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Published: December 14th 2009
Tai Chi students, and lotus pond
I have managed to get to this garden city twice, on two of my long weekends, so far. It is about an hour away from me, and one of the ‘must see’ places of China.
It appeared impressive to Marco Polo when the famous Italian traveler visited the city centuries ago. According to Marco Polo, “Hangzhou was “Without doubt the finest and most splendid city the world...”
There are said to be 13,000 bridges, mostly of stone...
As for the West Lake, Marco Pole wrote: “On one side it skirts the city... and commands a distant view of all its grandeur and loveliness, its temples, monasteries, and gardens with their towering trees, running down to the water's edge....”
I think it does live up to its name. The problem is so does most of the people of China. With Shanghai, (with population of about the size of Australia!!) also about hour away by road, it means that EVERY weekend the place is packed with day-tripper sightseers!
It was also one of the most difficult places I have had in getting around. The bus routes are very confusing, so I had a lot of hassles
getting around. I usually don’t mind being lost in China, but I wanted to be lost around the lake and gardens, NOT around skyscrapers and expressways!
Anyway, in the end, I did get to see quiet a lot and it really is an incredible place.
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