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Anji

Getting There

Thanks to the newly constructed highway, Anji now has rapid access to Hangzhou and Shanghai. The nearest airport is Xiaoshan airport on the other side of Hangzhou.

Anji Bus Station (tel. 0572/522-9571) is well served with comfortable modern coaches to and from Hangzhou (63km/34 miles) almost every half-hour from 5:30am to 6:20pm. On this route, notice how the environment changes slowly from an ocean of green to dirty concrete as you leave Anji's vast swathes of bamboo and approach Hangzhou. The ticket price is ¥23 and the buses arrive at Hangzhou North Station on Moganshan Lu 758 (tel. 0571/8809-7761). Buses also run to Shanghai (220km/136 miles) at 6:25am, 7:10am, 8:30am, 1pm, and 1:30pm; Nanjing (240km/149 miles) at 7:45am; Yiwu at 6:30am; and Suzhou at 6:45am and 12:30pm.

Getting Around

The downtown area of Anji is well served by sanlunche (cycle rickshaws) that will happily ferry you short distances for ¥2 to ¥5. For getting out of town, metered taxis are a better option, with flagfalls starting at ¥5; after that, it's ¥2.20 per kilometer. City bus lines run across the downtown with the no. 1 and no. 3 lines being the most useful for tourists. All have a flat fee of ¥1.

Visitor Information

The travel agent behind the ticket office next to the main bus station has a good selection of glossy brochures highlighting sights in the area. Unfortunately most of them are in Chinese only and none of the staff speak any English.

Banks, Foreign Exchange & ATMs -- The main Bank of China (8am-5pm) is on Sheng Li Xi Lu and offers currency exchange. They also have an ATM for international credit cards.

Internet Access -- Apart from the typically large wangba that are springing up everywhere, the library, located on Tian Mu Zhong Lu, is quieter and cleaner than most and is open from 9 to 11:30am and 1:30 to 5pm.

Map -- Only one city map is available at the moment and that is Chinese only. It costs ¥5 and is available from the post office or shops around the bus station.

Post Office -- The post office (7:30am-9:30pm) is at Sheng Li Dong Lu (tel. 0572/502-3957).

Visa Extensions -- The officers at the PSB (tel. 0572/502-2341) are friendly but extensions are probably better handled back at Hangzhou, where there are plenty of excellent English-speakers.

Moganshan

Getting There

Air-conditioned buses to Moganshan's nearest town, Deqing (also known as Wukang) leave every morning at 10:10am from Shanghai's New North Bus Station, Hengfeng Lu 258, at Gonghe Lu (tel. 021/5663-0230), costing ¥31 and taking 4 hours. Alternatively, take the bus or train to Hangzhou (approximately an hour and a half) and then catch a bus to Wukang. Buses leave daily from Shanghai Old North Bus Station (Lao Bei Zhan) at Gongxing Lu 80 near Baoshan Lu metro station, direct for Wukang. Departure times are 6:30am, 11:50am, and 12:40pm. Ticket price ¥53 one-way. The journey takes about 4 hours via Huzhou. An alternative is to jump on one of the semiofficial buses from Shanghai South Railway Station to Hangzhou; touts are all over the place. The cost last time we looked was ¥50. Then make your way by bus or taxi from Hangzhou.

Regular buses leave from Hangzhou North Bus Station, on Moganshan Lu, at least every hour, and take about 40 minutes to Wukang bus station ¥13. A taxi from Hangzhou will run to about ¥200 and takes 1 1/2 hours.

At least four trains run daily from Shanghai South Station, Mei Long (tel. 021/5110-5110) to Hangzhou with a journey time of 2 hours; soft seats costs ¥40, hard seats ¥25. (Note: The new South Station is still under construction. Currently the old south station, beside Jinjiang Leyuan, is still in use.)

Note: In the early 1990s, an Iveco passenger vehicle's brakes failed and it plummeted off the road on its way back down to the village you pass through on the 13km (8-mile), short and steep road. There were no survivors. Now, Ivecos and large buses are banned from the road and are relegated to the 30km (19-mile) route around the back of the mountain.

From Deqing, negotiate with a taxi or minivan outside the bus station to take you up to Moganshan. Taxis are normally ¥50, while a minivan can be had for ¥40. Insist that you go to the top of the mountain, not the village at the foot of the mountain or the ticket gate. Entrance tickets are now a hefty ¥80. Usually at a location like this I would suggest a back entrance in order to avoid unjustified entrance costs, but scaling the vertical walls of Moganshan is out of the question. There is an interesting-looking path leading up to the right about 45m (150 ft.) before the ticket office, and while it does eventually lead to the very highest peak, it will take at least 90 minutes and you will literally have to haul yourself up vertical inclines using the bamboo like a cost-conscious orangutan. You are much better off getting a lift up and saving your energy to enjoy the adventurous paths and trails nearer the top of the mountain. In addition, a very high-security lao gai (labor camp) is at the mountain base where members of the Falun Gong, a spiritual sect outlawed in China, are being kept, and it's probably best avoided.

Cabbing It -- If coming by taxi from Hangzhou, get the driver to drop you at Wukang bus station and catch a local cab from there. It won't cost any extra. Try to get the Hangzhou driver to go by the meter and offer to pay the tolls both ways (¥30). Price should work out at about ¥160 total to Wukang. A taxi from Wukang Bus Station up to the top of the mountain is normally ¥50.

Visitor Information

Talk to Mark or Joanna at Moganshan Lodge for historical details, suggested walking routes, and even a couple of cross-country paths over to Anji. The official Moganshan Travel Service number is tel. 0572/803-3402. The only local map available can be picked up at the bus station, but the map is in Chinese only, focuses more on Huzhou to the north, and only has a tiny insert map for Moganshan.

Post Office -- The post office (8am-4:30pm) is on Yinshanjie.

Visa Extensions -- The officers at the PSB (tel. 0572/803-3303) are friendly but as with Anji, extensions are probably better handled back at Hangzhou, where there are plenty of excellent English-speakers.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.