Hello and Welcome

As I am currently away from home for study, and as Skype has proven to be rather problematic in terms of time zones, I have decided to start a blog in an attempt to keep in touch with family and friends back in Canada.

August 23, 2011

Vacation Day 5

I will now begin my recollection of my China trip. =)

On the fifth day, we were in Hangzhou, after our flight mess up the day before, and so we went to the West Lake. There we went to a very nice park full of Magnolia and other trees. There was also koi in pools formed by the lake. It was very hot and humid, and so there were vendors selling fans all over the place. I didn't buy one though, as they seemed a little expensive.

This first image is of a tea house they constructed. It is not the original though, as it fell apart some time ago.

Koi in the pond beneath the tea house.

From the lake we went to one of the towers. There are three altogether. One is to represtent woman, the one we went to, and one a man. The men's tower was still the original, the the woman's had crumbled in 1924, and so they had rebuilt it. They had preserved the old structure of the tower in the basement though. According to the folk lore in the area, a snake ate a magic dumpling and gained the power of hundreds of years of magic, becoming an immortal and taking the form of a woman, but she was imprisoned in the tower. It was said that until the tower fell, all woman would be repressed, so the new;y contructed tower was a monument to her and her legend.

The old structure remains.

From the top of the tower, I could look over the west lake. Unfortuneatly, it was rather cloudy that day. Although it didn't help the heat much.

We had taken a boat around the lake to reach the tower and also crossed the broken bridge, where the magic dumpling had been dropped, and were the Chinese version of Romeo and Juliette took place. The walkway is lined with willows and juniper.

From the West Lake we went to 梅 tea village, where they make China's number one tea. It is only available in China due to the high demand and their love for tea. Longjing tea. The prices there were set by the government, and we later learned that else where the tea sells for a LOT more, so since we had gone to the source, we were offered a good deal. They had three different qualities depending on what month the tea was picked.

There was a lot of tea.

We then left Hangzhou and headed for Suzhou, on the way we stopped at Wuzhen, sometimes referred to as the Venice of the East. It is a village built on the water, hence its nickname, and is split into two zones for tourists. East, and West. The West is larger and you can stay overnight there, we went to the East Scenic Zone.

We took boats in and then proceeded to walk around the village and look at the small museums they had. As well, we went to a traditional Chinese Wine Factory and saw how they make and dye clothing. One of the museums we visited was a bed museum. They had beds from different time periods in China and it was very interesting to see how intricate and amazing the bed frames and designs were, along with how they differed through dynasties. They were all wood and hand carved.

Chinese catamaran?

We then continued on our bus ride to Suzhou.

Where we had dinner.

And then proceeded to see the night life of Suzhou. Suzhou has a lot of foriegn investers, especially from Singapore, and as a result it is a VERY nice city. It has the largest LED screen in world, which hangs underneath a skytrain over one of the most popular shopping streets by a river. Accros from which you can see a feris wheel and theme park. The city was full of night life and lights, and was very pretty. It also had a cool area which senced movement and lit up as people walked by.

I like Suzhou a lot. Haha. Thanks for reading!

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