Eastern China Relaxing Trip day 7
Hangzhou Travel Blog› entry 7 of 10 › view all entries
Eastern China Relaxing Trip day 7
29/12/06 Checked out from the nice hostel, Wu Shang Plaza, waterfall, Qianlong Road, tea village, West Lake, Louwailou, back to Shanghai
After the freezing experience we learnt yesterday, we put a lots of cloth to keep us warm. I wore 2 pairs of trousers and socks but it didn't really help, I still felt so cold!!
As we didn't know much about Hangzhou except West lake, so we asked the staff in hostel, and she recommended us to go there. It's a kind of big market.
Guess what is it?? It's dog meat!!!!! I thought dog meat was banned as we've banned in HK for many years, before we went to Shanghai, there was a HK guy who ate dog meat were sent to jail. I'm really surprised that's selling publicly here.
Here you see how the hand made arts and a short interview of Alban about his feeling about eating dog meat, and he concluded that "It's OK, it's meat!!!"
This building is so Chinese, I guess it's a real historical building, we haven't entered it, by reading the name of the shop, I guess it's a Chinese medicine shop selling medicine which can make you feel you're going back to your younger time.
These egg sculptures are incredible, it's so nice and difficult to make it. It's all handmade!!! Alban bought one for his grandfather, it costs RMB$150, but we finally made it sold at RMB$100 which is still expensive though!!
After leaving this street, we've no idea about where should we go next, we stopped in a bus stop, and there are old lady introduced us to some cool places, then more people joined our discussion, haha, what a funny thing that they're so interested about us and eager to introduce places for us.
At the end we followed a lady to go to a place for seeing the waterfall, we didn't know what she was talking at the beginning, as the Mandarin of waterfall (�'布) sounded so different from Cantonese, it took a while for us to get her meaning. This woman was so nice to explain the whole route for us, and she took the bus with us to there. After taking off the bus, we've to change a taxi for going up to the mountain, and the lady went with us as she wanted to see her family up there, then we understood why she was so eager to take us there. Anyway, we offered her a free ride. It's only RMB$10!!
Here are funny stone bridge crossing pictures, it's the only way to cross, haha, and Michelle was kind of scared!!! Alban took these pictures reminded me once we went to Tai Po and we walked to some soil road that I felt like walking on shit and Alban took a video when we're unintended!!!
Then we followed the road trip that the woman introduced to us - the Qianlong Road!!! Qianlong was a king of Qing Dynasty, as far as I know, his emperor was quite powerful, and he walked this road before, so this road named by his name.
Well, listen it, I think the sound from river is so nice!
We've a long walk and we didn't see any sign, we were afraid of getting lost, so we stopped a woman randomly and asked for direction. She was living the village where we were planning to go. All people in this village were farming and selling the tea for their living. This lady finally took us to her home and showed us her tea.
This woman was quite nice, she suggested us to go some nice restaurant and how to get there. We didn't want to walk back to the city because it's too far away and we didn't have much time left, so she helped us to find someone to drive us out to the town and change taxi.
We didn't make reservation, and there was a wedding party held in the restaurant, so we didn't have a table, so they let us to go to another building to eat.
Since we drank a lot of tea, we got a very strong feeling to go to the toilet, and the staff asked us wait until to another building, it's impossible for us. We insisted to go in this building, so ran to the toilet, it's weird as we needed to pass through the wedding party to go to the toilet. The relatives in there stared at us strangely. When we finished our important mission, and the couple was still standing in the entrance to welcome guests. I thought that we should at least say some blessing words to this couple before leaving, so we taught Alban to say some blessing words in Mandarin though we weren't sure we spoke correctly, finally, we said it, and the couple could understand and thanked us. The relatives around them were laughing, it's a nice experience to join this little party.
We ordered some famous dishes in Hangzhou!!
This is West Lake Vinegar Fish!!
"West Lake Vinegar Fish" is also called "A treasure from a man and his sister-in-law". The story goes like this: Long long ago, there were two brothers whose surname was Song. They were very knowledgeable, but they lived at West Lake by fishing. There also lived a rascal Mr. Zhao. Once, rascal Zhao was traveling along West Lake, he saw a beautiful women washing near the lake. When he was told that she was Elder Song's wife, he played an intrigue and killed Elder Song. Younger Song and Elder Song's wife were greatly infuriated by rascal's action. They sued to the local official, hoping to be treated with justice and the rascal be punished. But what beyond their expectation was that the official was in collaboration with rascal. The official gave them a heavy beat and threw them out of the feudal official, needless to say take care of their charge.
