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CHINA | Tuesday, 12 June 2012 | Views [755]

12 June 2012

Hangzhou is the New York Hamptons of China.  A relaxing but luxe place for the rich to retreat and vacation.  Aside from that it has many domestic travelers and is known for its classical Chinese beauty "Heaven on Earth".

I traveled with my new international friend Nico and caught the 8am bullet train from Shanghai to Hangzhou.  By 10:30AM we had grabbed breakfast and rented bicycles to cruise around West Lake.  Having always been an ancient destination spot and imperial center, Hangzhou has many Buddist temples and pagodas built around the lake.  Hangzhou West Lake is a vacation to relax, unwind, and soak up natures finest beauty and tranquility.  Around the lake there is park after park, tree lined causeways, lakeside footpaths, and paddle boats on the lake.

A few pictures will give you an idea of the scenery in some spots, but I could have taken a new view photo nearly every 50 meters.  It is possible to walk around the entire lake in a day, but I was very glad to be on a bike.  The weather was ridiculously warm and sticky.  The feeling that you are sweating when you stand and very clammy moist skin.  The bikes kept us moving and gave us some breeze.

After failing to find a map directed bar street for a beer, followed by an invisible strip of western restaurants, Nico and I grabbed a few picnic items from Walmart and sat lakeside for lunch.  Completing the circuit around the lake around 5pm, Nico and I finally enjoyed a beer on a patio and then went on an adventure walk to try and find a wine shop.  About half hour of walking the streets, we stumbled upon a City Life shop that had awesome grocery and a full wine selection.  We grabbed a fresh salad for dinner, some chocolate, and white wine (warm weather) and headed back to the lake.  Our hostel we stayed at was located lakeside in an commercially center location which was good.

Sunday morning we rented bikes again and headed off to find the China Tea Museum which has Hangzhous famous Longjing green tea.  After another slight adventure and a decision to avoid taking the bus, we arrived at the beautiful tea plantation and had a good walk around.  Afterwards, we enjoyed a relaxed afternoon brunch until we had to head to the train station to catch our 6pm train back to Shanghai.

Cheers to lush greenery,


Tags: beauty, biking, china, hangzhou, mingtown hostel, nanshang lu, west lake


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