马可•波罗现身杭州CBD / Marco Polo Is Alive and Well, in Hangzhou's CBD
“Please take your taxi into the queue.” （请开出租车排队。）
话虽如此，但机场的出租车站却设在了国内候机楼，而非国际候机楼。排队的人也很多，等车需要大概20分钟。车站的指示牌用错误的英文善意地提醒道：“Please take your taxi into the queue（请开出租车排队）”，好像是建议大家上车后开着车闯进候车队伍、从人群身上轧过去似的。也许这并不是它的本意，如果能改成让大家更明白的“Please queue for taxi（请排队等候出租车）”，就更好、更安全了。
所以， “CBD” 可以作为中文“外来语”引入英文单词表，就像“鸦片”（opium）、“台风”（typhoon）、“大班”（taipan）、“炒菜锅”（wok）等大批词汇一样。
Marco Polo Is Alive and Well , in Hangzhou’s CBD
I recently spoke at The FIPP’s 2nd Asia-Pacific Digital Magazine Conference in Hangzhou . My last visit to Hangzhou was in 1977 , and the changes since that time are simply phenomenal .
From what I can see , about the only thing in Hangzhou that hasn’t changed dramatically since 1977 is the city’s name . Everything else is almost unrecognizable , in a generally positive way (except for the traffic jams) .
True , the beauty of West Lake , the willow trees and phoenix trees which surround it , and the city’s many fine temples and other lovely examples of traditional architecture are intact , charming and largely unchanged ; but the juxtaposition of McDonald’s , KFC , Pizza Hut and high-end retail outlets adds a very different backdrop . And then there’s the traffic , and the hordes of tourists , which were nowhere to be seen in the 1970s .
Hangzhou now boasts China’s most expensive residential real estate market , with apartments averaging RMB20,000 per square meter . It is a popular location for second homes among wealthy Chinese . It has a fast growing number of super successful entrepreneurial companies , like Alibaba , and is an integral part of the export powerhouse of Zhejiang Province and the Yangzi River Delta .
I knew all that before I went , but to see the street life of a city which has attained such a high degree of affluence within the short span of one generation is much more impactful than just knowing about it .
From Shanghai to Hangzhou by train currently takes about 90 minutes , but the new high-speed rail link scheduled to open shortly will cut this to 45 minutes . There are six flights daily to and from Hong Kong , making it an easy 75-minute connection by air , and yet not many people in Hong Kong seem to have discovered Hangzhou as a weekend destination , as compared with Sanya in Hainan or Kunming in Yunnan .
Hangzhou’s airport is modern and efficient . The elapsed time from when I walked off the mid-day Dragonair flight which brought me from Hong Kong , until clearing immigration , collecting my checked bag , passing through Customs and walking out to the curbside , was only ten minutes . Few if any airport authorities anywhere can deliver better efficiency to passengers than that .
“Please take your taxi into the queue.”
Having said that , the taxi queue , located at the domestic rather than the international terminal , was long . Waiting in line for a taxi took about 20 minutes . A well-intentioned but wrongly worded English sign says: “Please take your taxi into the queue” , which seems to suggest that once you get a taxi , you should drive into the queue and run over those people still waiting there . Probably not the intended message . “Please queue for a taxi” would be a much better , and safer , message for all concerned .
Hangzhou is a green and inviting environment , offering a variety of great dining options . Its cultural offerings and historic spots are many and varied , which explains the throngs of tourist buses disgorging passengers from all over China which crowd the shores of West Lake .
Wise tourist visitors to Hangzhou who are intent on seeing the city’s many sights will depart their hotel by 6 a.m. or even earlier , at which time traffic is minimal . By comparison , departing at 9 a.m. will almost certainly offer a very different and probably frustrating transportation experience . For my boat trip on West Lake , I left the hotel at 6 a.m. , and we were the first boat on the lake . By 8 a.m. the water was crowded with boat traffic .
I stayed in two hotels during my stay : during the conference , I stayed in the Hyatt Regency , located on Hubin Road next to the West Lake , in the CBD (Central Business District) . Afterwards I moved to the Amanfuyun , located in a quiet , scenic valley next to the Lingyin Temple .
Both are excellent places to stay , but intentionally offer completely different experiences for the discerning traveler .
The Hyatt’s CBD location , facilities and service are ideal for busy business travelers , and tourist visitors who want to be within walking distance of shops and the West Lake . It’s Hubin 28 Chinese restaurant , specializing in Hangzhou and Zhejiang cuisine , is one of the best in town .
Speaking of CBD , this English acronym is now far better known in China – even to people who do not speak English – than it is in North America , the U.K. and Australia combined , thanks largely to China’s property developers . Most people in China understandably assume that cities in English speaking countries have an area known as the CBD , which is generally not true , with very few exceptions , such as London .
New York’s central business district , for example , is mid-town Manhattan . If you ask a New York taxi driver to take you to the CBD , you’ll get a blank stare .
In China , “CBD” ultimately refers to downtown areas where the most expensive real estate is situated . Most Chinese cities seem to have one , and it’s frequently cited as a draw in high-end property advertising .
The first time I heard the term “CBD” was in China five years or so ago, and I had to ask someone what it meant .
So we can add “CBD” to the long list of words in English which have been borrowed from Chinese , which includes opium , typhoon , taipan , wok , and a host of others .
But I digress…
The Amanfuyun is a luxurious , lush 42-room retreat built around a 700-year old village originally settled by the monks of the Lingyun Temple and their followers . It has an extensive expanses of forest and gardens , an active tea plantation , and plots devoted to cultivation of a variety of Chinese vegetables for the picturesque resort’s own use . The traditional village architecture has been meticulously preserved , with all the modern comforts upscale travelers demand , including wi-fi and excellent restaurants . It is a very relaxing and scenic environment .
During my long-overdue return visit to Hangzhou , it came as a big surprise came to discover a thriving Italian neighborhood within a few minutes’ walk from the Hyatt Regency .
There , facing the West Lake , is a string of high-end Italian luxury branded retail outlets , one after another : Versace , Cerruti , Zegna , Stefano Ricci , Lamborghini , Ferrari , Maserati .
Although I didn’t see any Italians in Hangzhou’s Italian neighborhood , I think Marco Polo would be proud nonetheless .