China: Hangzhou-Nanjing Part 3

30th May 2007

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西湖

 We began the day with a visit to 西湖, taking a boat ride one round around the lake which is 15km. 西湖 is a famous fresh water lake located in central Hangzhou. 西湖 is divided by three causeways called Su Di (苏堤) , Bai Di (白堤), and Yanggong Di (杨公堤). The name 西湖 is also used by a large number of lakes in China and surrounding countries (with 800 West Lakes in China) . However, the lake in Hangzhou is the most famous of these, and the terms “West Lake” and “Xi Hu” generally refers to this lake. The scenary of 西湖 is simply mesmerising, with three small island in the middle of the lake.

Traditionally, there are ten best-known scenic spots on the West Lake, each remembered by a four-character epithet. Collectively, they are known as the “Ten Scenes of West Lake” (西湖十景). Each is marked by a stela with the epithet written in the calligraphy of the Qianlong Emperor.

After a 30min ride around the lake, we headed to our next destination. 花港观鱼. Its a garden beside the lake, the tablet is written by Qianlong, did anyone spot any mistake? Yep, the word 鱼 is purposely written wrongly (not that Qianlong don’t know his chinese). The word 鱼 should have 4 dots, but in the tablet he wrote it as 3 dots because he believe 4 dots mean fire, fish in xi-hu can’t be living on fire rite? : )

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the normal peacock

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Lo and behold, white peacock!

Inside 花港观鱼, there is a peacock garden, the peacock roam around the garden freely with tourists standing by the side taking photos and admiring their beautiful feathers. White Peacock! Cool huh?

Proceeding on to 梅家坞茶园 to understand the tea culture. Hangzhou, also called Tea city, produces 西湖龙井 which is praises as “Green Queen”and “National Tea”. There we learn about how to appreciate tea, the usefulness of drinking tea, and how to differientate top grade tea with a lower grade tea. For the top grade AAA tea, it cost 1300RMB per 600g, AA grade tea 900RMB per 600g and A grade tea 600RMB per 600g.

Following lunch, we carried on to Nanjing, 4 half hours road trip!! The longest journey throughout the 8 days, so sleep and sleep. We stopped at a rest-area in Yixing (south of Wuxi) after two hours. The place is just beside 太湖, which is the intersection of Jiangsu & Zhejiang Provience. 太湖 is four times the size of Singapore and being a fresh water lake, it rears many things such as white prawn, white fish, pearl and the famous Da Zha Xie (crabs)

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Nanjing Famous Salt water duck

 Another two hours of bus ride, we finally reached Nanjing. By the time we arrived in Nanjing, it was dinner time, so we went to the restaurant straight at 夫子庙 to taste Nanjing Famous Salt water duck. Nanjing cuisine is renowned for being salty in taste, and its really true, all the dishes are salty, so we ate lots of white rice and drink lots of water after the meal. In my opinion, throughout the eight days in China, the meals in Nanjing is the most-not-nice, mayb we can’t get used to the salty-dishes. 

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Qing Huai River

The decorations by the river wallFinishing dinner, shopping time at Qing Huai river!! The shopping time was too little, 1 half hour only, we barely got enough time to shop. When nighttime falls, the whole area of Qing Huai river lights up and become very beautiful.

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Eeew!!
The place is also quite famous for 臭豆腐, and the guide told us where the best one can be found. First conclusion of 臭豆腐? Its really very smelly! But after eating it, quite okay not as smelly. We reach our hotel at 1030pm. Ah, forgot about the brief description of Nanjing. is the capital of China’s Jiangsu Province and a city with a prominent place in Chinese history and culture. Nanjing has served as the capital of China during several historical periods, and is listed as one of the Four Great Ancient Capitals of China. Nanjing is also one of the fifteen sub-provincial cities in China’s administrative structure, enjoying jurisdictional and economic autonomy only slightly less than that of a province. Somehow Nanjing feels more eerily, according to the guide, it is because Nanjing has been through many battles, and during the Japanese occupation of Nanjing, they massacre a lot Nanjing people. Being a “stone” city, it is easy to defend against, and good place to launch attacks from. Next stop: Wuxi

” I return from my travels to prepare for my next trip “

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