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Hangzhou: a place to fell in love with

CHINA | Monday, 24 September 2012 | Views [329]

We left Shanghai yesterday in a “ bullet train” and it kept the promise of a smooth and fast journey. So fast I couldn' t believe we had arrived until I saw the signs all over the station. Clean, silent and comfortable, the train left Shangai Qiao station (close to the airport) at 11h, arriving at destination 11:49. The experience cost me 79RMB and it is worthy for the experience.

Once in Shanghai, the taxi was not difficult. My impression is that taxi is better anywhere outside Beijing, even if more expensive. I honestly don't believe westerns would refuse to pay more for a ride. Much more the opposite: in those days you're in a hurry, a cab to take you without complains would be very well tipped.

Back to Hangzou: the area around the lake is gorgeous, and clean, and peaciful. Today is Monday and it looks like all the crowd that usually runs everywhere in a billion population+tourists seems to be somewhere else. This area is almost like being outside town, blessed with beautiful view and amazing wide paths and lots of green everywhere. Almost.

Around 7 million people live here, and it's a number one destination for those living in Shanghai due to the proximity. I can't imagine the hell this place becomes with people trotting up and down in their noise tours. Peharps the best time to visit is... now.

Mingtown hostel is the place where we are staying. The double room with bath was almost 300RMB, and when I considered to stay in a dorm the girl in the reception suggested a double with shared bathroom for 130 RMB!

It was definitely the best deal since we arrived in China. The room is great, the lines are clean, it's big, cozy and facing the lake. And we are paying pretty much the same as we were in a dorm in Shanghai. Just to have an idea, I saw from my window a squirrel playing in the tree this morning. I also saw few birds, but it's ok. The reception is a little far, and the internet is extremely tricky, but the kitchen, the common areas and the view makes you feel lucky to be here.

The hostel is close to the supermarket (carrefour), to the bank (Bank of China, to exchange dollars fwith best rate) and to few seafood restaurants.

Tomorrow Ill try to run around the lake again. Our train to Xiamen leaves on Thursday, so we have some time tomorrow to see few sights. I kind of regret not coming before- and not staying longer. For some reason I think that three nights are not enough.

Tags: china, hangzhou, hostel

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