Blogs from Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China, Asia


Asia » China » Zhejiang » Hangzhou October 6th 2017

Since we didn't have too much time for my friend to see many places in China, we decided to do a day trip when we were in Shanghai. I said either Hangzhou or Suzhou would be good destinations as they are both popular destinations with plenty to see and do and they are both close to Shanghai. My friend chose Hangzhou, so I booked the train tickets and we headed there early in the morning. The train took about an hour and after getting the subway, we were in downtown Hangzhou. Our first port of call was Starbucks for coffees and breakfast. We got seats by the window and got to watch the world go by as we ate and drank. Then we followed the crowds down to West Lake. West Lake was swarmed with people. ... read more
West Lake
West Lake
West Lake

Asia » China » Zhejiang » Hangzhou February 27th 2017

Geo: 30.25, 120.17My flight arrived at midnight. I tried skype calling my hotel but didn't get an answer so I had to do a regular call (35 cents per minute, not awful for 2 minutes). After 5 minutes or so they picked me up at the very end of the domestic terminal (as predicted by the Internet) and took me the 1 km to the hotel. Check-in was quite easy (not predicted by the Internet) and I was upstairs and asleep soon after.I woke up early and was at the front desk by 5:15am to get a taxi downtown. We stopped at an ATM across the street and then off to Xihu, or "West Lake", one of the most famous sites in Chinese art culture. For over a thousand years it's been developed, with causeways, temples, ... read more
Xihu pre-dawn
Xihu pre-dawn
Jindai Bridge Marker

Asia » China » Zhejiang » Hangzhou October 27th 2016

27th Oct: I arrived in Hangzhou in the afternoon and took the subway to my hostel. The hostel is in a great location, just off the major shopping street. At the junction leading to my hostel, there was a stall selling stinky tofu. Oh boy, it stank so bad. It reminded me of being in Suzhou and having the smell cling to my clothes. I spent a while wandering around Hefang Street. It is old school Chinese and filled with shops and little stalls in the middle of the street. There were lots of things to buy. It was a shopper's paradise. I liked the old buildings. It is a really pretty area, but there were about a million people about as Hangzhou is a very popular place with domestic tourists. I also took a wander ... read more
Hefang Street
Hefang Street
Hefang Street

Asia » China » Zhejiang » Hangzhou February 10th 2016

Before setting off for the heady heights of Shanghai our next stop is the beautiful town of Hangzhou, reportedly enjoyed as a holiday retreat by Emperors long gone. But first to tell of our new year on the train. The negotiation of the station was easy, having our own waiting area for the train, and on the platform the attendants were all smartly lined up alongside each carriage. We had magnificent peace and quiet, being the only passengers in the carriage let alone our compartment, after the noise and hustle of Xian it was a treat. Dozing in the compartment, which was the plushest of the trains so far, we saw many red lanterns and occasionally fireworks and that was it. Party poopers or not I enjoyed the peace! And so to Hangzhou. The scenery had ... read more
Line up awaiting attendants
Dancing in the park
West Lake hangzhou

Asia » China » Zhejiang » Hangzhou July 18th 2015

Het begon allemaal op een druilerige zaterdagmorgen. De Fudan-universiteit had een excursie georganiseerd naar Wuzhen, volgens de gids de minst toeristische ‘watertown’ van Shanghai. Minst toeristisch, tsja. Zodra ik uit de bus stapte, waande ik mij in de Efteling. Voor de poort (met drie torentjes!) stond een enorme wachtrij en uit de prullenbakken klonk vrolijke muziek. Op het eerste gezicht leek het dorp nogal commercieel…en dat was het ook. Maar toen we eenmaal langs de mensenmassa waren, bleek Wuzhen toch een erg leuk uitstapje. Wuzhen is eigenlijk een soort Chinees Giethoorn, maar dan met (nog) meer Chinezen. We werden met een bootje naar het centrum gebracht. Daar leidde de gids ons langs de kanalen en door een wirwar van steegjes, alles verbonden door talloze bruggetjes. Het dorpje doet erg ‘oud Chinees’ aan door de traditionele architectuur. ... read more
Traditionele huizen
Meer dan 70 bruggetjes!

