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Hangzhou

Ooaj Travel Guide, tourism, hotel reservation, residence, plane, cheap pension for you holidays in hangzhou

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Hangzhou (?? Hángzh?u) is in Zhejiang Province, China.

View over the West LakeView over the West Lake
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View over the West Lake

hangzhou Travel Guide :

Hangzhou

Understand

Famed for its natural scenery, Hangzhou and its West Lake (?? X? Hú) have been immortalized by countless poets and artists. The city was the capital of the Southern Song Dynasty from 1127 until the Mongol invasion of 1276, during which time the city's population is estimated to have been as high as one million, making it the largest city in the world. Even Marco Polo claimed to have passed through, calling it "beyond dispute the finest and the noblest in the world."

With the gradual silting up of its harbor much of the city's trade and industry passed to nearby Shanghai, but the city still has a bustling population of 1.7 million and ranks as one of China's most popular tourist attractions.

Hangzhou

Get in

Hangzhou

By plane

Despite the name, Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport (HGH) generally services domestic Chinese flights. There are frequent services to Beijing and Hong Kong, but using Shanghai's domestic Hongqiao or international Pudong airports and connecting by bus or train is also a viable option. International flights are possible. International cities that have service to Hangzhou include Tokyo, Osaka, Bangkok, Seoul, and Singapore.

Hangzhou

By train

A train from Shanghai is the easiest way to get to Hangzhou. Frequent trains run from Shanghai Zhan (Main) Railway station and from Meilong Railway Station (Metro Line 1: Jing Jiang Le Yuan). Nan Zhan (South Railway Station) will take over Meilong's function when its construction completes by the end of 2005. Check the train schedule for the duration of the trip as some trains are considerably faster than others. In general, the train will take between 1 hour and 45 minutes to 2 hours and 30 minutes, but "local" trains can take over 3 hours. Also, it is better to arrive in Hangzhou at the main Hangzhou station, rather than the East Hangzhou Railway station as the main station is right in town.

Hangzhou

By bus

Recently, bus has become at times more convenient than the train, as it can be more comfortable if only hard seater train tickets exist, and the buses depart more frequently than trains. Buses depart from the north bus station (Hengfen Lu), the PuDong bus station (Bailianjing, PuDong Nan Lu), and from Xujiahui Bus Station, ticket cost Y58 (Dec. 2005 price). These buses arrive at the north bus station of Hanzhou. You can also take a bus direct from Pudong Airport in Shanghai. Difficult-to-find buses leave from the 2nd floor parking lot across from Gate 15 of Pudong Airport, departing every 1.5 hours from 10:30am until 5:00pm. It costs Y100 (Summer 2005 price). These buses arrive at the Hangzhou Yellow Dragon Sports Center (soccer stadium).

Hangzhou

Get around

Hangzhou

By bus

Hangzhou has an extensive bus network, but you must be able to read Chinese to ride the crowded buses with ease. However, any bus that has a "Y" before the bus number (Y2, Y5, etc) are always "youke" - tourist buses, and are guaranteed to take you to a tourist site for Y3 - Y5. Therefore, if you want to just ride Y buses around all day, you will save money and still see the sites without having to tell the taxi drivers where you want to go in Chinese.

Otherwise, a bus with just a number will cost you Y1, and a bus with a "K" before the number (air conditioned) is Y2. Night buses are usually Y2.5. Don't take those prices as regular, since buses in Hangzhou are operated by different companies, which means different prices. But even if you don't understand Chinese, don't worry about this, since the fare is written at the bus line station, so you can prepare your coins in advance. (Better have the exact fare, because they don't give change money. You can also give them the 1 RMB-bill instead of some coins, even when the system says "just coins". Payage is directly with the driver, buses in Hangzhou don't have a salesperson inside as they have in Shanghai.

