Hanzhou--what typical tourists will never see

Hangzhou Travel Blog

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WASPY house

The 90-minute foot massage and full body massage (stop thinking dirty!) I had last night (only 70 RenMingBi) did not help me sleep at all, and I guess it was not the intent. Next day was extremely hot and humid, with light rain throughout the day. I am getting used to the air here (think steam room with the smell of smoke everywhere). We left early to avoid traffic, which we obviously hit on unpaved, unmarked roads.

We eventually stopped at a narrow, brick-paved road. Apparently, Suren's friend had asked someone to give us a tour of this residential community called Greentown. In the beginning, it didn't seem like much. Rent-a-cops at the entrance, some newly planted saplings, the HOT, humid and heavy Fog (sorry). But when we entered.

Wow. Just Wow.

Think Hamptons, New York.

Think Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous. Think Brentwood, California. REAL cobblestone foundations and slate roofs. The time intensive care of cutting stone and laying it stone by stone--too expensive for the U.S. unless you are ultra rich. Price tag? I think the one in the picture above goes for ~$17MM US. Funny thing is, none of these ultra mansions and mansions are occupied. No cars, no residents. It's a ghost town, with the exception of gardeners, street sweepers and guards. Possibly unsold? 100% sold. These facilities owned by rich Chinese fat cats that are speculating on China's booming real estate market.

At night we had dinner with Suren's dad friends. From what I could understand from conversations, it seems they are significant players in China's booming real estate development, with a Shanghai golf course coming online next year.

Will says:
Not that I saw.. we went through several houses. We also confirmed with security.
Posted on: Jun 09, 2007
portia says:
Very interesting. No residents?
Posted on: Jun 08, 2007
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WASPY house
WASPY house
Greentown
Greentown
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This is how the Chinese build hig…
Hangzhou
photo by: sophiefbs