25 Jul The Asian Venice
It’s been some time since my last post, due to the hectic lifestyle of Shanghai, but I’ve had a great month or so of working, playing and not sleeping enough.
So a couple of weeks ago now we went on our biggest trip yet: a two day trip to Hangzhou, the capital of China’s Zhejiang province. The day started with a rather unwelcome three hour bus ride for us tired/hungover Shanghai interns, but before too long we had left Shanghai’s crowded streets behind in favour of a beautiful Buddhist temple. It was incredibly serene, though some of us managed to get slightly lost whilst wandering around the tall hills. Hangzhou has a population of around eight million, so it’s hardly a quiet, sleepy town, but the architecture at the temple was stunning and very much what comes to mind when you think of “traditional China”.
After looking round and taking some pictures, we were off to a tea plantation, where we learned a little about how one of China’s most coveted exports is produced, as well as being able to taste fresh, authentic Chinese tea and purchase some samples. A sudden heavy rainstorm falling on the pool in the plantation’s garden was an impressive and lasting image of our visit. Finally, in the evening we attended Pheebe’s, a local club where we socialised into the early hours.
The following day we visited “The Asian Venice” – a water town where we enjoyed a relaxing boat ride through the town’s canals and wandered through narrow, thriving streets in search for souvenirs. Naturally, it’s mainly a tourist attraction, though there were still a number of tiny, riverside dwellings with washing hanging out of the windows where (presumably) the local people live. It must be a pretty strange place to live!
After lunch, we returned to the hotel for a much needed rest. It was nice to experience another part of China, and I look forward to the coming week when we will be visiting Beijing – the capital of China.