Hangzhou

By taxi

Hangzhou taxi drivers always use the meter as required by law. Good luck getting a taxi during the tourist weeks (Chinese New Year, May Golden Week, and October National Week); also, taxis between 7:30 and 8:45am and 5:30-7:00pm are difficult to flag, as they are always full. A good rule of thumb is that if you need a taxi, there won't be any, but if you don't need one, they will be driving extremely slow in the right lane disrupting traffic and honking and flashing their brights at you. While taxi drivers are generally incompetent, they are honest and will take you the fastest route (unlike other cities in China). Keep in mind that for all routes under 4km it's the same price - 10 RMB - regardless of how many people you are. So if you travel in a small group of 3 or 4 people, it's almost the same price if you're taking a taxi or riding a busline. There is no time-cost in Hangzhou for the taxis, it's just for the distance. 4km is about the distance half way around the lake.

Hangzhou

By subway

Line 1 is scheduled to be completed in 2008. Line 2 shortly thereafter; a total of 8 lines covering over 200km have been planned. Unless other countries, the new chinese subways offer you a pleasant and fast trip for a affordable price. The opening dates of the lines are "last", it means they can open earlier in case they pass the security checks quicker. For example, Nanjing's new subway system was opened ahead-of-time, after safety checks were passed, and so it is in Shanghai. Don't be surprised to take the Subway as early as 2007.

Hangzhou

By "water bus"

This ferry down the Grand Canal takes 30 minutes but only makes 4 trips per day, the first at 7:30am and the last at 6:00pm. It starts at Wulin Gate/West Lake Culture Plaza and ends at Gongchen Bridge, with one stop at Xingyifang Grand Canal Culture Plaza. Cost is 3 RMB. While rarely worth taking the trip, Hangzhou now has plans to connect a series of canals and streams throughout the city with the Grand Canal, West Lake, Yuhang River, and Qiantang River, making for increased water transport and a Venitian feel. When this will be completed (if it even happens) is anyone's guess.

Hangzhou

By "water bus"

For just getting to the islands on West Lake, you get to choose between tourist trap Dragon or "Gaily-painted" pleasure boats (Y45 and Y35). There are also medium-sized power boats (Y25), or for Y80/hour you can hire a driver to paddle you around, The boats are available in Hubin #X (1, 3, 6) parks and other obviously marked areas all over the lake.

Hangzhou

Maps

Buy maps near the Train Station or Bus Station from street vendors or stalls when you arrive. Price is often marked on the maps themselves, if you are wonding how much to pay (under 10 RMB -- well worth it and hard to find maps elsewhere in town!).

Hangzhou

See

Hangzhou

West Lake (?? X? Hú)

Hangzhou's most famous scenic sight. Technically, there are "10 Scenes of the West Lake" and "10 New Scenes," but they are overrated, and often seasonal (Snowfall Over Broken Bridge, etc). Rather than make a checklist and walking back and forth looking for them, simply spend a clear day wandering the circumference of the lake and the causeways, take a ferry to the islands, and you will probably cover most of the sites anyway. The "West Lake" itself can be divided into countless smaller sites, from Mr. Guo's villa to "Orioles Singing in the Willows".

The "West Lake Scenic Area" itself is very large. This section only covers areas in the immediate vicinity of the lake. Other spots are covered in later sections.

