Hangzhou Travel Advice, Information and Directory
|Health Care||Accessing Money|
|Book Shops||Visa Extensions|
|Internet Access||Postal Services|
|Phone Services||Tourist Information Centers|
|Plane/Train Tickets||Online Resources|
Health, Doctors and Pharmacies in Hangzhou
There are plenty of pharmacies around Hangzhou and there shouldn’t be any trouble finding one (although communication at pharmacies can be difficult).
If you need medical attention your best bet is the North American International Hospital which has doctors who speak English. Otherwise Tianmushan Hospital has doctors who speak a little English and is somewhat cheaper.
North American International Hospital
Address: 419 Hefang Jie (at the intersection with Siyi Lu)
Tel: (0571) 8778 0120 (appointments advised).
Open: Mon-Sun 9:00-18:00
Accessing Money in Hangzhou
ATMs that accept foreign cards are plentiful in Hangzhou and ATMs almost always have a choice between English or Chinese operating language. Occasionally you will encounter an ATM that doesn’t accept foreign cards, but you can always rely on Bank of China or ICBC (Industrial and Commercial Bank of China) ATMs which are plentiful enough. Just look for the logo of your particular card (Visa, Mastercard, Maestro, etc) on the ATM.
The Bank of China can always exchange money. Locations include #321 Fengqi Lu and #320 Yan’an Lu.
Book Shops in Hangzhou
The Foreign Languages Bookstore is the best bet in central Hangzhou for English reading material. The Bookuu Bookstore also has a good selection but it’s not central.
Foreign Languages Bookstore
After a 2007-08 renovation, this has become one of the better Foreign Languages Bookstores in China with more than the usual selection of classics, Lonely Planet guidebooks and maps.
Address: 446 Fengqi Lu (on the corner with Yan’an Lu). Tel: (0571) 8893 7406. Open: 9:00-19:00.
Boasts English classics, some modern fiction and textbooks.
Address: 38 Tinamushan Lu. Tel: (0571) 8890 5418. Open: 9:00-21:00. Website: www.bookuu.com
There’s a second location at #38 Wener Lu.
Visa Extensions in Hangzhou
The Public Security Bureau that handles visa extensions in Hangzhou is at #35 Huaguang Lu (south of the intersection with Huimin Lu).
Tel: (0571) 8728 0561. Open: Mon-Fri 8:30-12; 14:30-17. Website: www.hzcrj.gov.cn (Chinese only).
Show the taxi driver: 请带我去华光路35号，谢谢。
Internet Access in Hangzhou
All hotels and hostels in Hangzhou will have some form of internet access. Almost all hotels of 3 star or higher classification have in-room internet access, which can be used if you’re traveling with a laptop. Many hotels provide this service for free while others charge anywhere from $5-$15 per day, depending on the hotel. Hotels will also have a business center with internet access as well as a printer.
Internet cafes are common in Hangzhou, however, most have no English signs to identify them. Internet cafe is ‘wangba’ in Chinese and luckily these characters are quite distinctive (网吧). Keep your eye out for those characters when seeking an internet cafe.
Post Offices and Courier Services in Hangzhou
The Chinese postal service is generally quite efficient. Postcards or letters sent from Hangzhou will usually take around 7 or 8 working days to reach North America, Europe or Australia. Parcels will take a bit longer. If you need things to be sent urgently then you can use one of the international courier services.
There are plenty of post offices around Hangzhou. There’s a convenient one on Jiefang Lu, not far east of the intersection with Nanshan Lu. China Post also offers an Express Mail Service which is a cheaper alternative to using international courier companies. In addition to postal services it is also possible to make Western Union transfers at these branches.
A number of international courier companies have offices in Hangzhou. With a courier service, a letter will take about three or four days to reach North America, Europe or Australasia and cost around $50 to send. Packages will cost more, depending on their weight.
Address: 265 Dongxin Lu.
Tel: (0571) 8538 5718.
Address: 259 Wensan Lu (Changdi Huoju Dasha), Bldg. A, 5th Floor, Room 11.
Tel: (0571) 8899 4242
Phone Calls to and From Hangzhou
The international phone code of China is “86” and the area code of Hangzhou is “0571”.
If you call to Hangzhou from abroad, you should dial the international access number (usually 00 or “+”), then the code for China “86”, then the code for Hangzhou without the ‘0’ (571), and then the 8-digit city number.
If you call to Hangzhou from inside China, then dial the full Hangzhou code (0571), and then the 8-digit city number.
If you dial a Hangzhou number inside Hangzhou, just dial the 8-digit number, without any prefixes. Note that if you call a Hangzhou landline from a mobile phone while in Hangzhou, you should include the ‘0571’ prefix.
For international calls, IP (Internet Phone) international calling cards can be bought at most small shops, newsstands and hotels in Hangzhou. Just look for a sign saying “IP”. A card with ¥100 credit actually sells for about ¥35 (some vendors will try to charge you ¥40). Rates vary depending on what country you’re calling, but a card with ¥100 credit will generally buy you about 20-25 minutes talking time when calling to the US, Europe or Australia.
If you plan to stay in Hangzhou for a longer period it is reasonably cheap to buy a SIM card with one of the local operators: China Mobile or China Unicom. A SIM card usually costs around ¥100-120 and generally includes ¥50 credit. You also pay more depending on how ‘lucky’ your phone number is. Average call charges are ¥0.6 per minute and ¥0.15 per SMS. Once you move outside the city where you bought the card you have to pay slightly higher ‘internal roaming’ charges.
Tourist Information Centers in Hangzhou
There are a number of Hangzhou Tourist Information Center outlets around the city, usually near the major tourist attractions. But they’re not particularly helpful. You can find some brochures that your hotel probably has as well and not much else. There’s one at #10 Huaguang Lu (just off the Hefang Jie pedestrian strip).
Buying Plane Tickets and Train Tickets in Hangzhou
Hangzhou Online Resources
More Hangzhou: This is the website to go to for restaurant and nightlife listings. They put out a monthly English-language magazine in Hangzhou which is quite good, even if they do strange things like review the openings of new Starbucks outlets.
Go To HZ: The official website of the Hangzhou Tourism Commission has some useful information about sightseeing. The brochure they put out (can be found in most hotels) is also quite good, if strangely organized.