Trip Start Aug 04, 2011
Trip End Jan 04, 2012

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Where I stayed
Hangzhou Hofang International Hostel
What I did
Walking..lots of walking

Flag of China  , Zhejiang,
Tuesday, August 9, 2011

What a lovely day... What a completely unexpected indian summer kind of day. Nothing of the sort. Damn hot, hot beyond belief. Hot where 35 degrees celcius actually means, 35 degrees celcius in the shade, with a breeze when carrying an ice lolly. In reality, it was 35 degrees with a lot of sunshine (all day except when I wanted to take an artistic sun-set photo) and massively high humidity. I think it probably 'felt like' close to 42 or 43 degrees. Choice of clothing was difficult to avoid being too sweaty, and then became pointless when we stepped out of the hotel and lost about 2 pounds in sweat instantaneously. Well at least this time I had suncream on, and a hat and had the tinyest bottle of water in my bag. It was not enough water.

I read a recent blog from some American misguided traveller who suggested West Lake in Hangzhou is dirty and over-rated. It isn't. It is a fantastic spot with culture in abundance - loads of beauty spots (please see pictures, I'm not arty at all but I think they put the idea across). There is a good 10-12 mile walk around the lake which we took on and I'm glad we did although the little buggy that the chinese people took did appear quite appealing.

We did stop in a Costa half way around (yes- sorry but it had air conditioning!), but it was a great day. The walk was long and in areas you could choose to make it winding (to avoid the tourist trail), it had plenty of shade in areas and there were ample opportunities to use boating etc. There were a lot of chinese however sightseeing, and we do appear a sight sadly. A couple of friendly girls asked if they could take a picture with us, and we obliged but a few more took sneaky pics thinking we couldnt see. It must be like a competition at their school or something to catch as many westerners as possible, but is was mildly irritating. Worst thing about this, is we were not exactly looking our best with a pint of sweat pouring out by the minute.

We took a misguided trip into the sauna of the botanical gardens (Beautiful once again, but no breeze to ease the heat and a higher concentration of insects - there were no Chinese in this beauty spot, which says a lot). Onwards from here to Leifang Pagoda which is a newly built pagoda on the site of one destroyed in war (so new there was an escalator leading the pagoda and a lift up it).

Very nice, and along the way I got an old man to say 'Welcome to China' when I gave him one of my used plastic bottles as I saw him rummaging through a bin. He was very grateful.

We stopped to watch the sunset over the lake but sadly it wasn't to be as the clouds started to gather but a peaceful end to the day all the same.

Onto the metropolis of Beijing tommorow lunch using the brand spanking new super fast train. Engineering at it's best - geek.
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