It was 22 Aug 2016.
It’s a day when I embarked on a journey to an unknown yet familiar place – China.
And today, I want to share with you some highlights of my trip as well as the route that I took.
My flight from Singapore was 10:10 which took off on time. It was a 5 and a half hour flight to Shanghai’s Pudong International Airport.
I was initially sceptical about taking China Eastern Airline but it turned out to be not as bad. The seats are spacious with enough leg room for me, and the food offered on board was good too.
The plane touched down earlier than expected and it was 3:20 in the afternoon. Since I did not check in any luggage, I walked straight out of the airport and looked for the bus that I needed.
I was just in time and boarded Bus No 7 hastily when I walked out of the airport. Of course I confirmed with the driver before boarding the bus. The fare was $22 RMB and I was told to pay later.
Along the journey, the bus attendant moved around to collect cash from the passengers. I looked out of the window, noticing that China is not as old as what others thought it is. The streets are clean, the network of roads are very similar to Singapore.
The ride took about 1 and a half hour before I arrived at Shanghai South Bus Station. As I alighted from the bus, I felt lost and confused and had to asked around for the exact place to board the next bus.
I was caught by surprise when my luggage and backpack needed to go through security scan when entering the bus station. I have never thought that China is so tight in security.
I purchased a ticket that would bring me to Wuzhen bus station direct. But there was a huge delay of more than an hour, resulting in me arriving in Wuzhen bus station after night fall.
Along the way, I sent a WeChat message to the hotel owner informing him of the time I would arrive. We arranged for him to pick me up from the bus station and bring me to his hotel.
It was another 1 hour plus bus ride from Shanghai south bus station to Wuzhen. By the time I reached Wuzhen, it was already near to 8 o’clock.
I met up with the hotel owner and boarded his car and in less than 10 minutes, I was checking into JinHangHe Inn.
By then, I was too tired from all the traveling and decided to just rest in the hotel.
23 Aug 2016.
I woke up in the morning and went out for breakfast. The food there was not expensive at all, compared to Singapore. Then I headed to my first stop, Wuzhen East Area.
Wuzhen is an old water town in China sitting in the middle of Shanghai, Hangzhou and Suzhou. It has more than 1000 years of history and is the Chinese government’s preserve place. Wuzhen is divided into east and west area with the west area being more developed and commercialised.
Shown below are pictures of Wuzhen Old Town near the place where I stayed:
As it is a tourist attraction, one must purchase ticket to get into the east and west area. It is highly recommended to purchase a combined ticket for both east and west area and the price is $150 RMB per person. It allows one to get into both area within a day. Do note that once you get out of any of the area, you are not allowed to get in again.
The east area is not a very big place. I took about an hour or so to complete the whole area, of course not forgetting about taking pictures as I moved along. As I walked, I compared with Venice which I have visited in June and found myself loving Wuzhen more. Perhaps I’m biased.
After visiting the East Area, I headed back to the Inn and rested till 3pm before I headed to the West Area. It was further than the East Area, which took me about 20 minutes to reach by foot.
The West Area was more crowded than the East Area, reason being it has more shops for shoppers and the area is much bigger. On top of that, visitors were also waiting for the night lights to be turned on so that they could see the true beauty of Wuzhen.
I roamed around slowly and took pictures till the night fell.
Summary of my route:
Arrive at Shanghai Pudong International Airport
Take Airport Express Line No. 7 to Shanghai South Bus Station – approximately 1.5 hours
Take Express Bus to Wuzhen Bus Station – approximately 1.5 hours
Arrange with Inn owner to fetch me to the inn – approximately 10 minutes