Wednesday Wanderlust: Hangzhou
Hangzhou is a city situated between Shanghai & Ningbo & is the capital of Zhejiang Province on the East coast of China. Having lived in Shanghai for four years, I ventured out to Hangzhou twice as it’s only around a 50-minute journey on a high speed train, so super convenient. Hangzhou has two train stations, so check your ticket at which one you’re going to stop, Hangzhou Railway Station is closer to the West Lake.
The reason I came to see this city is the West Lake (Xi Hu) which became a UNESCO site in 2011 & rightly so. The lake, the mountains & the surrounding area are outstandingly beautiful. The first time I went was in July, probably the sweatiest month in China to do anything, it was super humid but spent three days exploring around the lake.
There are many paths & gardens that go round the whole lake. You can hop on boats, small & big to get around the lake, or you can take a seat on one of the buggies that drive you along the paths if you get tired.
I wandered around “Orioles Singing in the Willows” (one of the Ten Scenes of West Lake) & was heading for the “Leifeng Pagoda Standing in the Sunset” which you can see pretty much from anywhere at the lake. I didn’t go up it but if you have time go check it out, heard the views of the lake are meant to be fantastic. Once passed the pagoda, I carried on round to check out “Fish Viewing at the Flower Pond” & “Breeze-ruffled Lotus at Quyuan Garden”.
I then left the Lake for a bit & headed for the mountains to the Feilai Peak, Lingyin Temple & Bhuddist stone sculptures & caves. Then, onto the Northern Peak. I also visited Longjing village for its famous green tea & then back to area where my guesthouse was. I found another guesthouse nearby where they served drinks & food & looked like a chill place to be.
Hangzhou is a perfect spot for a weekend getaway if you live in bigger cities like Shanghai. It has many beautiful hotels, villas & guesthouses, the greenery, the hikes, the temples - definitely spoiled for choice.
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