Monday, June 10, 2013


Just came back from a short weekend trip to Hangzhou to see a college friend who was visiting her family. I got there Friday afternoon and left Sunday morning. It was a quick trip but we still managed to do a lot.

I left Hong Kong with only a backpack. I didn't even pack any jackets since it was so hot in HK. On the way there, I was kind of worried that it might be cold in Hangzhou. It turned out to be a lot cooler in Hangzhou but still pretty warm so the clothes I packed were okay. Apparently, it doesn't get unbearably hot there until July and August. Whereas in HK, it's crazy hot for 6 months a year. Anyway, it was pouring rain when I got to Hangzhou. I really should have just taken a taxi straight from the airport but I took the airport shuttle instead. It was cheap but took a while before it left for the city. The rain was coming down really hard when I finally got to the city and the bus dropped us off in the middle of the parking lot instead of inside the main train station. It was a very wet adventure trying to find an empty taxi to take me the short way to my friend's place. I only managed to meet up with my friend after getting off the taxi because she went outside to see if I was wandering around and found me!

We had dinner that night at her grandparents' place and then walked around the pedestrian street area with lots of tourist shops and other little cute stores. I got a scrapbook and some tea leaves. It's weird to buy things right when you get to a place. I find that I'm always debating whether or not to buy something and part of me is always thinking "maybe later/next time". But usually, there is no next time since it's very unlikely that you'll go back to the same place twice in one short trip. Anyway, I have enough tea in my collection to last me a lifetime now.

On Saturday, we rented out bikes from the city's bike rental program. You basically put down a deposit to get a card that lets you take bikes from these racks. The first hour is free and then something like 1 RMB an hour after that. You can always put the bike back and get out another bike to avoid charges. But it's ridiculously cheap anyway. There are actually plenty of these racks around town. The quality of the bikes are dubious though. One of the ones I picked out made this cranking noise and the kickstand kept falling down. Anyway, we had a lot of fun going around West Lake and up to these temples and caves. We had a solid 12 hour day exploring various part of town. The only thing that was lacking was the availability of good snacks. The only things that were sold at these tourist places were corn on a cob, tofu, cups of noodles, and sometimes tea eggs. These items got boring after a while. 

My China visa expires really soon (this Saturday). So this might be the last time I go to the Mainland for a while. At least until I apply for my next visa. I think it would be worth it if I went to Shenzhen more often. But now that I live on the Island, it's even farther to get to the Mainland. I might apply for one in a couple of months. Until then, I'll just have to stick to places where I don't need a visa. Like Singapore for example. Just booked a ticket last night with my roommate to go there for the July 1st weekend. We get July 1st off because it's HK day. Another long weekend trip ahead!

1 comment:

yalu said...

That is very cheap for the bikeshare program!!