Old Mar 3, 05, 8:58 am
Posts: n/a
I used to be based in Shanghai and Hanghzou was my favorite city for weekends (and even day trips). My preferred method of travel is the train -- but there are two types of tickets (or there were) and not all of the trains are created equal. Make it clear you want first class tickets on the express train -- they cost a few extra dollars but you will be fine and I have never had to stand. Of course this may be hard to navigate if you don’t speak Chinese – your hotel may be able to help you. Also be aware that trains to Hangzhou leave from the SOUTH train station and not the northern one. Lastly, when I was there last (July 04) the southern train station was in a construction zone and was chaos, I expect this has been fixed. Also it does connect to the subway, which will get you right to Jin Mao/Grand Hyatt.

I have also made the trip many times by car, both driving myself, and riding with family. It can be a CRAZY drive. This depends a lot on the time of day and your luck. Early AM is best. Friday night and Sunday=BAD. However if you want to get a feel for just how strong the economic engine is there it’s a great way.

I try to avoid bus trips – typically they are packed to the gils and I have serious concerns about their safety. Which are reinforced at every rest stop where the Public Security bureau has installed large signs with very graphic photos of bus accidents in an effort to get bus drivers to driver somewhat rationally. It doesn’t seem to work.

Also note there is a direct bus from Hangzhou to PVG (and vice versa) which I haven’t taken but have put many a friend on and they have been ok. This is a better bus then the typical ones and given how far the south station is from PVG is a very good deal.

I will be staying at the Hyatt in a few a weeks and am grateful for the feedback here.

As an aside for Hyatt fans in China, be advised there is a special club at the Hyatt program in China (possibly only advertised in Chinese) that will give you discounts on food (50% off for two, 30% off for 3, 25% of for four…), a free night at each of the Hyatts in China, free cakes, and some other stuff for about 3,000 kuai. If you are spending more then a month there it can be great. The Portman Rtiz Carlton has a similar program.