First day in shanghai we took an organised tour out to Hang zu. Being a train jeff this was an excellent option. Bullet train there, Bullet back. Shanghai train station (one of them) looks like an airport, the matching airport terminal next to it is smaller than the train station. As with everything new in chinese infrastructure, huge and ultra modern. Now when it comes to transport the buildings, trains, bridges and everything else is very organised and frankly puts us to shame. Less so are the people. Queuing, no. Using every available gate, no. 7 entry gates to put your ticket in, 100 people fighting to use the first 3 and nobody using the other 4. Its an odd competition, everyone turns up way to early for the train/plane/bus or whatever, then there is an almighty scrum to get on. Its as if they are worried it will or life will leave without them. Patience people and take some queuing tips from the masters, oh but can we have your trains.
More legroom than business class plane seats. Toilets cleaned, floors mopped every 15 minutes. Impeccable, cheap (5 pounds for a 75 minute journey), clean and of course on time.
Out bound train was 200kph bullet, nothing special. Back was a newer bullet, 300kph, which has been turned down from 350kph due to an accident last year. Only part of the French tgv goes the same speed, and as our guide gleefully mentioned they are faster than the Japanese ones. To make it more fun they put the speed up in the carriages. All good jeffness.
Ok, so Hang Zu is one nice place, big lake, lovely gardens. Romantic setting for many Chinese. Honeymooners and tour groups compete for the perfect photo. It was refreshing to see lots of trees and plants. They also have a great Buddist temple there which we were shown around. Biggest (of course) in southern china or similar. In the afternoon we visited the tea museum and sampled a variety of green and other teas. All very civilised. The best bit of the day however was the trains.