What is the best way to travel from Shanghai to Xiaoshan Airport in Hangzhou? Our plane is scheduled to leave Hangzhou about 2:00 p.m. We will be staying in Shanghai at the Hilton Hotel. How early should we leave Shanghai so as not to miss our plane?
lease tell us about West Lake.
Does the train have any signs in English? Where would we catch the bullet train in Shanghai? Can we take luggage on the train?
Can we make reservations for seats on the train? We are two senior citizens and a 16-year-old and don’t move too fast anymore. Is it usually crowded at the train station? What should we expect? We have never traveled alone in China before.
How can we arrange for a car and driver from Shanghai to HGH? The tour company we contacted wanted $225.00 per person to drive us. Is the train this expensive too?
You are so very helpful! Can you tell us a little about the car trip from Shanghai to Xiaoshan airport? Are there good roads? Are there towns or sights to see on the way there? How long does it usually take to make the trip? Would we get to see more of China by taking a car? We want to see all we can as our time is short.
The bullet train from Shanghai gets you into Hangzhou in about an hour and a half. There’s a bus that goes from the train station to Xiaoshan Airport, taking about a half hour or so. Of course you could just hire a driver in Shanghai but that will be more expensive. What about spending the previous night in Hangzhou? Early morning at West Lake is not to be missed.
Highspeed trains to Hangzhou leave from either Shanghai South, on the southwest side of town, about 13km from the Bund; or Shanghai Hongqiao, at the airport of the same name about 16km west of the Bund.
Trains have English, and they’re like highspeed trains in Europe or Japan, with high platforms so you just walk in (no steps). Not 100% sure about luggage space, but there should be some at the end of the cars. But you have to haul them yourself.
I highly suggest inquiring about having a car & driver that takes you directly to HGH. Much better than having go from car to train to car/bus.
West Lake is the main attraction of Hangzhou. Always been one of the more famous sights in China. Emperors made huge effort in the past to vacation in the area.
You can buy tickets in advance in person. Meaning, you can ask a concierge at your hotel in Shanghai to get them for you for a fee. Both Shanghai South and Shanghai Hongqiao are brand new stations which are very modern, but also huge. Seats are assigned on the highspeed trains. But again, with 3 people, you don’t pay much more to have some one drive you directly to HGH.
kay, I did a little more research on the trains and the connection issue to HGH. The Hangzhou airport is actually closer to the Hangzhou South train station (also called Xiaoshan Station). Airport is still about 20km away. In contrast, it’s closer to 30km from the old Hangzhou train station in city center to airport, with more traffic to fight.
Now, the true 350km/h highspeed “G” train from Shanghai to Hangzhou only goes to the main station, taking about an hour. For direct trains to Hangzhou South/Xiaoshan, there are only the semi-highspeed “D” trains that take about 90 minutes.
Another thing is that with the opening of the new Shanghai Hongqiao train station, basically all the highspeed and semi-highspeed “G” or “D” trains to the south now departs or go through Hongqiao, and not the Shanghai South.
It’s all expressway between Shanghai and Hangzhou/Xiaoshan. I don’t know about traffic condition, so can’t tell you how long. It also highly depends on where you’re staying in Shanghai and how long it may take to get on to the highway.
There are lots of watertowns between Shanghai and Hangzhou that are worth visiting. Largest one is the city of Jiaxing (嘉兴). More intimate ones include Xitang (西塘) and Wuzhen (乌镇) and others.
As for fares, “G” trains are about 90-120RMB each way, depend on class; “D” trains are a bit cheaper, maybe 80RMB. Taxi from Hangzhou South to HGH airport is about 60RMB.
Basically, most hotels in China will be able to find you a car and driver with a day’s notice. I don’t know what’s a reasonable rate for the 200km trip. You don’t have to decide right now or prebook. Ask when you get there and decide then. Again, to me, it’ll be a lot more comfortable than having to transfer twice. The extra cost will likely be worth it.
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