Heavenly Hangzhou - 8th July 2008 @ 2:04 pm «   »

Location: China, Zhejiang Province : Heavenly Hangzhou

The train arrived in Hangzhou station at 10:48 on Monday morning and it was as if stepping into a steamroom.. It is unbearably hot and the humidity must be close to 100%, so we are permanently soaked!

We found the most amazing hostel, 4 Eyes Hostel, about 1km from the West Lake. Even though Hangzhou is a big city, it feels like we’re on a tropical island. The hostel is located among rolling green hills with very nice, clean and modern double rooms (we even have our own balcony) and a beautiful courtyard where delicious food and drinks are served – we know because we’ve eaten 4 meals at the hostel already!

The West Lake is the main attraction in Hangzhou and after we checked in, we went straight there. There are walking and cycling paths all around and a few causeways crossing the lake. It is absolutely beautiful, but very big – it takes about 2-3 hours to walk around the lake. Due to the extreme heat, we opted for the convenient, sightseeing buggy-option. Going back to the hostel feels like going to another world as you leave the city behind and retreat into the lush hillsides.

After a relaxing, late morning in our airconditioned room (which we didn’t really want to leave), we did some laundry and then had a very nice breakfast in the hostel courtyard. We had a lengthy internet session to try and sort out some perceived problems with our blog, but everything seems to be working okay now. At about 13:30 we rented 2 bicycles down the road and started a trail through the hills around the facinity of the hostel. We made a quick stop at the China Tea Museam (just too late for the free tea tasting though!) and then sweated it out peddaling up steep inclines all the way to Lingjing Tea Village.

It is a beautiful setting with tea plantations everywhere and locals selling the famous Lingjing tea leaves on every corner. From here we couldn’t muster the strenght to cycle further up the mountain (close to dehydration by now) and made our way down to the lake again. We cycled through Hangzhou city centre and made a few stops to relax on the waterfront.

On the way back to the hostel, we picked up a few precious, cold beers from a little local cornershop and enjoyed the stunning sunset from our balcony.

We are really sad to leave this oasis tomorrow but our next destination, Putuoshan (an island off the east coast of Zhejiang Province – just south of Shanghai), promises to be as good, if not better.

If you can’t see the slideshow above click here.

5 Responses to “Heavenly Hangzhou”  
Brutus Says:

sounds awesome, loving the recent pictures of the buildings too. good contrast between old (dragons and figures) and the new skyscrapers.

Morne, Leanne and Ethan Says:

Hey guys, loving your pictures of China, def looks like the place to travel and such beauty, who would have thought!! Had a good chuckle at your travel look Jan with the unshaved and long hair look, and then how neat and pruned Marizaan is. Ha ha. Anyway keep well and enjoy!

Mamma van PE Says:

Liefste Kinders, Ja ek is nog hier.Voel of ek lanklaas gepraat het. Die 4Eyes Hostel klink net die plek om bietjie asem te skep,maar ek sien julle vertrek alweer more. Julle het met ‘n vorige keer gepraat dat dit so dynserig is,en hoor dat hulle wil nou,met die oog op die Spele,alle motors en nywerhede wat dit so maak,stop want ‘n mens kan glo gladnie die stadion van afstand sien nie.
Oorweeg julle dit nie om ten minste die opening te sien nie? Wat ‘n pity as julle in die land is.Dink dit sal spectacular wees. Het julle toe met Brad se vriend ontmoet? Ek het dalk net nou op die oomblik vergeet. Sien Charl-hulle was in SA?
Sat het Anree-hulle van Kanada gebel.Bly hulle het die trippie goed gemaak en dit was lekker om met hulle almal,skoonouers ook te praat. Weet nie of jy my probeer skype het Sondag nie,Jan. Hoe maak julle,laat weet julle wanneer julle dit wil doen.Moet dalk by Benji hoor.
Hierdie keer moet jy ‘n haarlok hou vir die nageslag voor jy dit weer kortknip. Baie soentjies vir julle. Mamma

Pa en Ma Deacon Says:

Hi julle twee

Ons hoop dit gaan nog goed met julle daar in China. Ons is bly julle geniet die land so baie.Hier gaan dit baie goed. Ons kry net baie koud!! Die winter het behoorlik toegeslaan. Ek wens ons kon so ‘n bietjie van julle hitte kry.
Ek vat more verlof want ons gaan mos die naweek Aldam toe. Ons en oom Christo-hulle gaan saam. Ons kom weer Sondag terug. Ek dink ons gaan bitter koud kry daar, maar wat, ons gaan sommer net ontspan.
Babie het gisteraand by ons gebly. Sy word elke dag ouliker. Sune-hulle het na ‘n vertoning gaan kyk en daarna gaan uiteet
Nou ja, julle moet steeds alles baie geniet en pas julle self baie mooi op.
Baie liefde
Ons twee
xxxxxxxxxx

ciara and trav Says:

Hi J & M
I am in awe of you two travellers….been jealous for about 110 days so far and counting. Love the photos and have read all the entries, but anyway news from the world of sport. The boks beat the all blacks in NZ in a thriller 30-28, first test at lords SAvsENG ended in a draw. Of course ended last week withn a thriller 5 set that Nadal beat Federer 9-7 in the 5th. Missed the scottish Open – can’t bear to watch it, if I am not watching it live. Sad news concerning mike schutte, the sa boxer who died at age 57. Other news is we met the newest team on the connan windsurfing side, Declan, very cute! Not sure if we mentioned that the kwagga 100m olympics race took place 6weeks ago withme coming stone last, brett a close second and Neil with home advantage coming first.
Last but not least, England retained the world champion pea shooting contest.