Splashes of Colours

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Hotels in China – do your research well!!

The hotel we stayed in Hangzhou was quite special – Hangzhou tea boutique hotel 杭州天伦精品酒店. Would stay there again if I ever return.



Our Beijing accommodation was even better. It was not a hotel establishment, but a hu-tong. Totally love it! The staff were so helpful. I enjoyed how special it was. However, I think my mom did not feel the same way. She did express that she still preferred the grand and posh hotel.

Well, after seeing many typical hotels, a boutique hu-tong was exactly what I needed. The place is known as Red Wall Garden (Forbidden City) 红墙酒店.


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Hangzhou – the beauty no longer

I have planned Hangzhou to be part of our itinerary, as it is famed for its beauty. Well, due to several reasons, our journey from Shanghai to Hangzhou was terrible. It was their national holiday, and when I wanted to purchase the ticket one day in advance and sought help from our hotel counter, they claimed that I could easily obtain a ticket on the day itself.

Not helpful at all. No foresight too. Disappointed in SSAW Hotel Shanghai. The reviews online claiming that the hotel even assisted in purchasing the tickets for the tourists were b*llsh*t.

I was so apologetic to my mom, as we needed to wait for super long to obtain ticket for the next available train. And by the time, we got there, the queue for taxi took hours.

That was when you knew you were in China – the massive country with countless people.

The journey definitely dampened the mood. Both of us did not think Hangzhou was any beautiful. There was nothing really spectacular too.

Once again, disappointed.

















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Shanghai & Beijing 2012

All wanderlust will understand the thrill of free and easy travelling in foreign land. I have recenlty done up (almost 90%) of my Auckland tour with my hubby, now my China Twin Cities Tour is near completion too.

It feels as if I have already explored Shanghai and Beijing one round, though it is a virtual tour. Excitement is bubbling. Though I try to lower my expectations because of the infamous Chinese behaviour I am so familiar of. I also remind myself to give it more care and patience, because my travelling companion is going to be my Mom!

Wonderful, isn’t it? For the first time, my mom is going to China. For the first time, only 2 of us are on holiday. For the first time, I am paying for 2 persons.

But it doesn’t matter. Like once someone told me, I can never earn all the money in the world, and that I will always continue to earn money. To indulge my mom is definitely worth it.

So, here it is – My own itinerary:

Shanghai & Beijing

31 March ~ 8 April

31 March (Sat)

–    Fly from SIN to Shanghai (Pudong)

  • On the right as go
    out, opposite exit 15, take a cab (RMB 150 to city)

–    Stay in a posh hotel (tripadvisor.com, qunaer.com)

–    Visit the Old Town

  • Yu Yuan Garden
  • Lunch at Lu Bo Lang
    (restaurant at the edge of Yu Yuan Lake) or Huxingting Tea House
  • Explore the rest of
    Old Town and FuYou Market

–    People’s Squ, Urban Planning Exhibition Hall (near
Nanjing Donglu)

  • Dinner at Mei Long
    Zhen (near People’s Squ) (1081, Nanjing Xilu, tel: 62535353)

–    At night, visit the Bund / Nanjing DongLu / Shanghai
Old street

1 April (Sun)

–     Visit Zhu Jia Jiao

  • Taxi ride cost
    RMB150 – 200, an hour’s ride or less
  • Entrance ticket –
    Line 2 (Y-Art Gallery + Tong Tian He Chinese Pharmacy + Great Qing Post office
    + City God Temple + Shanghai Handicraft Exhibition Hall + Yuanjin Buddhist
    Temple + Shanghai Quanhua Art Gallery + Kezhi Garde) (RMB60 per pax)
  • Lunch in the area

–   Cross river to Pudong

  • Puxi to Pudong
    (Shanghai Ferry – RMB2 for single trip)

–    Travel up Jinmao Tower to take photo

–     Dinner at the hotel restaurant Jade on 36 (good food
with a view)

  • Cross over the
    Huangpu to Pudong
  • Pudong Shangri-La

2 April (Mon)

–   One night stay at Hangzhou

  • Take bullet train from Hongqiao Train station in
  • Travel time = an hour

–    Stay near west lake

–     Buy a tour to go around west lake from the

–     Watch Sunset at west lake

–     Lunch at Louwailou (Gu Shan island)

–     Dinner at Zhiweiguan at Renhe Lu

3 April (Tue)

–  Fly to Beijing from Hangzhou (www.ctrip.com)

–  Stay in BB Hutong

  • Book Great Wall day
  • No rickshaw tour
    (big rip off)

–    Lunch near Hutong area

–    Walk to Forbidden city / Tian’an men / Temple of
Heaven (till 5 pm)

  • Visit Hongqiao
    market (near Temple of Heaven) (16 Hongqiao Lu, till 7 pm)

–     Dinner – Peking Duck at Da Dong Restaurant (go around 6 pm to avoid long queue) (GontiBei Lu and 3rd ring road)

4 April (Wed)

–     Guanyuan market (flower, bird, insect market)

  • 2nd ring
  • Near Lu Xun Old
    Residence (can visit)

–    Purple Vine Tea house for lunch (one of the exit of
Forbidden palace, near the lake)

  • 2 Nanchang Street, Xicheng

–   Walk from Olympic Sports centre to Bird’s Nest to Olympic

–    Dinner at Yangfang Hutong (11, 羊房胡同)

5 April (Thurs) (清明节)

–     Great wall of China day trip

–    Dinner at Dali Courtyard

  • 北京市东城区小经厂胡同67号 (quite near to Hutong area)

–    Massage in hotel room

6 April (Fri)

–   Yi He Yuan (Summer Palace) (half a day)

  • ‘Long corridor’
    (most impressive)

–     北京雍和宫 (lama temple) / Temple of Confucius

–      南锣鼓巷北京 (near HouHai)

–      Beijing Opera House

  • Good photo for its architecture
  • Catch one of the
    evening show (online ticketing is impossible, buy in advance in person)

7 April (Sat)

–      Fly from Beijing to Shanghai (get afternoon flight)
(China Eastern Air)

  • If touch down at
    Hongqiao airport, it will RMB60 for cab to the Bund

–      Stay in a hotel around French concession

–      French Concession

  • Lunch at 1931 restaurant at Maoming Lu 112 (some area further from the Cathay Theatre) / Chun (124 Jinxian Lu, near Maoming Lu)

–    Visit Cathay Theatre / Fu Xing Park / Sun Yat-Sen’s
residence (refer to guide map)

–     Xintiandi

–     Dinner at Secret Garden,  333 Changle Lu, near Shanxi Nan Lu


8 April (Sun)

–     Visit Jing’an district

  • Walk along Nanjing Lu
  • Lunch at Noodle Bull (1/F, Mansion, 291 Fumin Lu, near Changle Lu)
  • Jade Buddha Temple / the Plaza 66 shopping center

–    Depart to SIN