  • Lesser Yingzhou Isle (Three Pools Mirroring the Moon) "Built" in the early 1600s, this is the largest island on the lake. When there is a full moon, candles inside the pagodas are lit, and in the candle light it appears as though you see the moonlight (if you are romantic enough to see it). Hence the name.
  • Mid-Lake Pavilion From 1552, it is the oldest island. There is a Chinese inscription on the Qing Dyansty-era stone arch in which the Qing Emperor wrote "Chong Er", or "Enless Love".
  • Lord Ruan's Mound This is a mound they made from piling up dirt after dredging the lake 200 years ago. However, it is not just a dirt mound. At night (summer), entertainment activities are going on in the garden on the island.
  • Hubin #X Park Hubin Parks 1, 3, 6 and probably the numbers in between are the parks between Hubin Road and the West Lake. Relatively newly-designed as the West Lake Tunnel that goes underneat was being built in early 2004, these parks are good to sit for a bit, buy ice cream or a newspaper, and most importantly hire a boat from the cluster of boat docks at each park.
  • Su Causeway Almost 3km long, this causeway dates from the year 1189 and has a bunch of willows and peach trees. It is long north-south causeway that starts by the Shangri-La on Beishan Road and goes all the way down to Nanshan Road.
  • Bai Causeway Starting at the eastern end of Beishan Road, this cause way leads to Solidary Hill and cuts off the distances between, say, Hubin Road and the Shangri La.
  • Solidary Hill And Zhongshan Park Where Loud Wai Lou restaurant is located, this is the only natural island on the lake. At least 3 emperor's constructed palaces here. Besides an expensive restaurant, the popular area is the home of the Xiling Seal-Engravers' Society, and the seals, calligraphy, engraving-masters, and relics that go along with it.
  • Yang Causeway This one is more than 3km long and one road west of the Su Causeway. It starts at the intersection of Beishan and Shuguang Road (which becomes Yang Causeway once you are south of this interestion); the causeway runs north-south. Yang Causeway includes Quyuan Garden (aka Qu Garden aka Qu Courtyard), which is the most popular spot to see tons of lotus blossoms (late spring > summer). The water area to the west of the top of Yang Causeway is Maojiabu Scenic area, with orchids blended into the water scenery. Another tourist spot on Yang Causeway is Mr. Guo's Villa, is was built in 1907 and is considered one of the most "classical" gardens in Hangzhou. At the southern end of the causeway, just before Nanshan Road, is a fish-viewing pond.
  • King Qian's Memorial (Qian Wang Ci) 5 kings of the Wuyue Kingdom are buried here in this memorial on the south end of the lake off Nanshan Road.
  • Wushan Square (???? Wu Shan Guang Chang) Wushan Square and Wushan Hill is a major town center in Hangzhou. The view from the top is excellent on a clear day, and there are also trails around the hills from behind the pagoda. The pagoda itself has been modernized with an elevator and nice open-air teahouse at the top, but the original bell is still intact and in use. This area also features easy access to Hefang Jie shopping street at the base of the hill, full of small pedestrian streets and shopping stalls. It is also extremely close to the West Lake itself.
  • Jade Emperor Hill (????? Yuhuang Shan Gong Yuan) One of the least-visited sites in Hangzou despite its somewhat central location, this hill does not feature any prominent pagodas or temples, but can still provide a quiet escape and a nice walk. It is located directly south of Leifeng Pagoda. If you are playing along with the "10 Scenes of the West Lake" scavenger hunt still, the one that applies to the top of this hill is "clouds flying over Jade Emperor Hill".
Hangzhou

Temples And Pagodas

  • 6 Harmonies Pagoda (???, Liu He Ta). Down by the river, about a 25 minute cab ride from the lake in light traffic, but it is a pretty road to drive down through all the tunnels and tea fields. Besides the pagoda itself, which is arguable the most prominent of all the temples and pagodas in Hangzhou
  • Lingyin Temple (??? Ling Yin Si) Meaning "heart of the soul's retreat", this temple west of the West Lake is an active Buddhist temple at the bottom of a hill. Nearby you can take a chairlift to the top of the hill where there is another temple (walking up is also an easy set of stairs below the chairlift)
  • Leifeng Pagoda Located on the shores of the southeast side of the lake and originally built in the year 977, all that remains of the original pagoda is the crumbling foundation, viewable from outside the glass case that it is housed in (Pagoda Remains Memorial Museum at the bottom floor of the pagoda). With escalators, elevators, and a totally new pagoda places on top of the foundation, there is not much to see within the pagoda itself; it was most recently rebuilt in 2000. However, the view of the city skyline is one of the best from here, and some of the smaller seating areas around the perimeter of the pagoda have a nice breeze and view of the structure. One of the 10 Scenes of the West Lake is "Leifeng Pagoda in Evening Glow", but this is best viewed from a distance (across the lake) just after sunset. Keep in mind that the entry fee for the Leifeng Pagoda is very expensive (40 RMB/person, Dec 2005) and it's not original, just rebuild, so if your budget is not that huge, consider to not enter the Pagoda. You can still take pictures in front of it.
  • Baocohu Pagoda (??? Bao Chu Ta) and the surrounding temples on this hill on the north side of the lake.
  • Jingci Temple Off Nanshan Road, built in 954, this has a huge 10-ton bell inside. Located on Nanping Road, they ring the bell 108 times here to ring in Chinese New Year. It is also rung every evening for much fewer times.
Hangzhou

