We visit Hangzhou for a few days on the way to Hefei to catch our flight
31.03.2011 - 01.04.2011 70 °F
We woke up early, had breakfast and went out to do some quick shopping before we left for Hangzhou at around noon. I wanted to go check out the tea market and so that was our first stop after buying our bus tickets. The part of town where the tea market is located is heavily industrialized and thus it was hard to get a taxi to and from the shopping market. We ended up buying some Ningbo Tieh Guan Yin at a fairly reasonable price (not heap) so at least I could say we bought some tea. I was really interested in the Anchi Bia Cha (White Tea) but it was super expensive, running as much as 800 to 1000 yuan per kilo. I had to remind myself to look this tea up on the internet when we got back to Bangkok.
We finished our shopping, such as it was and caught our bus right on schedule. The trip to Hangzhou was a little over two hours. Arriving in Hangzhou we fell for one of the touts at the bus station who took us to the Hanting Express Hotel not far from West Lake. We paid double what we should have but . . . when one is unfamiliar with where things are, why not get a dumb looking truck to travel to the destination?
We were pretty tired so we took the rest of the afternoon off to rest.
This is the view from our hotel room in the later part of the afternoon.
At sun down, we were out and about exploring the night life of this area of Hangzhou. Got some stuff to eat and walk around to get the feel of the area. Nice town. Very nice town!
The above pictures are from our first visit to Hangzhou streets. We were both impressed with what we saw this first evening in town. We asked about the night market but got some really confusing directions. Even tried to find it but ended up in the really expensive shopping area. Maybe later we will be able to find it.
Early mourning view from our window. These people get up early!
We also got up early and headed in the direction of the famous West Lake. It did not take us long to find it, even at 0700 in the morning. The lake is absolutely beautiful. Everything one hears about the lake and more.
It probably took us two hours to walk just a few hundred yards. The lake had that many things to see and take pictures of. The Leifang Pagoda in the distance was especially nice. That is the direction we decided to head along the banks of the lake.
As we got close to the pagoda, we saw a place that charged 5 Yuan to dress up in Chinese outfits for pictures. The Chinese really like to do this and so do we. Sunee chose what I thought was probably a Song Dynasty outfit (Southern Song Dynasty capital was Hangzhou).
The pictures came out really great! I also took a time elapsed movie with the GoPro but it turned out very short.
The Feilong Pagoda did not disappoint. The grounds were nice and the whole park area was professionally run and maintained. While taking pictures, I met this Tony who was a PhD student from Hunan visiting on summer holiday as were we. His English was excellent and so we had a great time talking about college life in China.
I took about a hundred photos in and around the Feilang Pagoda. Inside the pagoda which had just recently been rebuilt, we found a travel agency advertising a tour to Xitang, an ancient water town not far from Hangzhou. We decided to take the tour the next day.
Sunee wanted to check out the art situation in Hangzhou since we found there was an art museum somewhere around the lake. We walked until we found it. It was very modern and very well managed. The exhibits, however, were a bit modern for Sunee's tastes.
While relaxing inside the museum and while Sunee shopped for some art supplies, I found this magic faucet suspended in midair with water flowing down. Took a great picture of it, didn't I?
We had walked more than we were used to so we went back to the hotel to rest and get ready for our Xitang adventure the next day.