Day 14: Hangzhou/Beijing

March 11, 2011

This morning we had breakfast in the Hyatt’s Regency Club lounge before leaving for the airport. Our room had a view of Hangzhou’s famous West Lake – unfortunately, no time to sightsee in this city!

Hazy view of West Lake from our window


This is false: Every lane in China is an “overtaking” lane

After a comfortable flight to Beijing on China Southern, we took a taxi to the Peninsula. We flew with three different domestic airlines this trip – Sichuan Airlines, China Eastern, and China Southern – all have been excellent (and very inexpensive). Service is incredibly efficient, you always get a meal, and they nicely (and kind of hilariously) remind you at even the mildest turbulence that an airsick bag is in the back of your seat should you need it. (Chinese travelers treat turbulence like a roller coaster ride, complete with gasps and shouts at particularly bumpy spots.) Matt also appreciates being able to leave his shoes on as he passes through Chinese airport security.

At a standstill in Beijing


Watching the traffic start to move again

Upon check-in we were pleased to learn that our stay included breakfast – a first at any of the Peninsulas we’ve stayed in. Usually we just eat all the delicious fruit they give us!

Welcome amenity

Behind on the blog after a few days without internet, we spent the afternoon catching up. News of the Japan earthquake/tsunami had just broken – we were in the air when it happened, though it was reported to have been felt in Beijing.

Even Chicago is under threat of a tsunami! Looks like the safest place is Beijing.


Another quake – this one near Lijiang the day after we left

Once the trip to the mountains had been properly documented, we walked to Da Dong, a restaurant near the hotel famous for its roast duck. After waiting twenty minutes for a table and another twenty for our server, we were informed that the duck we ordered would be ready in 80 minutes. Uh, no. So much for that visit.

By now it was nearly 10:00, we were hungry, and our options were limited. We stopped at a nearby convenience store, stocked up on snacks, and went back to the hotel for a tasty dinner of ramen noodles, cookies, and the bottle of wine from the Peninsula Shanghai we’d been carrying all over China.

Take that, Da Dong! And your ridiculous 80-minute wait!


A toast to a wonderful trip so far

3 Responses to “Day 14: Hangzhou/Beijing”

  1. Hello Nick and Matt, Glad to hear you enjoyed the Hyatt. Very interesting about the flights. How come they can get it right and we can’t? The Japan earthquake is a huge, tragic story. Wonder how the Tokyo Peninsula fared? Looking forward to hearing about your Behjing adventures and talking to you in person soon. Love, Mom and Dad 🙂

  2. Hi there!! You both look like you are enjoying the comfort of WARM and well appointed accommodations! (What? No hats and mittens??!!) Sorry you didn’t get your duck 🙁 Hopefully you will still be able to get that in before you head home. Have a great time in Beijing and we look forward to visiting with you once you have arrived safely home! xo, mom

  3. Looks like another successful trip! So glad that you are both safe and still having fun. Can’t wait to see ALL the pictures. Loved the cowboy hat! Wishing you safe travels home.

    Love Ya!
    Aunt Kathy

Leave a Reply