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China Nanjing Hangzhou Train

4 September 2012

Wet, lost and confused

Today is the day to move from Nanjing to Hangzhou, about 2 hours by train back through Shanghai.
Checking out of my hotel was fun, thank you sir, we will charge you for 8 breakfasts.
Only problem is I had not eaten breakfast in the hotel at all.
The staff were very good about this, but asked me to wait whilst they looked into the matter. First I explained I had been here 4 nights and was by myself. The concierge fellow seemed to confirm he had seen me coming and going only on my own, always in shorts and black t-shirt.
After some discussion, I suggested that surely the manager of the restaurant where breakfast is served would remember someone who looks as crazy as me.
So they went and got the manager, and asked him if he had ever seen me before, I believe his answer was 'hahaha, if I saw this person even in the street I would remember, I have never seen him before!'
So after a thousand apologies I didnt ask for and the offer of a voucher for a free night should I return which I declined, I was on my way.
Getting to the train was no problem, the high speed station was great, the train ride to Hangzhou was fine, but it did start raining along the way.
A girl next to me watched the most violent movie I have ever seen on her laptop, it was relentless violence, Japanese style. She seemed to enjoy it. I couldnt handle it even in my peripheral vision.
I decided to go and get a snack, this train had come from Tianjin near Beijing, so the dining car was nearly out of food, they had dried duck tongues and salted plums left. Guess I will be going hungry then.

Getting into Hangzhou station, and its the third world in comparison to Nanjing and Shanghai. Things only got more backwards from there, I had to take a taxi, and still I got saturated and lost!

China-Nanjing-Hangzhou-Train - No one escapes train station pictures forever. The true size of this hall cannot be appreciated in photos.

No one escapes train station pictures forever. The true size of this hall cannot be appreciated in photos.


China-Nanjing-Hangzhou-Train - The view out of the window.

The view out of the window.


China-Nanjing-Hangzhou-Train - Its me. You might think my head is almost touching the roof but its a good 20 metres or so above me. The station is built for the future, the entire m

Its me. You might think my head is almost touching the roof but its a good 20 metres or so above me. The station is built for the future, the entire middle section has no seats and only half the platforms are in use.


China-Nanjing-Hangzhou-Train - Arriving in Hangzhou, the usual chaotic scene at the exits. The scam taxi drivers are amassed in an impenetrable line, I pushed through them, actually

Arriving in Hangzhou, the usual chaotic scene at the exits. The scam taxi drivers are amassed in an impenetrable line, I pushed through them, actually pushed.


China-Nanjing-Hangzhou-Train - Before leaving the station I had to go back upstairs to buy a ticket to head back to Shanghai on Saturday. This meant more lines. Heres my first glimp

Before leaving the station I had to go back upstairs to buy a ticket to head back to Shanghai on Saturday. This meant more lines. Heres my first glimpse of Hangzhou, the station is quite a distance from the city.


China-Nanjing-Hangzhou-Train - The taxi waiting tunnel. I am near the front of the queue by the time I took this photo, it was probably 100 metres long like this squeezed into this

The taxi waiting tunnel. I am near the front of the queue by the time I took this photo, it was probably 100 metres long like this squeezed into this tunnel. A disaster waiting to happen!
You arent supposed to smoke but people do, as theres no guards in there to tell you not to, where would they fit?
Despite this, taxi scam touts are pushing up and down the queue screaming at people aggressively. I give better than I get, elbows work well, one guy spoke great English, told me that the line goes around the corner for another 500 metres.
Since he spoke English, I told him that the last time I took a taxi from someone like him I got robbed at knife point, maybe it was you? You look like the guy! I get the police now! He fled.


China-Nanjing-Hangzhou-Train - So I took a taxi to the vicinity of my hotel, and got out to look for it on foot. Much of the down town area is completely ripped up due to the constr

So I took a taxi to the vicinity of my hotel, and got out to look for it on foot. Much of the down town area is completely ripped up due to the construction of the metro. My driver was good about this, and followed the map on my blackberry without complaint, but we couldnt see the hotel.
The cost, $3 for a 40 minute ride.
Eventually I found my hotel, this is the view from the window. Its a bit weird because it is well located in amongst modern nice looking buildings, yet the view out the back of it seems to be old style apartments.


China-Nanjing-Hangzhou-Train - It was raining, and I hadnt eaten all day. The 85C bakery (popular chain in all of Asia) is next door. The chocolate thing was strange, its like a pla

It was raining, and I hadnt eaten all day. The 85C bakery (popular chain in all of Asia) is next door. The chocolate thing was strange, its like a plain wholemeal bread role, with chocolate on top.


China-Nanjing-Hangzhou-Train - My mother will complain if I dont show photos of my hotel rooms, this one is called SSAW plaza hotel. It is the nicest one I have stayed in yet. I thi

My mother will complain if I dont show photos of my hotel rooms, this one is called SSAW plaza hotel. It is the nicest one I have stayed in yet. I think its a bit more expensive at $80 a night, but Hangzhou is a tourist city.


China-Nanjing-Hangzhou-Train - The bathroom is behind the TV. It has no doors, just fine metal chains hanging down where a door should be, you can see them to the left of the TV. Th

The bathroom is behind the TV. It has no doors, just fine metal chains hanging down where a door should be, you can see them to the left of the TV.
The office area is kind of a separate room beind the wardrobe, you can see the small desk where I am sitting now, complete with the tiny fridge from which I have removed all the drinks so I can put my own in it (as usual).


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