Friday, April 22, 2005

Left Huangshan/Tangkou early yesterday to come to Hangzhou, a city south of Shanghai famous for its West Lake and because it's twinned with Leeds. On my last night in Huangshan I had been wondering what to do about accomodation as I wanted somewhere nice after some pretty grotty rooms the past week. I'd been visiting the wonderful Mr Hu's restaurant for evening meals - he is someone who in a town dedicated to ripping off tourists of all nations has decided his best way of making money is to be honest and helpful. So when I get there that evening, ordered a mountain of food and swapped the Clive Cussler book Mike M gave me for a Sherlock Holmes he says that a friend of his (Mr Hu 2) can meet me from the bus and take me to a nice hotel. Mr hu 2 has a cheap hotel in Hangzhou but is apparently happy to sort me out with somewhere else. He does indeed meet me at the bus and helps me get a map ensuring I know where everything I need is.
So I'm now in a nice hotel at below list price with internet access in my room. The hotel is pretty close to the lake and the main tourist shopping area which is an old part of town nicely done up to resemble olde worlde China so in the afternoon I went for a walk around to explore and look at the West Lake. Today I went on a boat trip on the lake to a couple of the islands and generally not do very much at all except sit back and soak it all up. Hangzhou is a pretty laid back place, not too polluted (by China standards, anyway) and where I am is close to lots of green. Little bit of rain this evening while sampling the delights of a food street but generally the day hasn't been too bad.
Still no GPRS coverage so no photos for a while. Will post a couple from Shanghai in a week's time but otherwise it'll be a case of waiting till I can download them from my camera back in Leeds.

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