Hangzhou, China

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Day 2:  Today we took a taxi, train, then bus to get to Hangzho (prounouced Hung-Joe), the cultural and tea capital of China.  I was dreaming of a traditional Chinese farm tour and so was anxious to get out of the city for the day.

Hangzhou Train Station

Upon arrival in Hangzhou, I found myself squatting over a pit toilet (apparently it’s also supply your own tp)- we were not in metropolitain Shanghai anymore.

The heart of Hangzhou is the West Lake, pictured above.  A typical leisurely scene in Hangzhou is taking a window seat over looking the lake and sipping a cup of tea, while watching lovers row across the lake in wooden boats.  Tradition says that “a combination of scenery and the beautiful tea drives the flippancy and fickleness of life away and the only thing left is a new vision of life and the world.”

We did manage to sip some Jasmine tea (loose-leaf of course) and took a terrifying tandem bike ride (NEVER AGAIN) around the lake, cruising past one-thousand-year-old homes (1,000 years old!).

We made up for an awful lunch with a dinner feast of fried whole perch, lotus roots, spring rolls, and dumplings.  A quintessential second day in China.

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