Hangzhou

June 17, 2010 at 2:19 am | Posted in China | Leave a comment

when we first decided about the trip, i emailed my friend Adam because he lives in china. in the email i asked about visiting his “little town.” well, now i know his little town, Hanzhou, is a huge city of 4 million people and the center of the Zhejiang province. luckily, hangzhou is an easy train ride from shangahi. Hangzhou is just as beautiful as Adam described and it was so fun to see china with a local (well, sort of a local). adam was able to fill us in on so much of the cultural stuff that we couldn’t quite grasp by ourselves and he and his friend even cooked us a homemade meal (hadn’t had one in a few months). i was so happy to see how a foreigner lives in china and the differences between traveling through and making a life for yourself.

one of the most beautiful places in hangzhou is around the West lake. the lake is huge an surrounded by gardens and pathways.

one day adam took us on a hike (stairs were on one side of the “mountain”). the hike was lovely and the views from the top were great. well, except for all the clouds.

While we were roaming around on the top of the mountain, some passersby stopped to chat. it was really crazy watching adam interacting with them – he’s only been in china a year or so and already has a good grasp on the language. we found china the most difficult country for communicating – many people didn’t know any english and only some were good about playing the charade game. it was nice to see how excited people got when the talked to westerners that actually knew the chinese language.

note the very asian looking dogs. all dogs in china look chinese. i couldn’t get enough of these fluffsters. they were panting like crazy from the hike.

we went out for a great night with some of adam’s pals. saw quite a few different bars and stuff and had a lot of fun. before the last stop, we had some late night food in a random alleyway. we made friends with all the other drunks that were scarfing down food. they loved posing for the camera.

could have been the beer talking, but the food was delicious. there were just a few street stalls and we got amazing noodles, potatoes and chicken. and we made friends with one of the cooks.

we went to some great westerner bars, but hudson and i wanted to experience a chinese bar so adam and his pals took us to one latenight. it was absolutely hilarious. they played ridiculous music and everyone (us included) played this crazy dice game and drank towers of beer. at one point adam ended up singing on stage. i don’t care what people say, i like the way those chinese guys party. hilarious. i wanna bring that dice drinking game back to the US. if only i could remember how to play…

besides the late night food, adam took us to so many great places to eat. our favorites were two tiny little restaurants right on adam’s road. he lived in a very chinese neighborhood with little fruit stands and winding roads. in this tiny one-room place (pic above) a guy stood beside our table and hand-made delicious noodles.

so tasty.

another days we went on a bike ride through many of the gardens in hangzhou. very beautiful and peaceful. it was nice that there are so many foot bridges connecting everything.

we stopped a lot on the bike ride and had a look around. one place was the Longjing (Dragon Well) tea fields (pic above). amid the tea fields is a cool restaurant/tea house that is right on the water and very lovely.

hangzhou is so peaceful and lovely. staying with adam made me realize how cool it could be to live in china.

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