Gardens, Forests, Nature

  • Longjing (Dragon Well) Tea Fields (???? Long Jing Cha Yuan)And other tea fields further west. These are best visited during the harvest period, usually during the last 2 weeks of April, when everyone is out in the field picking tea and the tea that you can purchase is of the best quality (tea crops from later in the year have had their leaves damaged by the rain).
  • Hangzhou Botanical Gardens (??? Zhi Wu Yuan) and flower nursery as well nearby. If you can't make it to Suzhou, these gardens aren't bad, especially in the spring and during the brief period when the leaves change in the fall. There is also a peacock farm, some nice ponds, and basically a wide range of plants and ecosystems to walk through. The redwood tree that Nixon donated during his visit has since died (in 2001).
  • Xixi National Wetlands Park Opened in May 2005, this wetlands park is located in the extreme west part of the city past the west bus station. One of the easiest ways to get there would be to take a bus from Huanglong Soccer Stadium. While it may be somewhat out of the way and the road signs have the English translation as an uninviting "Xixi Swamp," this area is not to be missed, as currently the tourists are not too many, and it is a great way to see birds and other wildlife. The birds are especially beautiful and varied.
  • Hangzhou Zoo (??? Dong Wu Yuan) It has pandas and everything and is conveniently located just south of the lake, but it is not recommended to visit most zoos in China, as the animals are exploited and treated poorly (generally speaking). At least stay away from the dog exhibit. This zoo is definitely one of the worst ones in China. Besides a few animals which have good cages (mostly water-animals) it has terrible conditions for the Panda, most Bears and other larger animals like the Elephants. Still, they made improvements compared to a few years ago, and it seems it's mostly the missing support of larger investments that seems to hinder further development in a better zoo.
Lesser panda in Hangzhou ZooLesser panda in Hangzhou Zoo
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Lesser panda in Hangzhou Zoo

On the northern side of Baochu hill near the soccer stadium is Huanglong Cave (For "Scenes of The West Lake", this cave covers "Yellow Dragon Cave Dressed in Green").

The area behind the 6 Harmonies Pagoda features several excellent walks to the tea museum, tea fields, and even as far back as the West Lake via the hills and trails. The trails also lead west through the bamboo forest.

Hangzhou

Do

  • Early morning bikeride Start on the north side of the lake, and head west towards Zhejiang University, then down Lingyin Road past the Botanical Gardens and into Longjing Village. Keep heading West and south through the tea villages, bamboo forest, and scenic valleys to the river and cut over towards 6 Harmonies Pagoda. Go back to the south end of the lake via the road right next to 6 Harmonies, past the zoo, through the tunnels.
  • Walk around the lake You can also hire small non-motor powered boats (Y80/hour for personal boat with driver, or use the ferry services) to take you around the lake and to the 2 islands, which feature some interesting sites.
  • Visit the temples and pagodas The most popular ones are Baochu pagoda, which is the tower-like one on a hill on the north side of the lake. This hill is a great hike, with excellent views of the lake and city, several smaller temples of a variety of religions, and Huanglong Cave on the northern slope of the hill. 6 Harmonies Pagoda, located on the river, is the largest and most imposing. A fun hike after the pagoda leads from the shores of the river, behind the pagoda, and into the Longjing tea fields near the tea museum. Lingyin Temple, on the west side of the lake, is also a large complex with a surprisingly devout crowd of worshippers. This area also has many excellent hikes, as well as a cable car to the top of Beifeng Hill (with another temple at the top). Finally, Leifeng Pagoda has recently been rebuilt and has escalators and elevators, while all that remains of the foundation is on display on the main level. Despite its lack of ancient Chinese beauty, the benches and gazebo-like structures surrounding the area make for a nice place to sit in the breeze, and it also has an excellent view looking in the opposite direction as the Baochu area.
  • Spend an afternoon at a tea house
  • Shopping -- see the "Buy" section for more info.
  • The West Lake Golf Club near 6 Harmonies and Songcheng was designed by Jack Nicklaus.
  • Boating along the Hangzhou-Beijing Canal is becoming more popular.
Hangzhou

