I went to Hangzhou (pronounced Hahng-joe) the other afternoon with a fellow English teacher Lynn. Hangzhou is the “big city” near us (with hospitals and dentists) and it was nice to get out.
One of the key features of Hangzhou is the famous West Lake. It’s so famous that it is even featured on Chinese money.
This is where I shamefully admit, that while being a major tourist attraction in China, I had never heard of it before coming here. Basically the equivalent of me never hearing about the Grand Canyon. Although, just more proof of how little I knew about China before coming to live her.
So it was time to make amends and learn all that I could about the gorgeous West Lake.
My pictures and poor photography skill don’t do it justice, but trust me, it was gorrrggggggousss.
And it’s been attracting tourists and beautifying the city for basically all of Chinese history. Over 2,000 years ago poets and painters found inspiration here. And appropriately it is dotted with pagoda’s, temples, famous stone arch bridges and tea shops overlooking the water. While it all feels very ancient, the truth of it was much was destroyed during the Cultural Revolution and was rebuilt within that past 20 years. But even knowing that it doesn’t take away from the ancient and romantic feel of the lake.
We didn’t have much time to explore all of the city, but it’s only an hour bus ride away, and I know it’s a place I will come back to many times. It was Marco Polo’s favorite city in China, he called it “The City of Heaven,” so I’m sure I will be back soon enough to explore more.