Hefei (合肥; Héféi) is the capital city of Anhui Province in China.
Hefei Luogang Airport (IATA: HEF) is an international airport with regular flights to/from most main cities. The airport itself is quite old and a new one is currently under construction in another part of the city.
Hefei Luogang Airport receives Air China, China Southern, China Eastern, Hainan, Xiamen, Shenzhen, Shandong, Shanghai, Okay Airways, Sichuan, Tianjin, Joy Airlines flights.
The airport is located about 12km from the center of town. A taxi to Municipal Square will cost about 20-25RMB. There is no bus that runs direct from the airport to the city center. You can take bus 11, but you will need to get off and connect with another bus along the way. Chinese buses can be packed, so if you are carrying bags, it is best to catch a taxi.
There is high speed (D train) rail between Shanghai and Hefei.
Taxis are mostly green, but may also be blue or orange in color. All taxis are metered. These colored taxis start at 6 RMB and there is an additional 2 RMB fuel surcharge added to the final fare.
Black taxis are also properly signed and metered and are usually a more comfortable and newer car. The fare for these taxis starts at 8 RMB and there is a 1 RMB fuel surcharge added to the final fare.
Every taxi must have the driver's picture and licence number displayed in a plastic plate affixed to the dashboard. If you have any major problems with a taxi driver, discretely write down this number if you need to make a complaint and ask for a fa piao (receipt) at the end of your journey. Avoid getting into arguments with drivers if possible.
Around the city area in Hefei, you can reasonably expect to pay between 10-20RMB.
There are other unmarked cars (usually black Santanas) that may offer to give you a ride. You often see these kind of illegal taxis around the railway station, airport, or in the outskirts. These are unmetered and the price is negotiated beforehand. The fare will always be higher than usual. If you don't know Hefei well, the fare will be significantly higher. There is also the risk of taking a car that is not insured to carry you and having an unidentifiable driver. Saying that, there are times when legit taxis are very scarce, and if you really need to be somewhere, it might be an option.
In Hefei, a driver might occasionally try to pick up an extra passenger and carry them with you. ie pooling. They sometimes try this on foreigners who don't know how to object. Make it known if you don't want this to happen. Chances are the other person has negotiated to pay a lower fare and is riding on your back.
Motorbikes You can also jump on the back of a motorbike if taxis are scarce. There are plenty of motorbikes and they usually congregate on the corners of busy intersections. They are not legal, but are generally tolerated. They are unmetered and you negotiate a price beforehand.
tuk-tuks (ma zi da) These are now banned in the city center areas. However, a little further out you might find them (particularly around the long-distance bus stations. Avoid taking them. Because of the amount of construction that goes on in Hefei, there are a lot of heavy trucks flying around the streets and mazidas are too slow and dangerous. In the townside or countryside, this mode of transport is certainly more common.
Public Buses This is the dominant mode of public transport in Hefei. The central hub is in Municipal Square. A single bus fare to anywhere costs 1RMB for an un-airconditioned bus or 2RMB for airconditioned. All bus routes, schedules, and announcements are in Chinese. But don't let this put you off. An excellent way to navigate the Hefei bus system is to use Google Maps app. on your mobile phone. Using the "Get Directions" function, you can search bus routes, find bus numbers/stops in Engilsh and pinyin. The results are very accurate. Beware that in peak hours buses are absolutely crammed to the limit. There is no such thing as a "full" Hefei bus; the driver will alway take more people on.
Subway At present, Hefei has no subway system. However, it is currently under construction.
Hefei isn't known as a tourist destination, but if you are using it as a stop-off point there are some pleasant places to see. In particular, Hefei has many fine parks and gardens.
Lord Bao Park (包公园; Bāogōngyuán) The park is free, the attractions can be accessed for a through ticket of ¥50, you can also buy individual tickets for each attraction for ¥5-35 This a combination of a very pleasant park with tea houses, gardens, a lake, a tower and of course the restored underground tomb of Lord Bao himself as well as the tombs of his family. The park is worth walking through.
Xiaoyaojin park (逍遥津公园 Xiāoyáo jīn gōngyuán) 寿春路16号 Shòu chūn lù 16 hào. Many amusement rides and duckboats for hire. Gets very crowded on weekends/holidays.
Xinghua Park (合肥杏花公园 Xìng huā gōngyuán) 庐阳区淮河西路482号 Huáihé xī lù. Usually less crowded than Xiaoyaojin park. In spring and summer, people fly kites there and practice tai chi early. Has amusement rides and duckboats for hire.
