The Champagne Backpacker: Michael's Round the World Trip 2005-2007-- The Adventure of a Lifetime travel blog

One Hundred Step Beach--Note The Brown Color Of The Sea

Huiji Temple Entrance

Huiji Temple

Offering Prayers With Incense

Man Finishes His Smoke

Guanyin, The Buddhist Goddess Of Mercy

View From Putuoshan's Highest Peak, Foding Shan

Southern Temple

THURSDAY, JULY 13, 2006. SHANGHAI TO PUTUOSHAN, CHINA. I decided to catch a three hour fast ferry to Putuoshan, a Buddhist island southeast of Shanghai, in part to escape the crowds. Upon arrival, I encountered huge tour groups of Chinese at the dock (I would learn later from a fellow Chinese American from Los Angeles that it was a busy time due to an annual Buddhist celebration). The first five accommodations I called were full; I settled on the sixth for a ridiculous Y700/triple ($87), which was the only room available. Based on the accommodation price and crowds, I decided only to spend one night. Thus, the afternoon and evening would be my only time to visit the island sites. It would turn out to be enough time for me.

FRIDAY, JULY 14, 2006. PUTUOSHAN TO HANGZHOU, CHINA. This morning it was raining and quite gusty, so I did not feel bad about leaving Putuoshan. A lot of other people felt the same way. As I arrived at the port, I was greeted with hundreds of other Chinese tourists intent on departing the island too. According to a Chinese woman I spoke with, the fast ferry to Shanghai was cancelled due to a possible typhoon. The only boat were to Zhujiajian and everyone wanted a ticket. It was my encounter with China's infamous ticket queues, if you can call it that--dozens of people yelling, screaming, and massing toward the lone ticket agent. This was utter chaos. I eventually made it to the front of the line and purchased my single ticket to Zhujiajian (Y14). Then it was on to another queue to board one of the numerous boats. From Zhujiajian, I caught a bus to Zhoushan and bought a ticket to Hangzhou. It would be a five hour wait for the next available bus to Hangzhou, then a five hour bus ride to Hangzhou.

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