Sunday, April 30, 2017

Day 4 - Nanjing/Hangzhou Trip 2017- Coffee Cafe near Huachen International Hotel Hangzhou - Supper

There's a coffee and pastry cafe next to our hotel (Huachen International Hotel), so every night we will pop in to get some coffee and bread or cakes.Price is not expensive. But there's limited seating area so we always ordered takeover and have it in our hotel room. Along this stretch of Road (Pinghai Road), there's a lot of other hotels and restaurants too.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Day 4 - Nanjing/Hangzhou Trip 2017 - Hefang Ancient Street, Hangzhou

After settling down all the check in at the hotel, we asked the friendly front desk staff, the best way to get to Hefang Ancient Street. From the map, is not too near to the hotel, need at least 20 to 30 minutes to walk from hotel to Hefang Street. Cheap to take a cab to Hefang street or take a bus to Hefang Street. Just cross over to the opposite side from the hotel and take the bus no. 35 to Hefang Street. It's 3 bus stop away from the hotel or the bus terminal. (The bus is a loop service.) It sounds easy, so we decided to take the bus at alight at the last stop (there's announcement in the bus, if I remember right, is in mandarin and english). The bus fare is only RMB2.

Once we alight, we could see some bright shining lights along Hefang Street, so we walked towards the lights. It was cold and misty that night.

It was nice coming to this ancient street, fun just coming to browse or shop in here.

Hangzhou is famous for Longjing tea or Dragon Well Tea, many shops selling the Longjing Tea.

The highlight of our night trip to Hefang Street was watching the stall holders trying to attract customers to buy food from them. View my video at the bottom of this post to view the happenings in Hefang Street.

Hangzhou is famous for its DongPo Pork and Beggar's Chicken. We decided to buy the beggar's chicken for dinner but the chicken looked small, I guess is spring chicken but tasted good but quite messy to eat it although we were provided with disposable gloves.

Beggar's chicken ( 叫花鸡)comes from the traditional ways of cooking in Zhejiang province in China. The process involves wrapping a whole spiced chicken in lotus leaves first, then encasing it in mud and roasted in open fire. When fully cooked, the mud forms a hard shell around the chicken and cracked open before revealing the deliciously roasted chicken inside. Including stuffed, wrapped in clay and roasted process, it can take about 6 hours to prepare a single serving. Source: Top China Travel

We also had some rice cooked over pineapple and get to eat the pineapple too.

After spending fun time at Hefang Street, we walked back to the bus terminal to take bus no. 35 back to our hotel. Remember is the third stop (the bus stop is called Pinghai Road).

Video of Hefang Ancient Street Hangzhou

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Day4 - Nanjing/Hangzhou Trip 2017 - Huachen Hotel Hangzhou

Finally we arrived in Hangzhou after one and half hour train ride from Nanjing. Everything was so easy, just followed the signs (both in Mandarin and English). We can take the metro from Hangzhou East Railway Station to our hotel. But the weather was so strange, when we arrived in Nanjing on Day 1, it was around 19 degrees and everyday the temperature was lower and lower. In Hangzhou, the temperature drops further around 14 degrees and was raining. It was difficult to drag our luggage in the rain, from metro station to our hotel no matter how near. The metro station to our hotel was a mere 5 or 7 minutes walk (need cross 2 small roads). Too cold to walk in the open too. So taxi was our choice, we walked to the taxi stand, saw a long queue but there were many taxis and the queue moved very fast. I showed the driver the paper where I printed the hotel name and address. So there's no problem with the communication. The taxi fare from Hangzhou East Railway Station to our hotel in Pinghai Road was RMB45 (there's a slight traffic jam).

Our hotel in Pinghai Road, can be access via the metro. The metro station is Longxiangqiao Station. Exit D and turn left and walked along Pinghai Road, will be able to see the hotel. The wonderful thing about Exit D of Longxiangqiao was there's a food court in that exit (will talked more in later post).

Huachen Hotel is a bit dated hotel but since gone through some renovations. Quite cozy and comfortable, every night I slept so soundly.

We booked our hotel throught, cheaper than booked direct with the hotel. It did not comes with breakfast. On enquiring, the staff told us if we booked the breakfast one day in advance will be RMB58 (S$11+) per person instead of RMB78. Since the weather was so cold, make sense to take the breakfast in the hotel and it was not expensive. So we decided to buy the breakfast vouchers for the three mornings that we were there.

The beds were cozy and room very clean.

All things in the basket are chargeable except for the free mineral water. Everyday there's will be 2 bottles of free mineral water.

I prefer shower in the bathroom instead of bathtub cause both of us are old and safer to use shower room instead of climbing into the bathtub.

Toiletriies in the pouch bag are free to use, the others wrapped in plastic are chargeable.

No air conditioning in the room as weather is still very cold, open the window for natural air conditioning. But best get a room away from the road, at times, it can be noisy but at night, all's quiet.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Day4 - Nanjing/Hangzhou Trip 2017 - Travelling from Nanjing South Railway Station to Hangzhou East Railway Station

Today, we will leave Nanjing for Hangzhou. We will be taking the CHR Train from Nanjing South Railway Station to Hangzhou East Railway Station. Please refer my previous post on how to purchase the train ticket.

We took the metro train (RMB2) from Xinjiekou to Nanjing South Railway Station (30 mins). We headed to the south gate, guess is non public holiday or weekend, going through immigration was a breeze, no long queue.

As it the journey would take about one and half hour, we decided to have lunch in the railway station. No problem finding food in the station.

We had lunch at a Chinese fast food chain called Kung Fu Fast Food Restaurant, our lunch was about RMB70+ (cant really remember the exact amount).

Viewed the big screen for the train number and departure time to look for the gate number to check in and also the platform number.

Enter only when the designated train number turned green and head for the platform.

On the train ticket, the car number is indicated so walked to the platform and looked on the floor of the platform, the car number is printed on the floor, queue at the designated car number.

There's not space to place huge luggages, best to have smaller luggages to placed on the overhead compartment. The food cart goes up and down the aisle so no luggages allowed to be placed in the aisle. Not all the end of each cabin(car) has luggage rack for large luggages.

The train seat was very spacious, a very comfortable ride.

Food cart goes up and down the aisle selling food and drinks.

Video of trip from Nanjing South Railway Station to Hangzhou East Railway Station.