Buy

  • Silk Market on Tiyuchang Road. You can also get silk at other places in the city, but most of it will just be the fabric.
  • Night market off Yan'an Road near Pinghai Road (right near Wushan) every night. Here you can find Mao memorabilia, pipes, and other items that most Chinese cities have. You can also find a lot of those silk-screen printed paintings/embroidery things that the silk market also has. Bargain hard unless you really want something.
  • Tea Dragon Well/Longjing tea is famous throughout China and worth getting if you like green tea. If you are staying with a Chinese host somewhere else in China after Hangzhou, bringing them a small box (or 2) of higher-end Longjing Tea would make a great gift; however, bear in mind that these usually cost around Y300/box (more at tourist stands).
  • Clothes Hangzhou has literally hundreds of clothes and shoes stores. The largest concentration of these are on Yan'an Rd and especially Wulin Rd, making a straight line of clothes shops stacked on top of each other between Wushan and Wulin Squares. Another popular clothing spot is "Song Mu Chang" (???) just north of the lake on Shuguang Road. All of these places require bargaining and often have a lot of fake ripoff clothes. For the real thing, try the department stores (ie Hangzhou Tower across between Yan'an and Nanshan Roads). You can certainly find cheaper clothes stores scattered throughout the city as you get farther from the lake if you really like to buy clothes.
  • Landscape paintings There are several places to buy Chinese landscape paintings in the city, especially near Wushan Square and around the south/east side of the lake. Bring money.
Hangzhou

Eat

The food in and around Hangzhou is typically bland, and is mostly pork and seafood rather than the beef and lamb of the North and West. If you do not like Hangzhou food, you can find plenty of Sichuan, Shaanxi, and Xinjiang restaurants throughout the city. Typical Hangzhou specialties include dongpo rou, an extremely fatty chunk of pork in a syrupy sauce, and cuyu, which is fish with a vinegar sauce.

Hangzhou

Budget

For budget restaurants, even near the lake, just head into an alley and get some food from a small restaurant or streetside stand. You should judge for yourself how sanitary the food is, but Hangzhou is generally pretty civilized in this respect relative to most Chinese cities. These restaurants are all pretty similar.

If you like dumplings and have just come down the north side of Baochu hill (past the cave and in view of the soccer stadium), one option is to continue across Shuguang Road and up Hangda Road (0.5 blocks east and 1 block north) to Tianmushan Road. At the corner of Tianmushan and Hangda Roads are 2 decent dumpling restaurants with English menus available (one is upstairs from the other). They have tons of different kinds, including all-vegetable varieties.

Hangzhou

Mid-range

Hangzhou has too many KFCs, enough McDonald's, and an increasing number of Pizza Huts throughout town, especially near the lake.

Other restaurants that are good and aren't as tourist-trappy can as Lou Wai Lou are located near the West Lake, usually to the East past Hubin Road in the Yan'an Road area.

For Xinjiang, try the restaurant inside Tiandu Hotel on Zhongshan Bei Road near Wulin Square. The Xinjiang restaurant on the 5th floor of Sanrui Tower (????) is better and more authentic, but more out of the way as well.

  • Chuan Wei Guan. For Hot Pot, this city-wide chain (5 restaurants throughout town) is best, and this hotpot place also has several good Sichuan dishes.
  • Grandma's Kitchen (???) has at least 5 locations in Hangzhou, including one on Yugu Road near the soccer stadium and Zhejiang University. It has efficient service, a comprehensive picture menu, and is popular among just about everyone.
  • Paradise Cafe, Hubin Road. "American" food including the best burgers in town (besides the Hyatt, arguably) are at Paradise Cafe. It has nice outdoor/patio seating on the 3rd floor with a large tree overhanging and a great view of the lake and the tourists below. With bacon and cheese, a burger will run around Y50. You can find most other Western food in the hotels.
  • Zhang Sheng Ji (???), 33 East Qingchun Road. Out of the way but is also huge and now has branches all over China.
Hangzhou

