杭州 - A Historically Elegant City
Sep 09, 2009
Jun 12, 2011
Hangzhou has a reputation throughtout China, and throughout its history, of being a city of legendary beauty, and the reputation is justified. Hangzhou was arguably one of the most beautiful places I've ever been too. The area around West Lake is gorgeous, filled with subtle streams floating under magnificently carved stone bridges, all within gardens that humble you with their beauty. The only drawback to it is the massive amounts of tourists that visit, which takes away from the serenity, but even with that, this place shouldn't be missed. The hotel we stayed at was okay (it was only a place to sleep!). Another plus to Hangzhou is the bike setup, basically you put 300 quai deposit down for a bike that you can take/exchange at different stations throughout the city. In the end, we got most of he deposit back minus our fees, which were fair by Chinese standards, and exceptionally good by Western standards. With these, it was easy to get around the lake, and into the countryside. The parks around the lake are all beautiful in their own rite, and each provide a unique view of the lake. The pagoda overlooking the lake is worth the admission A short ways away are some green tea fields, and some lovely paths leading to a waterfall that is breathtaking. We spent about 3-4 days here which I felt was an ideal amount of time. I wish I had made it to Suzhou because it's supposed to be even nicer! More later.....