A Travellerspoint blog

Hangzhou

A little weekend trip

sunny 32 °C

The next day we had breakfast at the hotel, then Woody fetched us and took us to the train station. We had two small backpacks and Woody would hold onto the rest for us. Whilst waiting for our train, we made another friend from Bangladesh, Rubioul, such a nice guy, so we exchanged we chat numbers. He told us that we could visit Bangladesh anytime and he would show us around. The train ride to Hangzhou was only 20 mins long and was on the super fast China train. We caught a taxi once there but we were lucky Woody told us what to do, for a guy tried to con us, trying to charge us five times the amount, thanks Woody. We went straight to the health centre to do our medical but were shocked to find out that it was only open from 7-11am, we arrived just after 11am, so we were too late. We decided to stay an extra night so we could do the medical on the Monday. So we walked to the hotel, 15 minutes away, settled in, then were off to explore the city. We also wanted to find a supermarket to compare prices to Fuyang and to buy a few things. We decided to walk to the right, surely there would be a supermarket close by in either direction, how wrong we were. We walked and walked and walked. It was so hot, so where ever we saw shade, that's where we would try walk. Window shopping was fun at first but eventually we were hot, thirsty and hungry. We started asking people where a supermarket was, some people understood our words from the dictionary but some had no clue. A few people said go straight, 2 blocks down, but after 2 blocks and another 2 blocks, we still could not find it. We kept seeing veg shops, were they understanding what we meant? Eventually we asked another guy and he pointed to it in the distance, yeeessss, and a KFC next to it, it was the best sight ever. We ate KFC, yum, and had a drink, we were rejuvenated and could explore the supermarket now, yay. What a supermarket, it was huge, sections for everything, even a huge section just for dogs' food etc, crazy. It is great to see that they have dogs as pets now. We walked down each isle, Rox comparing prices, it was fun and took us nearly the whole day, at least the rest of it. The seafood selection was crazy, you could catch your own live fish, prawns, eels, frogs, etc, was crazy. That was fine until we walked past a section for turtles, we looked at them, then suddenly realised that they were still alive, trying to get out of their net packaging, was so sad, poor things, but i guess it's their culture, turtle soup etc. We bought a few things for dinner, then caught a taxi back. We ate our noodles, and drank our Chinese beer and cider that we had bought, it was all pretty good. The hotel staff told us that we couldn't watch movies and that they only had 1 English channel. That wasn't going to stop us from trying, so i fiddled with the Chinese remote control, and yes, we found free movies which we watched every night that we were there, we were so happy.
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The next morning, we ate ham sandwiches for a sort of brunch, then caught a taxi to the national tea museum. It was like a wine vineyard, but only for tea instead, it was beautiful. We walked around, going to different museums and we learnt a lot about the history of tea and how important tea is in the Chinese culture, was eye opening. Then we got told that there was a teacher of tea who would present the tea to us in the traditional way and we would get free tastes. It was amazing, all different tea pots etc used, different temperatures of water used for different teas and different steps used serving the different teas. We also had to hold the little wooden board, with a tiny cup on it, in a special way, smell it and then have 3 sips to finish it.
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The best visual experience was with the jasmine tea flower, which opened up like a flower, releasing the tea, was beautiful. We bought some tea and a glass jug with a siv, so we can make our own tea. Now we were off to West lake , a famous, huge lake in the middle of the city. We decided to walk and do some sightseeing. It was tiring but beautiful, so we walked for ages, almost taking a taxi at times but we were lucky we didn't for we wouldn't have found it. It was this huge body of water with different temples, gardens, boats with lights on them, a massive dragon looking boat, and so much more, it was incredible. We found a food stall for we were hungry again, so we ate a sausage, we think it was pork? Rox liked it but I never, think she was just starving. After looking around while we walked, the walking seemed like it would never end as we crossed over the lake via a a through road. It got more lovely as it got dark and all the lights made it all come alive, but we were again hungry thirsty and tired, dejavu. We finally got across, it must have been at least 5kms long and at the end of it was a food court, we were so lucky. All the menus were in Chinese only, so we walked around, very confused, then suddenly, a Chinese boy of around 20 years old, came to help us, he could speak quite good English and helped us order food and drink. He chatted to us for a while, then asked to exchange wechat details , which we did. He said he could show us his home town one day, and that we would eat and drink beer together. Great, another friend made and such a nice guy. Our night ended with us catching a dodgy taxi. Firstly, it felt like he was excelerating all the time and breaking constantly, which was making us feel sick. Secondly, we think he might have taken a longer route back for it cost us way more than the trip there earlier, although there was a lot of traffic, so who knows if he charged us more or not. The money never mattered though, we were just happy getting our feet down back on land. It was a tiring day, our feet were finished, so we just watched movies and hit the bed.
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Today we decided to have a nice sleep in since it was Sunday after all. Hopefully by next Sunday we will be in our new home, for hotel life is getting to be a little over rated. We decided to go back to the West lake area, but today we wanted to go see some temples on the hills and do some hiking. We found the trail and encountered the most beautiful forest with lots of steps leading up to various temples. We met such helpful and lovely people along the way, and we got to stop and see many amazing views as we were very high up in the mountains above the lake. After many steps we found the Lin Temple. These temples are really beautiful and full of stories. From the temple we found a KFC and got ice creams as it was so hot and humid. We then went for a walk along the road, managing to find another garden, then ended up back at the lake very close to where we were yesterday. So we went left and walked along the broken bridge, which is very famous, as it has a story of love and adventure. Later, we found a Mc Donalds and decided that we would take some back for dinner at the hotel. Now to find a taxi, we got lucky and found a good driver, not like last night. Happy to be back at the hotel to chill before the big medical tomorrow morning.
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We woke up early and we were off to do our medical. There were quite a lot of people but everything was so organised and efficient, so it took us about an hour. Once done, we waved down a taxi and we were off to the train station. The ticket office was jam packed but luckily they cater for foreigners here, so the international line was so short, yay. It was a 20 minute train ride, then Woody picked us up. He took us to his office, which was nice to see, he exports clothing mainly to South Africa. He made us some of his best tea, was yum, then we went with him and his college to meet up with his wife, Urchin, for a hot pot lunch. This was such an awesome experience, for there was a pot indented in the middle of the table. They bring all types of uncooked meat and veg,then you throw it into the hot pot of bowling water that is flavoured, like a soup almost, and you cook your own stuff. Was really fun and yummy.
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Now it was our turn to cook dinner for them, so we went to a supermarket and bought all the ingredients, we did our best at least. That night we made them spaghetti bolognese. Woody and Urchin loved it but the kids never seemed to, for this food was strange to them and to add to that was that there was no tomato paste and cheese that could have made the difference. After dinner, Woody took us for a walk through a park to a lake near his house, it was lovely. A storm was brewing and it started raining on our way home, it was nice and fresh. We had a shower before bed that was so funny because they gave us 2 towels, more like hand towels, we had to manage, we laughed and laughed.

Posted by chinaflyrox 05:45 Archived in China Tagged adventures hangzhou

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