Splurge

Hangzhou

Chinese

  • Lou Wai Lou (???), right on the lake on an island off Beishan Road. The most famous restaurant in Hangzhou. Lou Wai Lou also has a second establishment called "Shan Wai Shan" right on the Botanical Gardens.
  • Oriental Favorites Restaurant, Beishan Road (just past the Broken Bridge). A good replacement for Lou Wai Lou and has an equally good view with slightly cheaper prices (but it's still expensive).
  • Hyatt Hotel, Hubin Road. Opened January 2005, the buffet here has everything you could ever want for about Y148 lunch and Y198 dinner with no drinks and not including a 15% service charge.
Hangzhou

Japanese

There are lots of Japanese restaurants, many of which offer the "all you can eat and drink" deal for between 120 and 200 renminbi, which is a good deal when you consider the Sake and plum wine are included, and is a good way to start off a weekend night.

  • Fu Gang, Tiyuchang Road (near Wulin Square). Hangzhou's most famous Japanese restaurant, although it does not offer an all-you-can-eat deal. It does have a sushi train and set meals though.
  • Mu Zhi Lan, Nanshan Rd (next to the Bernini coffee shop). One of the best, especially location-wise. The all-you-can-eat deal is around Y180, but the seating and views are excellent, as is the food.
Hangzhou

South-East Asian

  • Banana Leaf, Xueshi Rd (next to the Hyatt on the east side of the lake). South-East Asian. Reservations are recommended on weekends.
  • Liu Lian Piao Piao, Gaoyin Rd (just off Hefang Jie by Wushan Square). A newer Thai Restaurant. The food is more authentic than Banana Leaf, and if you are unable to find it, there are plenty of interesting restaurants on this street and it is worth taking a walk down.
Hangzhou

Western

  • Caribbean BBQ, Yan'an Road (near Wushan Square). It is not very authentic, but is a buffet-style restaurant that will probably at least leave you with a full stomach.
  • La Tour, Hubin Rd. The oysters and some other buffet dishes are good, but the odd restaurant layout and lack of "take off" have made the dishes arrive cold, not taste very authentic, and are rather overpriced.
  • Peppino, Shangri-La Hotel. Expensive but does have an authentic brick oven, great bread, and huge calzones.
  • La Belle, situated across the street at the Lake, it offers real authentic, high-class italian food. Especially recommended for lunch, where you can spend less then 50 RMB for getting excellent food. Dinner is usually a little bit more expensive, but you get a real great experience, usually with live music as well. I don't have a clue how this restaurant survives, since it's almost always empty, but instead of meaning "bad food" which is usually the reason to have an empty restaurant, it's more the place in the second floor (having stairways) that could hinder people to find it. Great to spend your evening in a lovely place, especially for couples.
Hangzhou

Drink

Tea. Hangzhou's Longjing Tea is the most famous green tea in China.

"Linglong Town", located on Nanshan Road to the west of most of the bars, has large smoothies that are excellent for hot days. The restaurant also has many types of tea and good-tasting Taiwanese fare.

For bars, Nanshan Road all night every night should keep any visitor occupied. There are also a few bars (Reggae, Travellers, You Too, and Maya) on Shuguang Road due east of Zhejiang University. The "Cool Bar" on West Lake Ave by Wushan Square has Budweiser for as low as Y5/bottle (the Wushan Square area also has several other bars, including the popular expat hangout Shamrock Irish Pub). The Huanglong soccer stadium is full of bars around the perimeter of the building, as well as a "Huanglong Bar City" set behind the stadium.