Around the city park (环城公园 Huán chéng gōngyuán) 庐阳区环城南路29号 Lúyáng qū huán chéng nánlù 29 hào (South Huancheng Road,Luyang District)
Yaohai Park (瑶海公园合肥 Yáohǎi gōngyuán) 瑶海区 Yáohǎi qū (Yaohai district)
Hefei Botanical Gardens (合肥植物园 Héféi zhíwùyuán) 近郊开发区环湖东路123号 Lake Rd. There's a nice bonsai garden there. 20yuan www.hefeibg.com
Three Kingdoms Ruins Park (三国新城遗址公园 Héféi sānguó xīnchéng yízhǐ gōngyuán) 庐阳区 Luyang district. North of the Botanical Gardens and a fair way out. Take bus 114 to Botanic Gardens then change to bus 300. 25 kuai entry. There are some minor pavilions etc there, and the trees are very picturesque in Spring. www.hfssg.gov.cn/DocHtml/2009/4/23/7167966546.html
Dashu mountain (大蜀山 Dàshǔ shān) 20 mins by taxi or catch any bus that goes to the end of Changjiang Road (长江路)or Huangshan Road (黄山路) The view across Hefei is great on a clear day and there is a TV tower at the top. It can get crowded on days when the weather is nice. The walk up to the top of the mountain takes about 30 minutes.
Kai Fu Buddhist Temple (开福寺Kāi fú sì) Located near the bottom of Dàshǔ shān.
Hefei Zoo (合肥野生动物园 Héféi dòngwùyuán) Also located near the bottom of Dàshǔ shān. 望江西路600号 电话 Wàngjiāngxi lù, Shushan district. www.hfzoo.com
Snow Villa (雪霁山庄 Xuě jì shānzhuāng). 合肥市蜀山区玉兰大道8号(近名人馆) 雪霁山庄 Héféi shì shǔshān qū yùlán dàdào 8 hào (Magnolia Ave., at the foot of Dàshǔ mountain). A traditional Anhui opera hall + restaurant. Watch performances in the evening and eat hui cuisine. Good ambience. Call for show times ph: 5165777, 5388587
Anhui Hall of Fame (安徽名人馆). 蜀山风景区 Shǔshān fēngjǐng qū Dashu shan scenic area. Has 50 wax figures of prominent people in Anhui history and 23 scenes.
Emerald Lake scenic area (翡翠湖风景区 Fěicuì hú) 开发区大学城内 Development zone University City. Hire tandem bikes and pedal around the lake. Good place to have a picnic or read a book. Few people and quiet.
Swan Lake (天鹅湖 Tiān'é hú) 市蜀山区 Shushan district. There is an artificial beach there + 合肥大剧院 Héféi dà jùyuàn (Hefei Poly Grand Theater). Live theater and concerts and MBox cinema. www.hfgrandtheatre.com
Hefei Sea World/aquarium (合肥海洋世界 Héféi hǎiyáng shìjiè) 繁华大道321 Fánhuá dàdào. Along the same road is 合肥徽园 Héféi huī yuán (Huī yuán tourist park. Pavilions showcase each city in Anhui) 繁华大道276 Fánhuá dàdào. www.hfuww.com
Hefei Happy Island (合肥欢乐岛 Héféi huānlè dǎo) 合肥市经济开发区繁华大道315号 315 Fánhuá dàdào. A leisure and amusement park with rides, activities etc.
Chao lake (巢湖 Cháo Hú). This is the great lakes of China. Sights on or around the lake include Lao Shan in the middle and Zhongmiao Temple on the northern bank. There are also some natural springs. Catch bus at 合肥汽车站 (Hefei Bus station) at 明光路168号Míngguāng lù 168 hào.
Daishan lake (岱山湖 Dàishān hú) 岱山湖旅游度假区肥东县 Daishan Lake tourist resort, Feidong county. Somewhere to go if you have a driver and want to get out into the countryside. There are some minor attractions there incl. 4 wheel buggies, skirmish, and a buddhist temple with large statue on the lake. www.dslake.com
Hefei Pedestrian Mall (合肥步行街 Héféi bùxíngjiē). Along the mall is 李鸿章故居 Lihóngzhāng gùjū (Former residence of Li Hong Zhang) + 合肥明教寺 Héféi míngjiào sì (Mingjiao temple). From the Suzhou lu end of the mall is 市政府广场 Shì zhèngfǔ guǎngchǎng (Municipal government square).
