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Published: November 29th 2010
Travelling between Shanghai, Suzhou and Hangzhou gave us the chance to experience some of China's newest and fastest high speed trains. On our way to Suzhou we were so impressed to hit 250 kph that we took a photo of the speed indicator. On the way to Hangzhou on the newest line that only opened about a month ago, that photo we took of our top speed looked absolutely silly as our speed zoomed past the 250 mark and eventually maxed out at 353 kph. Even more impressive than the speed of the train is that it only took 20 months to build the 202 km line. China currently has the World's longest high-speed rail network and it's only getting longer and faster as the 1318 km Beijing - Shanghai line is scheduled to open in 2012. Comparing this to the 3 years required for Calgary's comparativly tiny West LRT project, it seems that China might be doing something right.
So, on to Hangzhou... The main attraction here besides our fun railway trip, is the West Lake which is located at the centre of the city. The lake is lined with pathways, gardens, bridges and causeways. We spent a couple
of days wandering the pathways around the lake. We also found ourselves a bit frustrated with the city's bus system as it's not always clear which bus to take or what stop to get on/off at plus each bus seems to have a different pricing scheme. The lake is maybe not quite as stunning as the guide book hypes, but it's certainly a nice place to spend a couple of days.
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