Friday, May 13, 2011

Hangzhou – beautiful city, quick visit

Hello high-speed train!  We had a few extra hours and wanted to show Tif one of our favorite Chinese cities, Hangzhou.  We jumped at the chance to ride the high-speed train from Shanghai to Hangzhou, astounded as we reached speeds of 415 kilometers per hour, that’s 258 mph! The rice paddies, farmhouses, and scenery of rural China were blurs as we zoomed past at remarkable speed.  We arrived in Hangzhou in less than 45 minutes, usually a three-hour trip. The tickets were easy to purchase, the seats were comfortable, and the bathrooms were clean.  

Eager for a walk,  we went directly to West Lake, Hangzhou's most famous attraction.  The scenery was quintessential China with willow trees, pagodas, bamboo groves, temples, morning tai chi and plenty of Chinese tourists. 

We enjoyed a picturesque lunch overlooking the lake with our friend Lydia and our new lunch pals from Finland at Hangzhou’s most famous restaurant Lou Wai Lou. We were served Hangzhou’s specialty, West Lake Dragon Well Tea, as the proud waiter pointed to the hillside covered in the tea plants, ready to be harvested.

Chelsea, Lydia and Tif

Fully refreshed, off we went to shop.  Hangzhou has a special silk market filled with elegant silks and brocades.  We visited many shops looking for inspiration and gifts.  We hit the jackpot at a small corner shop.

It was a full day of beautiful Hangzhou scenery, delicious Chinese food, and delightful company. 

Thank you high-speed train!

~ Nancy

1 comment:

  1. Hangzhou's my hometown, and all the things you had mentioned in your post about Hangzhou has brought all the childhood memories back to me...