Hangzhou, one of the Best Tourism Cities of China, is located at the southeastern coast of China, at the south end of the Grand Canal ( also known as the Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal), and it is the central city in the south wing of the Yangtze River Delta. With convenient transportation, Hangzhou is easily accessed. You can get there by air, train or bus.
Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport, about 27km from downtown Hangzhou, is now rated as one of the top eight airports in China. At present the airport flights are over 3,200 sorties every week. There are 48 airline companies and over 190 airlines providing direct flights to more than 90 cities all over the world, such as Amsterdam, Singapore, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong, Macau, Seoul, Osaka, Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and other cities.
Hangzhou is the hub of Zhejiang railway transportation, as it connects with the national railway network through Shanghai-Hangzhou, Zhejiang-Jiangxi, Hangzhou-Ningbo and Xuancheng-Hangzhou lines. It would be very convenient to travel to and from Hangzhou by train. There are through trains to Beijing, Shanghai, Nanjing, Wuxi, Qiqihar, Jinan, Taiyuan, Guangzhou, Guiyang, Chongqing, Hankou, Nanchang, Xiamen, Zhengzhou, Ningbo, and Wenzhou. There are also motor train units to Beijing, Shanghai, Nanjing, Nanchang, Wenzhou, and Ningbo. Shanghai-Hangzhou high-speed railway is put into service in 2010. The highest speed of the train reaches 350 kilometers per hour, which takes only 45 minutes from Hangzhou to Shanghai.
Now, there are two railway stations in Hangzhou: Hangzhou Railway Station (which is also called “City Station” by the locals), and Hangzhou East Railway Station. Hangzhou South Railway Station (formerly Xiaoshan Railway Station) is under reconstruction and extension, which started from July 2013 and may last for three years and a half.
Hangzhou is served by a full-fledged transport network that is featured by eight expressways, namely, Hang-Pu (Hanghzou-Pudong, Shanghai), Hu-Hang (Shanghai-Hangzhou), Hang-Yong (Hangzhou-Ningbo), Hang-Jin-Qu (Hangzhou-Jinhua-Quzhou), Hang-Xin-Jing, Shen-Jia-Hu-Hang and Hang-Hui (Hangzhou-Anhui). The expressway network of Hangzhou ensures a maximum of four hours’ travel time between Hangzhou and any other city in the province. Hangzhou will become a logistic hub in the southern wing of the Yangtze River Delta regions of China.
Hangzhou has four long-distance bus terminals for passenger transportation: Hangzhou Passenger Transportation Center (also called Hangzhou Jiubao Passenger Transportation Center), Hangzhou West Bus Station, Hangzhou South Bus Station and Hangzhou North Bus Station.
The main waterways of Hangzhou are the Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal and Qiantang River. The two waterways are usually opened in summer or peak seasons.
Water Bus on the Grand Canal
It operates on the main arteries of the Grand Canal and has four stations at Water Bus Pier at West Lake Cultural Square (Wulin Gate), Xinyifang (80m north to Jiangzhang Bridge), the Canal Cultural Square (Gongchen Bridge) and Genshan Gate (beside Genshan Bridge). The first water bus departs at 7:10 am and the last one departs at 18:15 pm, with an interval of about 40 minutes.
The taxi fare starts at 11 yuan for the first 3 kilometers, and runs at 2.5 yuan per kilometer between 3-10 kilometers. If above 10 kilometers, an additional 50% of the price (that is 3.75 yuan per kilometer) will be charged as compensation for the unused return trip. If the taxi has to stop because of the traffic jam or as required by the passenger, every 4-minute stop will be charged as 1 kilometer, which is 2.5 yuan per 4 minutes’ waiting.
As the first subway of Hangzhou City and Zhejiang Province, Subway Line 1 was put into operation on November 24, 2012. It runs through the following large distribution centers on the main passenger traffic corridor of the city: Wulin Square, Hubin Area (including cultural and service centers and shopping districts), Hu-Hang High-speed Rail, Hangzhou East Railway Station, Hangzhou Railway Station, Hangzhou Passenger Transportation Center and Hangzhou South Bus Station.
At an initial fare of 2 yuan, you can travel for 4km, then 1 yuan for every 4km within a distance of 4-12km, every 1 yuan for 6km with a distance of 12-24km, every 1 yuan for 8km within a distance of over 24km. That is, the minimum ticket price is 2 yuan per person, and the price increases on kilometer basis with the highest price being 8 yuan per person. It’s unnecessary to remember all the figures, since you can refer to the tiered price chart at subway stations. To search for your price, find first your departure station and then your arrival station, your price is the figure where the row meets the column.
Public Bicycle Rental
It’s very cool and convenient to travel around Hangzhou by bike. You can buy an IC card at the bike-rental stations with your passport, refundable deposit (200yuan) and the prepayment (100 yuan). After purchasing an IC card, you can rent a bike for free for up to 1 hour, within 1-2 hours at 1 yuan per hour, 2-3 hours at 2 yuan per hour; 3 hours or more at 3 yuan per hour. And you can return the bike at any bike-rental station near your destination.
There are mainly two kinds of buses in Hangzhou: air-conditioned bus (with a letter “K” added to the route number) and double-decker bus. The public buses make stops at all of the city’s major sites and the downtown commercial centers. Ticketing is convenient, with one ticket used for the entirety of the journey of any length. Bus fare ranges from 2-3 yuan for the air-conditioned bus to 5 yuan for the sightseeing bus with the route number starting with the letter “Y”. Ticketing on most of the buses in Hangzhou is self-service, so you had better get some small changes ready before boarding on the bus. Moreover, it will be half price in every March, April, October and November.