A Travellerspoint blog

Stop 11 - Hangzhou


View Overland adventures - UK to Ho Chi Minh City and back without getting on a plane! on Chloemillen92's travel map.

The kids packed us off with a couple of baskets of fruit and armfuls of gifts they made from us, ranging from paper spaceships, to hand-embroidered purses, to catapults. We caught a short train to the city of Hangzhou, home to the famous West Lake and a bustling, vibrant place with plenty of local tourists.

We wondered around the shops and cafes, and headed for dinner at 'Grandma's Home' - a famous local chain. It's incredibly popular and involves getting a numbered ticket to wait for your table before taking a lift to the correct floor to find your table, not so easy without English instructions... The food however, was great.

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The next morning we headed to the hills outside the city for the National Tea Museum, a pretty collection of gardens and buildings surrounded by tea bushes. It turns out the Chinese are really into their tea; there's about a million types of tea, which should be served in the correct type of cup and brewed with the right type of water, for the right amount of time, with the right ratio of tea to water! They also used to have tea brewing competitions which sound riveting. We had a tea tasting after and bought ourselves some tea picked in the fields outside the museum!

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We jumped on a bus to take us to the main attraction - West Lake. The views and scenery are incredibly famous in China for their beauty, and it certainly is beautiful. We cycled and walked around various parts of the lake, taking in views and admiring the ridiculous numbers of lotus plants in the water. There is a public bike hire scheme which is the largest in the world and free to use, making it easy to get around (it's also shortlisted for an Ashden Award this year ;))

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We also checked out the Traditional Chinese Medicine Museum in the city, in part of the buildings of a traditional pharmacy from 150 years ago that is still dispensing today. Again, there are a million different types of plants, seeds, roots etc. used for a multitude of treatments and Chlo has now decided to forgoe Western medicine.

Posted by Chloemillen92 09:16 Archived in China Tagged lake china west hangzhou zhejiang

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