Weekend in Hangzhou
Hangzhou Travel Blog› entry 2 of 4 › view all entries
I arrived in Hangzhou a little earlier than expected which was great! Amy was at the airport to meet me... It was so good to see her again post UIBE...
We got straight in a cab to a bar called Paradise, which is apparently her regular haunt on a Friday night, because a great band, called The Holy Moleys, plays live each week. Amy and the other Hangzhou teachers (Meg, Ben and honouree member Mexican Daniel) have gotten to know the band members quite well. We joked that they’d become groupies of sorts because they follow the band to different venues around town.
Amy and I met up with Meg at Paradise and had great fun listening to the band play a host of well-known rock, pop and funk covers.
I think the band finished playing around 2am, and as we were still in the partying mood, we then went to the Reggae bar, which I think was over the other side of town. This is a dingy little bar, but packed to the brim with Chinese and ex-pats with a fun relaxed atmosphere. What’s even better is that they were serving food all night, so Amy, Meg and I were able to order some tasty snacks to soak up some of the alcohol.
After a few more giggles and a couple more drinks, we made our way back to Amy’s school to crash.
We slept until lunchtime the following day and then went for a walk through the school on route to lunch. Apparently, Amy’s school used to be part of a theme park, therefore the buildings are built in the guise of famous buildings around the world.
After a great carb-filled lunch at the Hyatt, we decided to head back to the apartment to chill out for the afternoon. The weather was really bad, so not a great for sight-seeing, plus our hangovers had stripped us of all energy.
We watched Bridget Jones laying like sardines on Meg’s bed...I had totally forgotten how funny that film is - I kept having uncontrollable outbursts of laughter, but I’m guessing the hysteria was also mildly induced by the alcohol come-down.
We then got ready to head out again. This time we were off to a new bar called 1882, again to listen to The Holy Moleys...but that was after going to the Shangri La for cocktails and dinner.
Another fun evening was had by all...helped along by the 10 quai beer!
On Sunday we went to Grandma’s Kitchen for lunch and had really tasty traditional Hangzhou fare...
Full and happy, we headed to the West Lake, where we grabbed coffees from Starbucks and jumped on a ‘battery chariot’ (the Chinese direct translation!!) or sight-seeing buggy as it’s probably better known, to take a tour around the lake. It was a lot of fun and definitely the best way to see Hangzhou’s most famous land-mark.
After the tour we still had time to grab a hot chocolate at the Jamaica Inn cafe by the lake before I had to go to the airport.
The journey home wasn’t the best....
My flight was delayed and then I had a nightmare cab from Beijing airport. The driver, as with most of them, didn’t know where he was going, so I had to direct him. When we arrived, he demanded ¥500 when the meter said ¥213 and started getting really aggressive. I gave him ¥250, which I thought was more than fair, and then got out of the cab and began walking away. He then started to follow, still shouting aggressively at me - what an arse! I was just glad I’d made sure to get the receipt plus I’d had him drop me off round the corner from my apartment, so at least he didn’t know where I lived. Once I’d turned the corner, I pegged it back home. It really shook me up.
With Beijing cab drivers, if you get the receipt from your journey, you have their license number which means you can complain about them if you feel the need. I didn’t ever report this driver, but I’m guessing he knew it was a possibility which is why he didn’t continue following me.
A bit of a bitter end to a great weekend.