Edit Blog Post
Published: February 13th 2016
Before setting off for the heady heights of Shanghai our next stop is the beautiful town of Hangzhou, reportedly enjoyed as a holiday retreat by Emperors long gone.
But first to tell of our new year on the train. The negotiation of the station was easy, having our own waiting area for the train, and on the platform the attendants were all smartly lined up alongside each carriage. We had magnificent peace and quiet, being the only passengers in the carriage let alone our compartment, after the noise and hustle of Xian it was a treat. Dozing in the compartment, which was the plushest of the trains so far, we saw many red lanterns and occasionally fireworks and that was it. Party poopers or not I enjoyed the peace!
And so to Hangzhou. The scenery had been much different than when we entered China from Mongolia. This times the towns were tidier, still a lot of high rise, but also a lot of lower rise housing, and a lot greener. We also passed through the ‘water towns’ of Wuxi, Suzhou and Zhouzhuang, where the canals had been built for silk transportation.
arrival there were few cabs, and the taxi drivers were being very picky who they took, not just us but other travellers. Eventually one agreed to take us, but seemed unhappy with the agreed fare, an extra yuan (30p) seemed to appease him!
The hostel was in a fantastic location adjacent to ‘West lake’ the main attraction in Hangzhou, and our room was delightful (a mini suite). All calm and relaxed we headed out for a wander along the lake. OMG it was like Bournemouth on the busiest bank holiday ever!! So many people. Rather taken aback we headed back to the hostel for a beer.
The following day we’d decided to get out early and beat the crowds. However, the great breakfast offered in the hostel was too tempting, so we got out a little later than planned. Yep, the crowds were back in force. This time more prepared, we headed south to walk the circumference of the Lake. It was lovely, pseudo old Chinese style pagodas and temples. Areas called ‘Oriole’s singing in the willows’ and ‘Three pools mirroring the moon’ all very poetic. Lots of pleasure boats of different descriptions were
out (with very long queues), in the brilliant sunshine. Climbing a hill on the west side we found a little more peaceful, until it came to a little rock clambering where we met an army of people trying to negotiate a single file route through the rocks!
Lots of families were out and about, new year is the time for this apparently, but all good natured hustle and bustle, less noise, more of a seaside holiday feel about the area. The people are much less inhibited than in the UK, we found them practicing Tia chi, some ladies singing opera, and many people dancing -sort of a sedate Ceroc.
A lovely promenade around the lake, and a couple of pedestrian causeways made for an easy walk except for the tourist buggies that tried to run you down every 5 minutes. Still a good experience, our mini holiday before hitting Shanghai.
Finally we get our ride on a fabulous high speed train…. Up to 350 km/hr…
Tot: 0.068s; Tpl: 0.013s; cc: 14; qc: 28; dbt: 0.0357s; 1; m:domysql w:travelblog (10.17.0.13); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.1mb
Alfie and carol
Enjoying your updates and your interesting history,descriptions of places and your lovely pictures!!?
Will keep following you! We look forward to our little break to the Canary on 3/3/16. Take care,love Carol and Alfio