Our first weekend away: Hangzhou

Trip Start Jan 20, 2011
Trip End May 31, 2012

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Flag of China  , Zhejiang,
Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Just a quick message today. Last weekend we visited Hangzhou, just 45 minutes from Shanghai by a speedy 350km/hr G train. We accidentally booked first class seats, but at 13GPB each it was a very comfortable journey.

Hangzhou is famous for it's lake and the famous Long Jin Green Tea (for my tea connoisseurs, this is the tea that Gina bought back last year). We hired free bicycles in the city and cycled uphill to the tea plantations. The first green tea is being harvested for the year, and each house was busy collecting fresh tips, and drying them in huge metal woks. I was really happy to finally see tea being processed. We stopped for lunch in a small house and went into the kitchen to chose our ingredients for lunch which was very funny. We then sat outside and drank fresh tea - a very nice experience

We continued cycling around the lake. There were so many shades of green and the most amazing blossom trees. 1000s of trees were in full bloom, and at times we felt like we were in Holland with all the tulips around us.  Suprisingly the city (6 milll) was quiet and not too busy. We had a lot of rain on the Sunday so maybe that drove away the tourists.

At night we watched the Impressions night show on the water that was choreographed by Zhang Yimou (he also did the Olympics opening ceremony). The show was breathtaking with 100s of artists appearing to run on the water, spectacular lighting of trees and pagodas surrounding the lake and giant structures which came out of the water

A busy week for me this week with a global workshop. Looking forward to relaxing next weekend.
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