Day 5 – Hangzhou to Jiaxing
It was the usual early breakfast again in order to beat the crowd so we could brush up and rest a little before leaving the hotel. After a few days, the buffet breakfast became more or less about the same in these local 5-star hotels. There was nothing special to report about the breakfast other than the poor translation for some of the dishes into English that turned into some offensive joke.
So after using the toilet and rested a little more, it was time to head to the lobby to get ready to start the day tour in Hangzhou. This hotel has a mini convenience store at the corner of the lobby which is quite handy. The location of this hotel was not so ideal but since we arrived late at night, there was no point venturing out on a cold winter night to explore.
Outside the hotel was a huge carpark with several tour buses parked there. This hotel is more suitable for tour groups for convenience of parking tour buses as parking charges in Hangzhou are insanely expensive. When the luggage from our group had been loaded up the bus, we set off for our first destination, the famous Westlake in Hangzhou.
We didn’t notice any local guide coming on board with us this morning. Jackie mentioned that the local guide had called to report that he was unwell so we won’t have a local guide this morning. It wasn’t a problem at all as Jackie could act as our local guide being a local of this city.
It was a little misty early this morning as we travelled towards Westlake which wasn’t very far away. Due to the heavy traffic, it took us about 25 minutes to arrive. Our driver Mr. Zhang was driving into Westlake and was looking for a suitable place for us to alight. While driving in the vicinity of Westlake, he took a wrong turn into a no entry side road. We were surprised as the no entry sign was clearly seen. Perhaps he had missed it which didn’t surprise us as he had been reckless at times during these past few days.
There was a lot of shouting from people on the road pointing at him as there were also road works on this side road. He didn’t go very far up this road and he stopped the bus quickly. We were told to alight quickly as well. By now, many people on the road were staring at him and people were talking about him getting into trouble for this traffic offence. An officer was walking up to him while we were walking away from the bus.
We were already inside Westlake so we crossed the road and walked towards the entrance while our driver reversed the bus slowly and then drove off along the road. Having been to Westlake for several tours, this was the first time we encountered such trouble. Anyway, we soon forgot about our driver and we moved on to enjoy the beautiful park in Westlake which was getting crowded so early barely 9 am in the morning.
The park by the lake was indeed beautiful, so serene and calm exuding an air of peace and joy. This was no doubt a happy place to be and not a sad face to be found. The ground at the entrance was decorated with pretty flowers and the park was very well kept. The lake was peaceful with the occasional boat man steering and rowing their small fishing boat on the lake with the unmistakable Lei Feng Pagoda on the lake. The willows along the lake provided graceful adornment to this famous Westlake of Hangzhou City.
We walked along the lake and took pictures and enjoy the sight as we strolled along. Jackie went to the ticket booth to secure tickets for our boat rides on the lake. There were shops at the park by the lake selling souvenirs and such and visitors were taking pictures excitedly waiting for their boat rides. Although this was a winter morning, the temperature wasn’t too low and made for a pleasant stroll in the park. Continue reading 8 DAYS 7 NIGHTS JIANGNAN TOUR – SHANGHAI, SUZHOU, WUXI, NANJING, HANGZHOU AND JIAXING – DAY 5