Asia » China » Zhejiang » Hangzhou June 23rd 2015

Fast train to Hangzhou yesterday morning. Hangzhou is famous for its lake, West Lake and the surrounding park. It is considered one of the most beautiful cities in China. The city attracts many domestic tourists as it sits just one hour by train from Shanghai. I’m staying at a 100 year old YMCA just a 5 minute walk from the lake. Now, the windows to the lobby are painted with the lyrics to the Village People song. It is a wonderful building set apart from its surroundings by a wall. I was surprised at the room and the amenities. Though there are dorm rooms as well, mine was not what I imagine when I picture a YMCA. The lake is beautiful and the walk around it was very active. There are numerous temples, pagodas and gardens ... read more
West Lake
Dancing, West Lake
Facsinating Squirrel

Asia » China » Zhejiang » Hangzhou November 22nd 2014

Geo: 30.25, 120.17By the time we finished breakfast, our bags were loaded on the bus and we were off to see one of the two Chinese "Paradise Cities". The Crowne Plaza was on a lake in a remote area outside of the city. It was a beautiful, modern hotel with great lake views, but since we got in so late, we could only enjoy the location at breakfast.Hangzhou is the greenest city we have seen. Wide boulevards with lots of green space and small parks. Like most of the large cities, they have a metro system and almost all the stops have a free bicycle exchange system that is very well used. China recognizes that it has a serous air pollution problem and these bike exchanges are just one way to combat it. Other means are ... read more
West Lake, Hangzhou
Everyone Wants My Picture!
Gold Fish Frenzy

Asia » China » Zhejiang » Hangzhou November 12th 2014

When I read that Hangzhou was comparable to heaven on earth, I knew that we had to make a stop there on our way to Huangshan. As I have never been to heaven (that I know of), I think that this would be pretty acceptable. The lake, the trees, the old people dancing in the squares.... Looks pretty good to me! So relaxing around the lake and parkways... unless you step on the grass. Do not step on the grass. That guy will blow his whistle at you until you get off. And then just a couple streets a way, a super busy shiny city. We took the high speed train from Shanghai's Hang Qiao station. This train station is huge and rivals any other train station that I have ever traveled through as the biggest, ... read more
Hang Qiao St
West Lake
West Lake

Asia » China » Zhejiang » Hangzhou October 12th 2014

Friday I suspect, after today, we're Temple'd and Pagoda'd out!! First off we visited the Lingyin Temple - a collection of Buddhist buildings full of amazing statues where we were invited to burn josh-sticks (a kind offer that we declined for different reasons). We then popped into a tea plantation that offered a fascinating insight into production and variety of green and black teas. We tasted some emperor (A1) green tea, watched a man drying tea by hand (very skilled job, apparently) and heard why tea bags contain low grade tea leaves. We easily resisted the temptation to buy some Emperor tea at £30 a tin!! Lastly we visited the Six Harmonies Pagoda - the lack of other tourists added to the tranquility of the place. This is on the Qiantang River - this is the ... read more

Asia » China » Zhejiang » Hangzhou June 30th 2014

On top of Tiger Hill in Suzhou is a very old pagoda that was built in the tenth century. Over a thousand years later, it remains aloft, though it leans considerably to one side. Because of its tilt, no one is allowed to venture in. Instead, it’s boarded off and peaceful. There are trees and moss growing on the stone walls and it is surrounded by a leafy courtyard with benches and picnic tables. Completed in the Song Dynasty, the pagoda and park have a long history. The area has been mentioned by wistful poets and scholars who used to wander amongst its bamboo groves. In recent years, when they dug underneath in an attempt to repair the faltering supports of the pagoda, they found a chest of ancient Buddhist manuscripts. According to a plaque at ... read more
Street Scene 2
View from out balcony
Abandoned Tea Shop

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