HANGIN’ IN HANGZHOU
// May 18, 2009
// Posted in Uncategorized
Chloe Marsala explains why this charming Chinese city deserves your time.
On my recent adventure in China, I spent four busy days in Shanghai sampling soup dumplings, learning about the architecture of the French Concession, and finding the best loose-leaf tea and custom-made shoes with the assistance of my shopping guru guide. After all that activity, I was ready for some rest and relaxation; luckily, calmer and quieter Hangzhou is close enough to Shanghai to make it convenient for a short retreat. Though Hangzhou proper is lively and busy, outside the urban center I discovered pastoral tea plantations, picturesque West Lake, and one of China’s most deluxe properties, the Fuchun Resort. A few additional reasons you might consider including Hangzhou in your own China itinerary:
- Active adventures like a leisurely bike ride around West Lake and its parks, including a peacock playground where more than a dozen colorful birds (and one not-so-colorful – a rare albino!) show off their feathers.
- Impressions West Lake, an evening outdoor show featuring hundreds of performers and a thrilling array of dance, percussion, and light. Conceived and orchestrated by Zhang Yimou, renowned film director (and the man behind Beijing’s spactacular 2008 Olympic opening ceremonies), the show is part of a series that take place in cities throughout China. My VIP seat was literally in the middle of the action: on a boat in the lake!
- A meal at Dragon Well Manor, Hangzhou’s most exclusive private-dining venue, which emphasizes local, organic food and indigenous culinary methods. The multi-course family style meal featured a few dishes that would best be left to the highly adventurous, but it also involved more familiar fare, including the best duck I have ever tasted.
I truly enjoyed my time in Hangzhou and encourage China-bound travelers to consider adding it to their itineraries. Contact an Absolute Travel specialist to learn more about Hangzhou or visit our website to see some our favorite China itineraries.