Our day began with a boat cruise on West Lake. We had an approximate 15 minute walk from our bus to the docks, through beautiful park like settings, not unlike Stanley Park in Vancouver. We had an hour of free time that allowed us to wander about the causeway and meet at the local Starbucks.
From here we went and had an early lunch and went to the Harmonious Pagoda. This pagoda was quite old and had the maximum 13 floors. Jill and I walked up to the fourth floor where we had a great view of the river looking across to the modern city of Hangzhou. There was also a very interesting garden around the pagoda.
Suzhou was known as the Silk Capital of China and Hangzhou is the Green Tea Capital of China. We visited the Dragon Well Tea Farm and found it very interesting. The tea is treated in the same way as wine is treated in Germany. It is steep vineyards in Germany and steep tea bushes in Hangzhou. This area is very beautiful with a hilly countryside. I never imagined that green tea could cure so many ills. The presenter at the tea farm could put the Shamwow TV guy to shame.
We have just finished wonderful day in Hangzhou! This city of 3.5M and Suzhou of 2.5M are both very different than Shanghai, in many different ways. Sheer size, 15M in Shanghai, sporadic areas of the city (where we traveled) where we saw trees and greenery. The two cities Hangzhou and Suzhou have large areas of greenery, many tree lined streets and lots of parks. Shrubbery in the mediums and sidewalks are all, repeat all are pruned and shaped on the rods we traveled. Both of these cities have dedicated lanes for scooters. BTW, most are electrically operated.
- Return To: China, September 2012