One day in Hangzhou. Explore China
September 9, 2019
How to come to China and not get lost? The unusual country attracts many travelers. You can learn how to say hello in Chinese (Ni Hao), but it is not enough for the first trip. I offer you to spent one day with me in Hangzhou – the most popular and fast-growing city in East China.
To get to China today is not difficult. The most popular Chinese companies such as Air China, China Southern, China Eastern Airlines, Shenzhen Airlines, have flights over the world. China has signed a visa-free agreement only with 16 countries; residents of all other countries should take care of visas in advance. Change money you can straight to the airport. One dollar is around 7 yuan(RMB). The biggest banknote is 100 RMB. For sure, you can use your credit card, but better to have cash.
“Tim Bu Dong”(I don’t understand) – it was my first phrase that I have learned in China. It is difficult to learn Chinese, but even harder to understand it. In all provinces, there are varying accents and dialects. In order not to get lost in hieroglyphs, I suggest you install offline Google or Yandex translator in advance. Use simple phrases when translating into Chinese. In addition, I highly recommend you create your profile in the following programs.
The own program in China, that replace all popular apps such as Instagram, WatsUp, Facebook, Twitter, Google. You can use your native phone number for creating an account, but do it at home in order to get a message with verification code. This program allows chatting with friends, calling each other, sending money, buying tickets in the cinema, ordering a taxi, getting sales in shops and putting money on a mobile phone.
If you want to use other websites, install VPN. You should know that Google, Instagram, Facebook, WhatsApp are prohibited in China. VPN blocks your real location and allows you to enter into accounts. Astrill VPN15.90$/months or Express VPN 12.95$/month. The price for a long period is lower.
It is the best map in China. Other maps cannot help you to navigate. The program is in Chinese, but it is not complicated to use it. AMap offers verities of ways: by public transport, by car, by bicycle, on foot.
The easiest easy to get your hotel – take a taxi from the airport. The receipt from the airport to the hotel within the city limits is usually 100-130 RMB. If you book your hotel on booking.com, check its availability to foreign citizens. Often hotels accept only local residents. Save the Chinese address of the hotel on your phone in order to show the driver.
The food in China isn’t expensive. Along the streets, there are many small cafes with local dishes. You need to prepare yourself for the fact that Asian food is fat and oily. Noodles, rice, fried vegetables and beans, chicken, fish, and seafood. One dish will cost you around 30 yuan.
The most budget option of food – it’s 24-hour convenience stores. They sell semi-finished food(available to heat up in a shop), the price is not higher than 20 yuan. There you can find boiled in tea eggs, steamed rice buns, baked sausages. Small street shops also sell boiled eggs, buns and tortillas from 2 to 5 yuan.
In China, there are a lot of big supermarkets. A great option for products will make you happy. Milk and imported food are expensive, but fruits and vegetables are cheap. Every 2-3 months is the season of certain fruits in China: a juicy mango, or a ripe pineapple, or aromatic peaches. Separate fruit shops are located on every corner. Choose the best fruit, ask the assistant to cut it and put in the box. This service is free.
Explore the area
Hangzhou is a modern metropolis in China. There is a high standard of living here. The city is covered in greenery and the roads sparkle of purity. The cleaners go along the streets and collect every piece of paper.
First of all, we will go to the city center. The subway station is Longxiangqiao. If you weren’t at the West Lake, you weren’t in Hangzhou. West lake (Chinese: 西湖/Xi Hu) is the central lake in Hangzhou. The vast territory of the lake includes gardens, pagodas, temples, parks, cafes, and shops with souvenirs. In special small shops near the lake, you can buy a ticket for a sightseeing tour by ferry. Every evening from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. there is a free show of singing fountains. Exact location – opposite the hotel “Hyatt Hotel”. It is better to come in advance and take good seats. The summer season is popular for Lotus blossoms.
At the station Longxiangqiao, you will be pleased with a number of large shopping malls with stores in different price categories ( from Prada to H&M) and restaurants of different cuisines.
Pagoda of six harmonies
Hangzhou is popular with its temples, pagodas and beautiful landscapes. We can’t leave the city without visiting one of them. Take the bus №4, 318, 354, 334, 291, 287 or 504 to the stop ‘The six-harmony pagoda’. Pagoda of six harmonies (Chinese: 六和塔/Liuhe Ta) works from 6.30 a.m. to 5.30 p.m. Enter is free. The name of the pagoda has a mythological meaning, the number six includes the sky, the earth and the four sides of the world.
For souvenirs and street food, we go to the popular pedestrian street. Take bus №8, K8, 30 or 30 to the stop ‘Qinghefang street’ (何妨路). You will find a number of two-story buildings designed in Chinese style. In shops sell silk, national Chinese costumes, pills, umbrellas, and souvenirs. Try the popular bubble tea (milk tea with jelly), fresh coconut, ice-cream, dried meat, and Chinese food on sticks. Sellers are not bargaining, as the street is a tourist.
Presents from China
- No one Chinese person can imagine his day without a Chinese ceremony. They even prefer to drink tea instead of water. Local green tea in Hangzhou is called Long Jing (Chinese: 龙井茶) It is included in the list of 10 best green teas. If you wish, you can also visit the tea plantations.
- Hangzhou is the birthplace of silk. To leave without a gorgeous silk scarf would be a shame.
- Another popular souvenir in Hangzhou. It attracts tourists with its design and refinement.
- A kind of traditional art in China. Modern porcelain is of high quality. This indicates the preservation of ancient traditions.