hangzhou - chinese paradise?

Hangzhou Travel Blog

 › entry 114 of 212 › view all entries
travelling to hangzhou & the west lake was indeed well worth it! it's kinda like the blue mountains near sydney, only without mountains and the lake is green/brown-ish rather than blue.. but still, hangzhou is a very nice place, especially compared to the chinese standard

the main attraction is the west lake which was artificially pimped to please the tourists. sounds worse than it is, instead of thousands of chinese tourist shops (as i was expecting) they just laid down nice pavements and planted some scenic trees at strategic spots. it really looks very nice

tons of restaurants with heavy lakeview premium around and a million cleaning peas... employees trying to keep up with the waste-generation of the chinese tourist mob

my hostel, the mingtown yha is right at the lake and in the middle of the pub/club street. speaking of which, hangzhou seems to be quite the partytown (probably because of the university?) there are tons of nightclubs around. i will probably resist as me dancing is not really a self-esteem rich activity and i don't need the starring coming with it :-) besides the crazy prices... living western style demands a higher premium than a view on china's most famous lake it seems

tomorrow i might go for a bike ride around the lake (as i still haven't rode a bike and it's kind of a must when in china...), at least if i get up early. and at 3pm it's back to shanghai for the last night in china.

have to decide what to throw away and what to send home as preparation for se asia as i'm going down there in the hot hot hot hot hot season and i surely won't need half of my stuff (and even more don't want to carry it around)

flickr set: hangzhou
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
hmmm, this is more like it! for my one-night trip to hangzhou i got soft seat (equivalent to first class) tickets in one of the modern trains leaving the south railway station. and the experience is different... very much so

first, the railway station: a beautiful, light, modern spherical building with glasswindows everywhere... what a sight, i could be in tokyo. everything bilingual, staff understands english and the waiting room is clean, smoke free and comfortable. complete different world from the normal stations. so, they can do it at last, why not in bejing, why not everywhere? just throw some 5 mio farmers chinese style at it and you solved several problems at once ;-)

second, only the 1% 'modernized' chinese can afford those tickets so it is a complete nice crowd sitting here in the comfy waiting room. i don't see any seeds that were spat out on the floor, no loud arguing, etc. it seems like i can indeed leave china on better terms, which was the plan for my sidetrip to hangzhou as the city itself is supposed to be the most beautiful part of china (but fully chinese touristy exploited of course)

and last but not least, the journey was very nice & fast. from the hangzhou station i took the bus to the hostel which is some kind of tourist bus with old wooden benches. but very nice and friendly.
photo by: sophiefbs