Wo Men Shi Hua Ren But Hai Shi Bei Tok
Hangzhou Travel Blog› entry 3 of 7 › view all entries
July 21st, 2009 – by: seahlk
We woke up early to catch the train to Hangzhou. We cancelled our trip to Suzhou the last minute so we would be spending 4 nights in Hangzhou instead. It was an uneventful train journey, except that our first class car was replaced by a second-class car the last minute. The journey took about 2 hours, with 2 stops in between. By the time we reached Hangzhou train station, it was about 11am.
I booked Touran hostel online, and have read good reviews about it. My expectations were naturally high about the hostel. We couldnt check in when we reached because the room is still not tidied yet.
Touran hostel is located along Hu Pao Road, around Si Yang Jing (4 eyes well) area.
It was actually due to the fact that I couldnt book a single room at Touran but was offered a twin room that my sister joined me in this trip. The room looked very ancient in the website photo. I thought it would be much more expensive because the bed was those antique kind. When we went in, I was surprised that the bed looked big. And there is a nice window in our room! Then the staff who turned down my request to buy train tickets came to me and said "Eh, you wanted 2 train tickets to Shanghai? I can buy for you.
The thing about going on a trip without any guide is that you tend to not know what you are looking at, unless you have read the whole of wikipedia, or brought a guidebook along. For Hu Pao Spring's case, it caught my attention when I was planning the trip due to the name of the place.
Hu Pao Spring is very peaceful.
We didnt venture much. Went into a tea house. Spent RMB50 on a glass of tea, which I dont know how to drink. But apparently, my sister who loves tea, said that the tea was refreshing and nice. Though there were trees all around the place, we still need time to get use to the heat. After lingering the area for about an hour, we had lunch at a local food shop. We ordered Dong Po meat with veg and a soup with a kind of vegetable from the Westlake. The whole meal costs about RMB40, which in my opinion is super cheap. Then we went off to Wu lin shopping street for some evening shopping.
The taxi uncle told us not to go to Wu Lin, as there is nothing much to buy. Instead, he brought us to Qing He Fang Wen Hua Yi Shu Jie (that is the whole chinese name). Basically, it is a whole street with stalls selling local specialty. There are shops selling tea leaves, local cakes and cookies, handicrafts etc. There are also very ancient games which were around since Song dynasty. It is not just shopping but looking at the shops on either side of the street makes me recall scenes from ancient TV dramas where peddlers sell vegetables and food from baskets.
There is no point haggling here, as we have tried and tested without any success with one of the stall owner. We had bubble tea again and then went into a telecom shop to buy phone card so that we can call from Hangzhou. My sister has bought one card in Shanghai for RMB25. But when she asked how much a phone card of the same value cost, the shop keeper hesitated and told us RMB40. It was so obvious that we were "tok" and we just went off. After that we went into an air-conditioned shop selling fans and browsed around. While we were browsing, the salesgirl was talking to her colleague about how she managed to sell an item that is worth RMB150 to a foreigner (different hair colour and skin colour) at RMB250. Of course, we were shocked to hear how much they have "tok" from tourists. We thought we could use our haggling skills here but before we can start, the salesgirls showed us a sign that was written in chinese, stating that the marked price is fixed. But even if there is no haggling, the prices were already discounted price. And honestly, the fans were all very exquisite. Some of them are even made of silk. We bought most of our sourvenirs here and hailed a taxi back. On the way, we talked about how they can "tok" foreigners and thinking about our experience at the phone shop, my sister reflected "Wo men shi hua ren But hai shi bei tok". hahaha...the solution? Dont buy anything lor...then wont get "tok" liao....
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