Hangzhou 12th August 2013
After a long weekend courtesy of Hari Raya and Singapore’s National Day last Thursday and Friday, I am back on the road again. After a long day of travel I have reached Hangzhou for my first stop on my multi-city China tour this week. The site is actually about 1 ½ hours drive away in Anji so we will hit the road early tomorrow morning to beat Hangzhou’s morning traffic jam. I took the early morning flight from Singapore to Shanghai, that was pretty relaxed ( J ) but then had to transfer from Pudong International Airport to Honqiao train station, using subsequently the high speed Magalev train into the city, then the subway to Honqiao to catch whatever first train was leaving to Hangzhou. That is when you realise what a huge stretched-out city Shanghai is! Besides a long queueu at immigration (isn’t it annoying when 4 planes arrive at the same time and there seem to be only three immigration clearance counters in operation! Grrrrr! While it took me nearly 45 mins to clear immigration, I was in the city in less then 15 mins, courtesy of the high speed Magalev. Though nowadays it is a bit of a bummer as it has slowed down considerably. Originally it’s top speed was around 430 km/hour, now for some reason it plateau’s at 300 km/hour…sort of a let-down…it grimly exposed the slow speed of the subway which took me nearly an hour to reach Honqiao station. Another queue at the train ticket counter before we finally got into the last train ride of the day (the speed train from Shanghai to Hangzhou). I did not really check the speed read out but from memory it is close to 200km/hour. It took us 1 hour for the journey. A good time to catch up with my local project director who had joined me in Shanghai for this trip. On arrival the client’s limousine and representative greeted us and battling the evening rush hour brought us to the hotel where we just finished dinner…yes your typical Chinese private dining room with the usual “bottom’s up” welcome toasting…
The things you have to do for your projects! I left at 6.30 am to arrive in Hangzhou at 5.30pm at my hotel at 9.00pm…welcome to travel to/in China!
Light Watch 4-130: Here are some impressions from trains and train stations….I leave the judgement about the lighting to your own thoughts!