Temple Market (合肥城隍庙 Héféi chénghuángmiào) 庐阳区合肥霍邱路99号 Luyang Rd. A bustling market + temple area where you can buy everyday items. Known for cheap products. UPDATE 14 Jun. Temple Market is being renovated. Still worth visiting but a lot of the sellers have been cleared out for the renos.
San He Ancient Town (三河古镇 Sānhé gǔ zhèn)肥西县 Feixi county. Day trip 40km, about 1-1.5 hours from Hefei on minibus. Definately worth a visit. Well-known for its 米酒 Mǐjiǔ (rice wine). Catch bus at 南门环城站 Nán ménhuán chéng zhàn (South Gate Ring station) on 金寨路 Jīn zhài lù www.guzhensanhe.com
Yu Feng Flower Market (裕丰花卉市场 Yù fēng huāhuì shìchǎng) A market that sells plants, pots, sculptures, aquariums, pets, paintings, ornaments etc. Bus 137 from Municipal square.
Dà wéi Township (大圩乡 Outskirts of Hefei City). Go there to pick seasonal produce yourself from the farms or go fishing. Very comfortable in Spring. Catch bus 14 from Municipal square to 包河花园 Bāo hé huāyuán (35mins), then change to bus 23 or get a taxi to Dà wéi township. A taxi direct from Hefei will cost maybe 40-50 RMB.
Hefei Science and Technology Museum (合肥科技馆 Héféi kējì guǎn) 黄山路446号 Huángshān lù www.hfstm.com
Zi Peng mountain (紫蓬山 Zǐ péng shān) 肥西县 Feixi county. A forest park with some walking tracks. There is a large buddhist temple at the top of the mountain and multi-storey Buddhist statues carved into the side of the mountain. Best to have a driver/take a local. Stop somewhere to try 肥西老母鸡 Féixi lǎo mǔjī (famous Feixi old hen) for lunch. About 30-45 mins drive from Hefei. www.zps.gov.cn
Feng le ecological park (丰乐生态园 Fēng lè shēngtài yuán) 安徽省合肥市双凤工业区魏武路中段 Shuāng fèng gōngyè qū wèi wǔlù zhōngduàn (Shuangfeng inductrial area, Wei Wu middle Rd) www.flsty.com
Walk around the Temple Market (合肥城隍庙 Chénghuángmiào). Be careful of your belongings in this area. Always try to bargain.
KTV (Karaoke TV) Going to KTV at least once is an essential part of experiencing China. Many of the bigger, flashier places have a larger selection of English songs. Best to go with some Chinese friends/colleagues so you can see how it's done.
Climb Dashu Mountain on a clear day in the afternoon. At the foot of the mountain is Snow Villa (雪霁山庄 Xuě jì shānzhuāng). Have dinner in a tradtional Anhui setting and watch a local Hui opera show. There is usually one show every evening. Call for show times ph: 5165777, 5388587.
Have free tea and tea snacks at Ten Fu teahouse These are nice stores on Huayuan St (花园路) and near the corner of Mengcheng and Shouchun lu (across from the main gate of Xinghua Park). You will be presented with some tea sets etc. but there is no pressure to buy.
Take a picnic to Emerald Lake scenic area (翡翠湖风景区 Fěicuì hú). A good place to escape the bustle of the city and ride bicycles around the lake.
Ferris wheel at Xinghua park Costs 10RMB/person and you can get a good birds-eye view. Early in the morning you can also see observe people practising Tai Chi in groups. At other times of the day you might see older people singing traditional songs or playing er'hu or flute in pavilions. In summer, the park is filled with people flying kites.
Have a massage There are a few well-known places (incl. Laohu massage) along Hupo Ave. in Hǔpò shānzhuāng (琥珀山庄) area. 40RMB/hour.
Go-Karting at Anhui Fu Bang Racing Club D1 Indoor Go-Karting (安徽馥邦赛车俱乐部D1卡丁车馆 Ānhuī fù bāng sàichē jùlèbù D1 kǎ dīng chē guǎn)新站区铜陵北路与物流大道交叉口馥邦汽车城3栋 New Station area, intersection of Tongling North Rd and Wuliu Ave., Fu Bang Motor City 3. travel.anhuinews.com/system/2012/02/01/004738221.shtml
Drive duck boats around the lake at Bao Gong park or Xinghua park. Costs about 30RMB/half an hour.
Watch dancing in the square Go in the evening to Municipal Square (市政府广场 Shì zhèngfǔ guǎngchǎng)
or the square outside the main gate of Xinghua Park to see mass numbers of people (mainly older women) dancing.
