Shao Nian Gong (Youths' Palace)—Ping Hu Qiu Yue (Moon over the Peaceful Lake in Autumn)—Yue Miao (Mausoleum of General Yue Fei)—Lingyin Temple

 South Route (10.4 kilometers): Long Xiang Qiao—Yan An Lu—Yong Jin Men—Qian Wang Ci (Memorial Hall of Emperor Qian)—Liu Lang Wen Ying (Orioles Singing in the Willows)—Chang Qiao—Su Di Nan (South Entrance of Su Causeway)—Hua Gang Xi Men (West Gate of Flower Pond)—Dong Wu Yuan (Zoo)—Six Harmonies Pagoda—Jiu Xi

 Round Lake Route (12.4 kilometers): Long Xiang Qiao—Xue Shi Lu—Shao Nian Gong (Youths' Palace)—Yue Miao (Mausoleum of General Yue Fei)—Hangzhou Hua Pu (Flower Nursery)—Hua Gang Xi Men (West Gate of Flower Pond)—Su Di Nan Kou (South Entrance of Su Causeway)—Chang Qiao—Liu Lang Wen Ying (Orioles Singing in the Willows)—Yan An Lu—Long Xiang Qiao
** If you take public transport during your rental time, tap your bicycle rental card upon boarding the bus to pause the timing, which will stop for 90 minutes. It will resume counting after 90 minutes, regardless of how long your bus ride took. In short, your free rental for the use of the bicycle will be extended by 90 minutes if you take public transport, thus allowing you a total of 150 minutes of free rental time. 

And for proper food and some shopping, I made my way to He Fang Jie 河坊街. Location: Near Wu Shan Square. Bus Routes: B支3, Y6 观光6, 8, 13, 59, 71, 87, 190, 195, 198, 208, 216, 280, 284, 301, 308, 404, 510, 522, 537, 801, 808, 834 to Gu Lou Stop.

Showcasing their cake spinning skills. With just one turn,   the cakes are orderly placed. Interesting.

The local supposedly famous dish 虾爆鳝面 。Its made of fresh succulent prawns and some kind of black fish (somewhat big ikan bilis). Not really my cup of tea though the soup is nice.


The following morning, had to wake up early in the morning at 9am as I changed hostel to the one that I wanted to stay but it was initially full. It was easier as it was in town. But if I had to stay, I would definitely prefer West Lake hostel.

Put down my bags, quickly made my way to the 批发市场 Si Ji Ching Wholesale Clothes Market - my MUST-Go at every city that has it- to get your clothes, your husband clothes, your children clothes, your bags, your socks, your belts etc etc .  This made my day! Came back with many bags of clothes! And also had my favorite street food outside the warehouse. Remember to go to the street market outside the warehouse. Very cheap and good sales!

After close to 4 hours of shopping, I made my way to Wushan Night Market 吴山夜市 @ 上城区岳王路Yue Wang Road- Bus Routes:49, K49, K591 - Come down at Jin Ting Bridge 井亭桥站下车.
At 3pm, the street was empty and I kept asking around. Then at 5pm, from everywhere, there were people pushing out their carts, inserting their gas and water pipes, setting up tables.
Tried everything that I could get my mouth on there.. 



 As I walked through the streets, an amazing church appeared before my eyes. Such splendor in the middle of ancient streets. Spent my night in the chorus of  hymns and sermon.

The next morning at 4am, I set out for my 6:14 train. Wanted to walk but decided for safety sake, to take the taxi. Thankfully, I managed to get a taxi at such wee hours. Bye Hangzhou.

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