Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Day 2: Hangzhou - Shanghai

Getting Away & Around
 
The first thing we did after waking up was to go to the train station to get tickets to Shanghai. We left our luggage at the hotel reception after checking out because we planned to have our first sight-seeing after dropping by at the train station.

As the cab pulled over at the station, we saw four regrettable words - "行李寄放" (luggage storage). We should've stored our luggage here instead of at the hotel! Now we had to go back to the hotel to get them before leaving for Shanghai. What a stupid plan!

Lesson 4 : This was kind of a careless mistakes. Do better research next time. =)

Anyway, what's done was done. We proceeded to get the tickets. RMB54 each. It's the train type called "动车" (Dongche) which traveled up to 180 km/hr. We later knew that this was not the fastest type. The fastest was the bullet train called "高铁" (Gaotie) which could go as high as 350 km/hr.

 The train tickets.

We never know getting a taxi in the street of Hangzhou can be such a adventurous, dangerous, challenging task. We wanted to save time so we thought getting a taxi would be much easier. But we didn't know we had to compete with a 70-year-old man who walked as if he needed a stick, but who stood in the middle of the 2-lane-road to stop a cab. After trying for 1 hour but to no avail, we decided to have breakfast at this shop...


Tasted bad beyond hope. Enough said.

Mr. Chin seemed a little calmer after having a meal. So we decided to try the bus. As soon as we know where the bus stand was (just a minute walk from the train station), we could easily figure out how to get from one place to another. It was seriously very easy, if you can read Chinese that is. At the bus stop it was written which bus stops here, which station it goes to, how much you have to pay, how frequent is that bus... Complete information. With a map in hand, you can travel the whole Hangzhou without having to ask for directions.

雷峰塔 (Leifeng Pagoda)

After a struggle of almost 2 hours, we were finally on our way to the Leifeng Pagoda.



 The entrance. We needed to pay RMB40 per person.

The building was rebuilt. Thus the escalator.

 Going up.
The plan view.
The remains of the historical site.


View of West Lake from the top of the pagoda.


Mr. Chin likes this picture very much. He said very "got feel".

The supposedly touching love story around Leifeng Pagoda. It was presented in a comic style wood carvings. The details of the carvings were unbelievable.

Bai Suzhen longs for the world of mortals during the gathering of immortals. (LOL!)

In the rain, Bau Suzhen borrows an umbrella from Xu Xian.

 Bai Suzhen reverts to her original form of snake on Dragon Boat Festival. (And Xu Xian fainted it seems.)

 Bai Suzhen steals the magic herb from kunlun mountain. (For Xu Xian because he fainted, remember?)

 Bai Suzhen launches a flood battle against Fa Hai on Jinshan Temple.

 After the battle Bai Suzhen meets Xu Xian at the broken bridge.

 Bai Suzhen is imprisoned in the Leifeng Pagoda by Fa Hai.

 That's their baby. HAHAHA!

 The Leifeng Pagoda crumbles and the family reunites. (Yeay happy ending!)

 Going down.

 Leaving Leifeng Pagoda, there was a temple opposite it.



 It stated that Emperor Qianlong wrote this. We were doubtful as it wasn't preserved.

A Graceful Walk Around West Lake 西湖

 Walking around West Lake. Notice the matching jacket and umbrella. HAHA! It was drizzling whole day.




 It was freaking cold.







Can always rent a bike when you're tired of walking.
 
 柳浪闻莺 (Liulang Wenyin). Notice the 柳树 (willow trees). You'd never see this in Malaysia.



The Journey to Shanghai
 
Reaching the Hangzhou train station, we saw this in the hypermarket.

 Jay Chou!!! HAHAHA!!!


 And many more other Taiwanese stars.


The trains were really punctual. It left sharp at 1603. In the train they showed the speed. It went up to 180 km/hr.


Upon reaching Shanghai South train station we went to get the return train ticket. We got the 高铁 (Gaotie) type - would only take 45 minutes to reach Hangzhou. But more expensive - RMB82 per person.

Bullet train. Could go up to 350 km/hr.


Taxi from Shanghai South train station to 浦东 (Pudong) - RMB60. Upon reaching my brother's RMB4-million-worth-condominium (he rented it of course, RMB8k per month), what greeted me were...

 BED!!!

 Night view on the 2nd floor condo. The condo on the left worth RMB30 million per unit, just because it had a Huangpu River view from the balcony.


 And dinner!!! This was chicken by the way. It was a cold dish. The Chinese like to have cold dish as appetizer.


 Lotus roots with glutinous rice covered with sugar. Weird, I know.


 沸腾鱼 (Feiteng Fish). It wasn't really boiling.

This tasted the most like Malaysian food. Long beans and minced meat. Yum!
 
 Very oily!


Scallop. This was actually quite good.


The Neighbourhood - LuJiaZui 陆家嘴

After dinner we decided to walk to the Huangpu River. My brother's condo just happened to be within walking distance to the Huangpu River. Couldn't believe my luck!

On the way to Huangpu River. The streets were decorated with lights in conjunction with the World Expo.


 Night view.



 Looking over Huangpu River at the Bund.



We even walked to the city centre. In the picture below, the one on the right was the tallest building in Shanghai - The Shanghai World Financial Center. That was the place where my brother worked. The one on the left used to be the tallest in Shanghai.


 东方明珠塔 (Dongfang Mingzhu Tower) - The Pearl Tower.


That pretty much ended the first night in Shanghai. We were exhausted after walking dozens of km all in one day. When we reached home my brother and his wife were already asleep. We did too the moment our heads touched the pillows.

5 comments:

MODERN ROBINSON CRUSOE said...

Nice - Many nice photos (esp on bridge) - this will be nice memory for U & Mr chin..cheers!

confessions of a medical student said...

i can't believed you took all the pictures of the story and blogged about it... surprisingly, it was nice... i see that you had a great time... with so many food somemore... hehe... can't wait to see more pics.. ^^

thE gEOgrAphicAlly blind said...

robinson: ya i guess... i like those night scenes...

shinyin: haha that story was pretty hilarious to me...

Yuri of Lost Tsinelas said...

Woah. Before I left Shanghai, the 高铁 wasn't there yet. I got used to going around China via 动车 and even then, I thought it was expensive :P I think my usual tickets going to HZ cost me 64RMB. Got to try the 高铁 this January when I go back for a visit :)

Thanks for this amazing post!

thE gEOgrAphicAlly blind said...

Hi Yuri, thanks for visiting :) and sorry for the late reply.

You should definitely try 高铁 when you're in Shanghai. It's seriously very convenient. From Shanghai to Suzhou took less than 30 mins. ;)