There are several Carrefour, Tesco and Walmart supermarkets in the city.
Wanda Plaza, the city's latest shopping mall, is located on the intersection of Ma'an Shan Road and Wuhu Road. The new district boasts an international cinema and a whole host of top fashion outlets, restaurants and shops.
On most weekends, the Huizhan Center (会展中心) has a market of locally produced Chinese products, including painting, wooden sculptors and furniture, jade and tea pots. This is a fairly tourist free zone so expect to be able to get deals you might not be able to get in bigger cities.
Local specialties include:
Crayfish (小龙虾 xiǎo lóngxiā). This is Hefei's signature food. The longxia are boiled and then eaten with dipping sauces, usually vinegary or spicy. One pound (一斤 yijin) of longxia is now around RMB50. Longxia are known as a spicy food and are typically eaten outside with beer. Chinese are often selective about where they buy longxia because longxia needs to be cleaned and cooked thoroughly.
Hefei's most famous longxia street is Níngguó Rd. 宁国路龙虾美食街 Níngguó lù lóngxiā měishí jiē).
Another good area to find longxia is Hupo eat street (琥珀山庄美食街 Hǔpò shānzhuāng měishí jiē).
Fish Bites Lamb fresh mandarin fish stuffed with lamb
Li Hongzhang's Combination prepared with fresh water prawn, snails, chicken, sea cucumber, abalone and shark's fin.
Clay Pot Fish fresh fish from Changjiang River cooked with ham
Pigeon and Mushroom soup Yellow Mountain fungus, baby pigeeon slowly cooked in a clay pot
Bitburger: Hefei’s first German bar and one of the first establishments in the city to serve imported draught beer – German, of course. With its helpful staff, spacious layout, mellow ambience and a decent selection of bar snacks and East-West fusion food, Bitburger is a popular destination for the more discerning tourist or business visitor. German-brand draught beers start at around 45 RMB. Imported wine store sells red and white wine at medium to top range prices (100 – 500 RMB).
Location: 258-6 Wuhu Road
Soho Bar: Top range sports bar located in The Hilton Hotel. Showing live sports on a multitude of widescreen TVs and with its athletic-themed staff, Soho Bar is the best place in town to watch EPL football, rugby and whichever international sports events you care to imagine. Due to the plethora of TVs available, staff are quite happy to let you take over the remote control to find the game or event of your choice. Draught Tiger beer is chugged out for about 45 RMB.
Location: 198 Shengli Road
Revolutionary Bar: Once the first-stop for foreign visitors to Hefei, 'The Rev' has since developed a reputation for attracting unseemly clientele of Western origin - this is getting much better now, but you can see - very few, but yes, there are - 'not that decent' men exchange their numbers with several girls during only one night. With loud crowds there, it is not so suitable for a quiet conversation - however, if you do need to talk, there's a small café right next door - it's mostly for drinking. Bottled beers go for 15 RMB and the weekend live band plays an eclectic mix of Western jazz, rock, pop, etc.
Location: Daoxiang Lou, 241 Jinzhai Road
Food Street or Eating Street, Hu Po Shang Zhang (spelling?). Street is lined with restuarants and vendors selling "BBQ", large bottles of warm Snow Beer, and everything else imaginable. Street is blocked of to cars, and filled with tables. Very cheap.
Crowne Plaza Hefei, Tower A 598 Huangshan Road, Hefei, 230088, ☎ +86-551-2971888 Fax:+86-551-2971999 Email: email@example.com, . checkin: 14:00; checkout: 12:00. Crowne Plaza Hefei is a 5-star hotel located at the new Hefei High-Tech Industrial Development zone, the perfect place for your business trip or meetings and events.
Hilton Hefei, 198 ShengLi Road, Hefei, China 230011, ☎ +86-551-280-8888 (firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: +86-551-280-8889), . The Hilton Hefei hotel is located on the crossroad of Sheng Li Road and Feng Yang Road. It is just 3 minutes from Hefei city centre and 5 minutes away from Hefei Train Station.
Novotel Hefei (合肥诺富特齐云山庄), 199 Wuhu Road, . >A 4 star hotel in the centre of Hefei, ideal for a business trip to this important centre for science and technology.
Westin Hotel, 150 Ma'an shan Road, . checkin: 15:00; checkout: 12:00. Westin is the best hotel by stars - 6 star hotel - in Hefei. The price is relatively high but very nice service. Because of the spending, only recommended for business trips.