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07 August 2009

Heaven On Earth

By Linda

A picture speaks a thousand words. There is no better way to showcase Hangzhou than to share some pictures of the place some call heaven on earth. Hangzhou is home to the beautiful and famous West Lake. Here I give you my favorite city of China. Let’s let the pictures do the talking.

Must-Visit No.1) West Lake- Lotus Blossom in June/July

West Lake lotus starts to bloom in the month of June and will reach its peak in July. Its beauty in full-bloom looks like this. Suitable to bring your girl and tell her how much you love her. I hope my bf is taking notes!

Must-Visit No.2) Lin Yin Temple

Hangzhou has many temples but the must visit temple here is the Hangzhou- Linyin Temple. It was first built in 326 A.D. around 1,600 years ago. Sheltered by forested hills; this place is quite a haven.

Must-Visit No.3) Souvenir Shopping- He Fang Street

He Fang Old Street- Here, you can find all sorts of handicrafts and souvenirs at reasonable prices. For instance, Chinese paper cutting, silk products, paintings, home decos and etc etc that you can buy back as gifts can be found aplenty here. I got my Chinese paper cutting gifts for my friends back home that comes with a nice frame here for only RM6.

Must-Watch No.4) Impression West Lake by director Zhang Yi Mou

This live performance is created and directed by Zhang Yi Mou, the same director who directed the opening and closing ceremony of the Beijing Olympics 2008. Staged entirely upon the lake itself (a stage built 3 centimeters below the surface), Impression West Lake is a spectacle of light, music, dance and theatrics that not to be missed. You need to see yourself and experience the sad tale of Lady White Snake on the sae West Lake of the stories of old.

There’s another showcase called “The Song Dynasty”, also a live stage performance made of elaborate costumes, fantastic stage props, and 300 dancers staged for more than a thousand visitors every night. This one hour show is very intense and worth every penny, cents and whatever currency of your entry ticket.

Must-Visit No. 5) Beautiful Scenery Around West Lake

Scenery like these or more is perfect reason for a stroll around West Lake. You only end up with wonderful memories :)

Must-Ride No. 6) Rent A Bike -only if you know how to ride one (:

Bicycle rental service is quite popular around the West Lake. It is a pleasant experience to rent a bicycle to just cycle your way around the lake at your own pace. Along the way you may drop by at any tea plantation to try Hangzhou’s famous Long Jing Tea, one of the best teas in China. You can get this tea almost anywhere in Hangzhou, and of course the quality varies. I would suggest pairing it with Dong Po Pork (a very very famous dish in Hangzhou), two thumbs way up!

Another must visit spot in Hangzhou will be LeiFeng Pagoda (can’t put up anymore pictures as one post is limited to 6 pictures only). Anyway, Lei Feng Pagoda is famed for the legend of Lady White Snake. It’s a romantic love story about the Lady White Snake and Xu Xian. The Lady White Snake (yes she’s a mythical snake) was said to possess magical powers which she used to disguise herself as a beautiful woman and she fell in love with Xu Xian (an ordinary human). The villian in this story is a bad monk Fa Hai (human who has super power) who seeks to separate them and kept Xu Xian in this very same LeiFeng Pagoda. Heart broken, Lady White Snake and Xu Xian were separated. Perhaps, it is true that there is magic in this place.

Okay thats a wrap. There’s so much more the city has to offer. Just google the keyword Hangzhou and you’ll find endless information on this amazing city. Or better yet, why not fly with us and make it a trip to heaven on earth of your own. Ideally I would suggest a minimum of 3 days stay in Hangzhou itself only, and then you may opt to take the train or bus to its neighboring cities- Shanghai or Su Zhou. There are still gems on earth and perhaps, a peek of heaven.

*Pictures courtesy of Chi Loon

  • Almond

    Wow. Thanks for sharing! Red bicycle wheels are so AirAsia!! How much to rent a bike?

  • Linda

    Its around RM5 per hour… (:

  • Indrawati

    Hi,

    I like the pictures, it’s all very nice shots and also the story.

  • Chun Geok

    feels like going to hangzhou.. :)