Hangzhou

Sleep

Hangzhou

Budget

  • Hangzhou International Youth Hostel, Nanshan Road (right on the south end of the lake and just off "bar street"), Run by Hosteling International and has a friendly staff. Y40 w/membership, Y50 without membership, per night, 6 people to a room (you can get doubles as well for about Y200, including a lakeview double for Y250). All rooms and toilet/shower are extremely clean. Despite being literally a few paces from the clubs of Nanshan Road, this hostel is set back far enough to be relatively noise free and features a comfortable courtyard/patio with a pond. The lobby also has a boring bar and an all-right breakfast.
  • Green Tea Youth Hostel, Lingyin Road (near Lingyin Temple). Not affiliated with Hosteling International, this hostel is much quieter and set back in the hills, but the staff is not as helpful. Also, beware that the bar next door, "31 Bar", often has live music during the summer which can make this hostel even louder than the Nanshan Road one.
Hangzhou

Mid-range

  • SouthLine Hotel (Nan Xian Da Jiu Dian) is a small but clean, well-located and reasonably well-appointed mid-range hotel one-half block off the lake and right next to the Zhejiang Art Academy on Nanshan Rd. Prices range from US$40 per night to over $100. The friendly staff speaks some (although limited) English. Call +86-571-8777-3939, or e-mail southline@vip.163.com for bookings.

As for mid-range, non-hostel accommodation, you can find hotels all over the city, most of which will take foreigners. Try to bargain for a room. Ask how much they want for one night's stay, then say "what if I stay for 3 nights?" or something to that extent and it will become cheaper.

  • Jinhui Hotel (?????) At 7 Moganshan Road, it is a large hotel and far enough away from the main sites to be a bit cheaper, but also close enough to be a quick bike ride/taxi ride or even a 20-30 minute walk to the city side of the lake (all on the same street, just walk due south past the provincial government). One benefit of this hotel is that an English-speaking CYTS office is on the 3rd floor.
Hangzhou

Splurge

  • Shangri-La while the Hyatt may have better service, especially for business travelers, the Shangri-La has an ideal location, forested grounds, and is essentially a self-contained luxury village; a great place for a holiday.
  • Radisson right on Wulin Square.
  • Ramada (Haihua Binguan), Qingchun Road (near the West Lake). Located between Wulin Road and the West Lake, although lake-view rooms are somewhat limited and not very intimate.
  • Hyatt, Hubin Road (right on the eastern shore of the lake). New and awe-inspiring.
Hangzhou

Get out

  • Shanghai — less than two hours away by train
  • Train Hangzhou Train Station has trains going to Guangzhou, Beijing, Chengdu, and everywhere in between. For destinations further away, such as Kunming and Urumqi, you would first want to go to Shanghai or some halfway-point train station. There is an East Train Station as well, but it is not a very nice part of town.
  • Bus Hangzhou has 4 bus stations (N, E, W, and S). Usually, your destination corresponds to the bus station, eg if you are going to Shanghai, try the north or east bus station. If you are going to Huang Shan, buses leave from the West Bus Station, etc.
  • Boat You can buy tickets for overnight boats to Wuxi and Suzhou along the Hangzhou-Beijing Grand Canal by asking at the wharf ticket window one block north of Wulin Square (208 Huancheng North Road). The mid-range and upper level tickets are worth the splurge (tickets are between 70 and 130 renminbi). Bear in mind that the overnight voyage is mostly in darkness.
  • Plane Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport (HGH) is approximately 45 minutes - one hour away from the city by taxi. A taxi to the airport is around Y80-90, and you would want to ask if he is willing to take you that far before just jumping in the car with all your bags. A cheaper route would be to buy tickets on for the shuttle service at the Xiaoshan Bus ticket office on Tiyuchang Road next to the KFC just west of Wulin Square. The Shangri-La Hotel also has a shuttle service to the airport for Y50, inquire within. It is highly possible you can also get there by taking a bus from the Dragon Sports Center. The airport has daily flights to Hong Kong, Macao, Seoul, Tokyo, Beijing, Guangzhou, Haikou, Shenzhen, Guilin, Kunming, Wuhan, Ha'erbin, Chengdu, Chongqing, Xi'an, Urumqi, Xiamen, Jinan, Dalian, Shenyang, Changchun, Qingdao, Fuzhou, Jinjiang, and Sanya. Tusday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday flights go to Wenzhou, Nanning, and Zhuhai. Flights go to Tianjin, Hefei, and Osaka four times weekly. Flights to Bangkok are on Thursday and Saturday; flights to Shantou depart on Wednesday and Saturday. All info is as of July 2005.
Hangzhou

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