Trip Start Aug 04, 2011
132Trip End Jan 04, 2012
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Where I stayed
Hangzhou Hofang International Hostel
We had a more relaxed last day; avoiding dreaded students and trying to be a bit more cultural, temples and museums and what not. We also saw two chinese men comparing belly sizes and a couple of security men stealing each others shoes and having a giggle in the process. Not as serious a nation as we are sometimes made to believe.
Through a bout of bad luck, sadly we were stuck with the fast train through to Hangzhou which is 117miles south west of Shanghai. The normal train which costs 5 quid would take nearly 3 hours. Our train at a heady price of 8 pounds (pressing tightly on the purse here) took a staggering 45 minutes, and that includes the 15 minute slow plod into Hangzhou. We reached a speed of 349kmh (although sadly, Kate was asleep at this point - inside the half hour trip)
Hangzhou, is gladly a breath of fresh air (literally). Although still a 2 million population it is close to a ghost town compared to Shanghai's 25 million population (we learnt this stat from our potential ripper offers in Shanghai). We took a crazy beeping taxi journey to the pedestrian area (the taxi driver had to ask directions from some old lady on the way stopping right in the middle of the street). We then walked sweltering in the 35 degrees celcius with our backpacks to the hostel. And what a friendly, completely pleasant welcome it was. Lovely place, cheerful staff - nice little duplex room. Cold Tsing sao. All good.
We took a spritely walk up a local hill (actually named 'mountain of several forefathers under a crescent moon' or something like that, and took in the scenery. I took in a quick bout of dehydration, overheating, a few insect bites and tiredness beyond belief. Staggering back, I then proceeded to sleep for a few hours (rested my eyes) while Kate mastered the arts of washing machines in China.
A nice evening followed with a walk through the pedestrian Hefang Street which is a lot like a market and a big tourist hotspot. It was a lot nicer than Shanghai all the same.
Kate sampled a local delicassy (please see photos) and we then had a few games of cards before heading to bed. Big day tommorow being our only day to fully explore Hangzhou before heading onto Beijing.