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Published: July 26th 2019
Day 9 – May 12th – Hangzhou, Tea Plantation, West Lake, - Shanghai, The Bund
Another comprehensive buffet breakfast to start the day – they do breakfast really well with plenty to choose from. Not quite sure about the bacon so passed on that.
First up we visited a nearby World Heritage Listed site – the West Lake of Hangzhou. After the bus parked we had a long walk to the lake. This highlighted what a diverse country we were in. Leafy sunlit streets, calm and beautiful, no traffic just an occasional cyclist. Strange feeling to believe we were in the middle of China.
We all took a leisurely boat ride on this beautiful lake on a cloudless day, and it was nice to relax and enjoy the scenery for an hour.
On to the bus and another 2 hour ride to Meijiawa Tea ‘village’, a massive tea plantation producing Grade A Longing Tea (not for export). Into a tea tasting and another presentation extolling the health benefits of their tea. By now we are always ready for the sales pitch, but generally passed on
the special offer of a tin of tea for $70. Anyway, an interesting visit learning about how to process tea leaves, and to be told that tea bag tea is not worth drinking – it is second grade tea that has no health benefits.
Back to the bus and a two-hour ride to Shanghai. A very interesting ride, seeing paddocks of veges as far as the eye can see, and old villages being knocked down and placed by ‘High Risings’ or Leggo Apartments as Barry called them. Also solar panel farms, and endless tree farms growing millions of trees ready for carting to new towns and cities throughout China.
Arrived in Shanghai, booked into the Mercure Hotel – very new, so new in fact that they were still fitting out rooms on the 7th
floor where were booked into room 8711 – ah yes every room number has to start with the lucky number 8 ! Confucing yes but not to Confucius. Then down to ‘The Bund’ and an optional RiverBoat Cruise ($50 each). The Bund is a five block riverfront promenade on the old side of the …. River
that runs through Shanghai. This side is dominated by buildings from the days of British/French trading when Opium was the number one trade. On the other side is The New Shanghai with a landscape dominated by high rise business edifices which are lit up to spectacular effect as we cruise down and back the river.
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