Hard Landing for my Soft Hiny
29.05.2010 24 °C
Boarded on South Shanghai Railway Station the CRH about 1pm bounded for Hangzhou. Unlike our trip to Suzhou, which we boarded the train on Shanghai Railway Station. The South Shanghai Railway Station is much newer than Shanghai Railway Statio. From a distance, it looks a little like a flying saucer with a round structure.
The distance between Shanghai and Hangzhou (160km) is about twice that between Shanghai and Suzhou (80km), and so we expected its travelling time is about double. We were right, it's about 1 hrs and 15 mins. This CRH train is newer than the two we'd taken to Suzhou and back, but the leg room is much less. Still spacious, but we can't place a 20kg luggage in front of Atta, and still have some leg room left. We placed it between the space in front of our seats.
We'd caught 3 CRH trains todate, but they all different in conditions, and spaciousness, although we are quite happy with all of them (just to a different degrees). This one is the newest of the three.
We caught a taxi to our hotel. Going by the chaos, traffic congestion, and the hustle bustle, it's hard to imagine that this is paradise on earth. We booked at the Friendship Hotel. This is a Chinese hotel (as supposed to international hotel like Hilton). The traffic jam is as bad here as Suzhou. In both cities, they're building a Metro system to alleviate the traffic congestion. But at the mean time, the traffic jams is worsened temporarily by the construction. In a few years time, when they finish the metro as well as the maglev system, this gridlock should clear up.
As Atta was checking in the hotel in at the front counter, I checked out the hotel's credentials and accolades on the wall. It's a 4-star hotel, and won The Best Service Hotel in Zhejiang province. It's also a green hotel. Well, I'm a little impressed, which says alots from a stoned traveller.
The hotel tries to attract foreign guests, and hired an European lass who works in the lobby and ready to lend a hand (or ear and mouth) for non-English speakers. The front desk staff can speak some English, but don't expect them to exchange philosohical discourse with you. Another thing they can build on if they want to capture the foreign market is adding more English channels like BBC, CNBC, Bloomberg, ESPN, etc. There're over 80 local TV channels available in the hotel room, and only on
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