Day 11: Lijiang/Hangzhou
This morning we woke up early, said one more goodbye to Anna (who sent us off with banana bread and orange juice), and were in a cab to the airport by 6:00 AM.
When we got there, we appeared to be the first non-employees in the whole place — it seems the suggested arrive-two-hours-early doesn’t really apply for Lijiang’s little airport. We kept our hats and mittens on — the place was freezing!
We landed in Kunming at 9:00, having finally warmed up on the short flight.
Since our next flight wasn’t until 4:30, we tried to book an earlier flight. It is not easy to fly standby when you do not speak any Chinese. It is also not easy to fly standby when every single plane is packed full. Oh well — we tried.
Unsuccessful, we found seats near a power outlet and settled in for a long day of waiting. We’d gone grocery shopping in Lijiang for a plethora of snacks (instant noodles, cookies, etc.) to eat, instead of paying the inflated prices for food at the airport.
After an hour in some really uncomfortable seats, we upgraded to the airport’s huge KFC and enjoyed a selection of menu items while catching up on the blog.
Our flight to Hangzhou left thirty minutes late but still arrived on time at 7:00. Outside, the first guy we saw offered us a way-overpriced $45 trip to our hotel – we declined and found the official taxi stand. Forty minutes and $15 later, we arrived at the Hyatt Regency Hangzhou (thanks, Mom and Dad!) We tried making some arrangements with the concierge for our trip to Huangshan the next day, but after their best option was a $600 private driver, we gathered they wouldn’t be much help and decided to figure it out on our own using a combination of Google and our guidebooks.