We planned to wake up early so that we would have more time later in Hangzhou before our airplane. But it didn’t work out so well. We arrived in Shanghai South railway station only 7 minutes before the train and missed it. Later we were told that the train also left earlier. It takes lot of time to get to a train – the station is huge. Luckily we were able to change the tickets for another train that leaves about an hour later. They even gave back 14Yuans as the new tickets were cheaper because of not so good/fast train. In the waiting hall by a complete accident we met a person from Latvia (again). She was working in Shanghai as teacher and also was going by the same train to Hangzhou. The train was pretty comfortable (more or less similar to the train Xian-Beijing) and the ride was very smooth and fast. After an hour (or two) we arrived in Hangzhou.
Our plan was first to leave all our heavy bags in the hostel Anders had reserved for him as he was staying in Hangzhou for the next night. There was a big line of people waiting for the taxi next to the train station. Taxi cars were coming and going quickly, so it didn’t take much to get two cars for ourselves. We had only address of the hostel written in English, and in Hangzhou only few people understood English, so we pronounced carefully the street name and luckily driver understood where to take us.
Some of us wanted to go for more shopping, but me with Agnese and Anders went to West Lake – Hangzhou most famous scenic sight. The lake was very large. Also there were lots of other tourists walking around, some boats were floating on lake. We decided to walk along the coast for some two hours in the direction of less attractions, south, as the less attractions, the less tourists. Right at the beginning Agnese scared the hell out of me, by faking pushing me into lake when I was watching water at the edge of lake. Anders commented this as “it never gets old” :).
The path was not only on the ground, but in some places build like bridge over the water, going parallel to the coast of lake. In some places there was a statue of a famous man or an important ruler of Hangzhou. At one point a Chinese guy approached me and asked something (in Chinese). As I didn’t understood, he showed with gestures that I am tall, and he is short, therefore he wanted to take a photo with me. We stopped a bit near a small pound with lot of colorful fishes (same as in Shanghai) and Agnese fed them with cookies she had with her.
From the lake we went back along a street full of souvenir shops. In one alley we went into what seemed a traditional medicine shop. They were selling lots of weird stuff – all kind of roots, grains, and also some dead snakes. In other alley there were lot of food stands. You could buy lot of different types of food, including crayfish that Agnese wanted to eat. There were also some boiled snails which we didn’t try.
When we got back to hostel, Mārtiņš K. and Emīls were asleep and the little room without windows seemed overcrowded of people and bags. Then we said goodbyes to Anders and went to Hangzhou railway station for airport shuttle. We were told that bus leaves from the front of railway station. But it took some time to find out that bus stop was on other side of building that was in front of the railway station.
Our Air-Asia flight was scheduled at 23.20. In the airport people were getting in a line. When the line was for about 40 meters long we decided it is time for us to get in the line also. At check-in they informed us that our printed-out boarding passes were not valid in this airport (because it is small?). So we got almost last places which were left in airplane close to each other – at the very tail of the plane. The seats had a small display at back of them where the information about the flight was shown. You could also rent movies to watch, or order food with them. Though the sitting was not very comfortable for me – there was not much space for legs and it was very hard to get some sleep. Although this was my first flying ever, and I was before told by others that plane will shake very much and everything will be bad, it was not true. Flying was very smooth. During the flight we were given customs cards to fill, where we found out that bringing drugs is punishable with death penalty by Malaysian law. Fortunately none of us uses them.
We landed in Kuala Lumpur around 4:30 am.