沪杭 Pt I: Prologue

Pt I: Prologue
Pt II: 3K 831
Pt III: Hangzhou
Pt IV: Shanghai
Pt V: F1
Pt VI: The Long Way Home

FYI: 沪 = Shanghai, 杭 = Hangzhou

Last November, Jetstar ran its bring-a-friend for travel in April and May 2013. After several impulsive decisions, I found myself going on three different trips in the space of one month.

Hangzhou was the first and the most expensive of the three but was still decently-priced at S$238.

Honestly I had visited both Hangzhou and Shanghai before (refer to here) so a re-visit was not exactly at the top of my agenda. However the ‘friend’ whom I was going with was more than special and I am happy to go anywhere with her.

The trip was scheduled to coincide with Chinese Grand Prix which would take place in Shanghai on the weekend of 13-14 April and her contact in Shanghai helped us to secure seats at Turn 1 for 780 CNY (~S$160).

Accommodation was modest; as much as we would like to splurge on Park Hyatt Shanghai, we made do with two nights at Ibis Southern Song Dynasty Hangzhou (294 CNY/night) and one at Fish Inn in Shanghai (298 CNY/night).

As Chinese Railways require official documents (ID cards for Chinese, passports for foreigners) for ticket sales, we would only be buying our tickets when we got to Hangzhou. The high-speed train between the city pair took less than an hour and could hit a top speed of 300 km/h. Amazing stuff.

My colleague knew about my trip and asked if I could bring stuff over to her friend who’s staying in Shanghai. Stuff was mainly milk powder which was prohibitively expensive in China and potentially dangerous.

In the a week or so leading to the trip, Shanghai was hit with one health scare after another. First pigs, then ducks, followed black swans and finally fishes. And of course Shanghai and the surrounding provinces are also the epicentre of the H7N9 avian flu.

Although not the best time to visit, we weren’t deterred and decided to proceed with the trip…

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