Our Weekend Trip to Hangzhou.
Or, Wouldn't It Be Awkward If I Were Still Posting About My Trip To China Long After Everyone Stopped Caring.
Like I mentioned, we took a 3-day mini trip to Hangzhou, which is a beautiful city 2 hours outside of Shanghai. People refer to it as a 'nice, pretty town' where you can go to get away from the city, but this just shows you the massive scale of everything in China, because Hangzhou's population is 3 million people - i.e. the population of Paris or Berlin. But compared to Shanghai and its roughly 27 million, that's nothing! It just makes you think...
You can read about Hangzhou here if you so desire.
It has a beautiful lake with old-style pagodas, Chinese gardens [or, technically, just 'gardens' since you're in China...], lots of insane food market streets and awesome little shops. An abridged list of things we did:
* stayed at a cool and friendly hostel
* went on a boattrip across the lake
* picnicked on the waterfront
* ate the tastiest street food [including the beggar's chicken from here]
* saw the most breathtaking night-time views [including these LED-lit kites that they traditionally fly at night, really high in the sky. I kid you not, we were convinced they were UFO's at first]
* rode in a creaky speeding rickshaw
* lost almost all our hair from frustration as we tried to explain to the people working at the bank that their ATM had stolen my money
* had a brief encounter with raging, stressed-out 'don't-you-dare-take-another-pic-of-me' Jenny [this may be connected with the bank thing]
* rented bikes and rode to the tea plantation villages where we bought some green tea from what may have been a house for blind people [I know what you're thinking, how can you not know if they're blind? But the Chinese heat and wafting tea smell does something to your senses...]
* saw a super impressive acrobat and gymnastics show on the streets
* hiked through the hills and forest
*probably had more photos secretly [and not-so-secretly] taken of us than we actually took of the city. Some were of the classic 'pretending to take a picture of the scenery behind that western couple' style, some they would stop and take pictures of us while we were getting our pic taken by someone else on my camera, and my personal favorite: asking us to pose for pictures with them.
For instance, this exact photo was captured on many a Chinese camera...