Day 14: Hangzhou/Beijing
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.