After they got home, Madam Song asked the brother-in-law to flee to other place to avoid being retaliated by rascal. On departure, Madam Song cooked a plate of special fish: she added sugar and vinegar in fish. Younger Song felt very strange and asked why. Madam Song told him: "Fish is sweet and sour, which symbolizes life is sweet and sour. I am intending to remind you of the sour life of common oppressed people and the grievance of your sister-in-law when you have a good life." Younger Song was greatly moved. He finished the fish and left, with those words in mind. Later, Younger Song succeeded in pursuit of his fame and came back to Hangzhou. He revenged for his elder brother, punished the rascal. But he couldn't find his sister-in-law. Once Younger Song was invited to have a dinner. In dinner, he found the taste of one dish was just the same as what he ate before leaving home. He immediately asked who made this, and knew it was just his sister-in-law. It was because that after Younger Song left home, his sister-in-law hid herself in an official as a cook to shun harass from rascal. Now they were very happy to see each other. Younger Song resigned and took his sister-in-law home. The again lived as fisherman.
The fish did taste good, but there were too many bones and I couldn't handle the fish with bones. I was choked by the fish bone and it's kind of serious, I couldn't make the bone out of my throat, and Michelle as a Nursing student taught me a way to solve the problem. Since she thought it's impossible for me to get the bone out and it might hurt my throat if I kept trying to do so, the best way to comfort me was eating the bone!! Oh my god, that's even more difficult for me, and she ordered me a bowel of rice and asked me to eat without chewing. When she told me to do so at the beginning, I just couldn't believe her as she told me that was the way her mom did it when she was choked. It sounded non-sense, especially told from a nurse, but I followed what Michelle told me and I swallowed the rice with bone eventually. Wasn't it unbelievable?? I didn't eat any fish since then, but the vinegar tasted really good!!!
It happened long long ago. The federal dynasty imposed heavy tax on civilians, and people were deprived of everything. Family broken up, they strayed everywhere as beggars. One day, a beggar was floating in Changsu of Jiangsu Province, cold and hungry. Little by little, he couldn't stand up and fainted. His fellow sufferers were trying to save him. They collected wood and burned it to warm him up. One fellow sufferer took out the only remained chicken and prepared to cook for him. But without any tools to cooking, they were very worried. Suddenly, one of them got an idea. He suggested wrapping up the chicken with slush, and putting the mud pie into fire to bake. They continuously collected wood and baked mud pie. Finally, when the chicken was fully cooked, they began to knock open mud. To everyone's surprise, the feather was also falling off with mud, and the chicken smelled very nice. The aroma attracted all neighbors around. They came and couldn't stop praising the unique cooking style and the unique taste.
Later, Louwailou absorbs this cooking experience and makes some improvement. They takes "Yue Chicken", Shaoxing's Wine and the lotus leaf in West Lake as the material. First, they kill a fresh "Yue Chicken" and clean it, add all kinds of spices, stuff condiment in chicken's stomach, then bind it with West Lake lotus leaf, wrap it with a kind of mixture made by Shaoxing wine, salt water and mud from wine jar, finally bake it in steady fire for three to four hours. The mud pile is opened in front of guests. Because the chicken is cooked in a sealed envelope, the original taste is perfectly kept, and with the flavor of wine penetrating into chicken, you will feel a fragrance coming when opening the mud. Thus this dish is full of not only nutrition but also sentiment. That's why when tourists come to Hangzhou, they all want to taste this traditional and famous dish.
The chicken was like thousands years ago, but it tasted really good, we love it!!!
After the really full dinner, we went back to the street that we came in this morning to do the final shopping as it's near our hostel. And we found out his food street that we supposed to go for dinner but the tea's woman said it wasn't that good and suggested us to go to Louwailou!!
Let's take a look of those food!!
Guess what??? Our train was delayed again, I didn't know why but last time when Michelle and me went to the Suzhou, the train was perfectly on time. The most terrible experience didn't end!!!! When we got on the train, and looked for our seats, we found it and sat down, an old man came and said it was his seat. It's totally terrible, he was rude and we checked our tickets, we got the same seat number, and guess what??? Our tickets were valid a day before!!! We were just so embarrassed and we had clearly told the seller that we wanted to buy tonight tickets. Everything is possible in China, we're cheated even we bought the tickets in the official counter. Luckily, the staff didn't kick we out, and the train wasn't full, we found another spare seats then.
This naughty kid was really naughty, he was so careless to fall down from height and he was going to Shanghai for operation, he had already did operation on his eyes before. Kids, don't be so naughty, OK??
After a long way, we came back to the same hostel, haha, that's a bit like coming back home.