Hangzhou at Night

Day 1 20th October 2009, Tuesday

It was a 5.20 pm Air Asia X flight from Kuala Lumpur to Hangzhou, arriving at 10.20 pm. The moment we got to the check in counter, there were sea of people. Since the first counter stated “Open”, there were people lining up there as well only to find that, there was nobody manning it. Frustrated, we moved to the next lane. However, it really felt like China even before we got to China. Everybody is cutting queue like nobody’s business. Since we were early, we didn’t really bother.

The flight was quite unpleasant. We were seated next to the toilet, so you can imagine – the amount of people going in and out from the toilet and bear in mind, it was a full flight! I could actually keep track of how many times one white haired lady who went in and out from the toilet in the 5-hour flight. Haha! So people, please pre-book your seats to avoid such situation.

I don’t remember that the seats are so rigid and tight. It’s even worse than the smaller planes. This is Air Asia X, mind you… for long haul flights and we had to sit straight on our back and on such a tiny seat! Imagine my aunt, a 50 kg 5 ft old lady complained that the seat was too narrow. What about me, who is 2x heavier than her and taller than her by 4 inches? Thank God they are going to change the seats in 2010.

Apart from that, there was a pasar malam action going on at 35,000 feet above sea level. When the flight attendants were selling duty free products, it took one guy 30 minutes just to buy a bottle of liquor. Currency problem? Communication problem? Some Malaysians were nice enough to help them to translate what they wanted. So, there – new friendships were formed instantaneously. Then there were endless talking. It was really like pasar borong on the plane. There was one middle aged fat lady who has a balding patch on her head was speaking at the top of her voice in a triad-like Cantonese, like she’s going to run amok anytime on the plane. I prayed hard that she is not one of my travel mates otherwise, we are screwed.

I spent the entire 5 hours reading “A Thousand Splendid Suns” by Khaled Hosseini, the author for the much loved Kite Runner. I think I’ve never spent such long hours sitting on a chair, reading a book before! After reaching the page where Laila and Mariam tried to escape but were caught by their barbaric husband, Rasheed, we reached Hangzhou.

We were greeted by Ms Shao, a pretty Suzhou lass. There were 22 people in our group. Since it was such a long and not to mention noisy flight, we were tired. But we were rather impressed to see the highways of Hangzhou. They were all multi-tiered and brightly lit with multi-colored lights! Even if the lights are sort of ah beng-ish – you have a bit of blinking blues here, yellows here and shocking pink there, everyone went “wow” when they saw the highly colorful highways. There were many beautiful lush willow trees surrounding the highway.

Hot street food is good for a cold Tuesday night.

We stayed at Wan Hao Wan Jia Hotel in Hangzhou for a night. After checking in, we went for a walkabout and sampled some street food. They only have some fried food and satay. We made do with some fried noodles and rice to ease our hunger pangs before going to bed.

10 thoughts on “Hangzhou at Night

  1. China is so much more advanced in infrastructure and transport than Malaysia or even Western nations i feel…i saw many multi-tiered highways in Shanghai even way back in 2004. Show some pics of the lighted highways in Hangzhou if possible. I loved it when i was there last…the West Lake district is simply beautiful!

  2. Ann: Thanks.. haha. You just like the bitching part. LOL

    hcpen: Yes! I agree. A small town like Hangzhou is way advance compared to KL that it’s really shocking! We were traveling on the bus, hence it’s impossible to take pics when the bus is moving, especially at night.. so had to rely on imagination! Haha!

  3. The Air Asia x sounds horrible. I never fly with them before. I don’t think I will. As I am quite tall I always check for the seat size when I fly, especially on budget. Checking the pitch and width of the seat otherwise my legs have no room.

    the ideal pitch is 31-32 inches and width is 18- 18.8 inches. Air Asia is like 28 inches pitch. I think I will get squeeze like a cattle! hahaha!

  4. ai shiang: Haha! I think a lot of gwai lous having the same problem flying with Air Asia but then, they bought the special seats or “hot seats”. I am not too sure how wide it is because I didn’t try. It’s about RM25 per seat for AA and Rm100 for AA-X for the hot seats. It’s crazy! Yet, I think there are still a lot of people flying with AA because it’s cheap and our own MAS doesn’t even fly to some places! Let’s hope next year’s seat would be better.

  5. wah cuti-cuti again?🙂 i love reading about your trips and holidays so keep ’em coming!!

    and yeah i think i’ll steer clear of Air Asia X until they change their seats. some friends who took the flight to melbourne said…never again!

  6. shorthorse: Haha! I doubt this trip is going to be as interesting as Madam Katak’s story. Haha!

    lingzie: Yeah.. last minute arrangement coz someone couldn’t make it.. so I “volunteered” to go. Hahaha! I think they are changing seats in 2010 liao.. so should be better.😀 Don’t worry about it. In terms of punctuality and services, they have improved leaps and bounds.

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