|Gardens along West Lake|
I arrived in at the Hangzhou East railway station on a high-speed train from Shanghai around 8:00 pm. It was about a 30-minute drive from the railway station to the hotel, but after I checked in, I made my way out into the city and walked towards West Lake. I stopped at a bar and got what was probably the second best Chinese beer I had during the trip (only to at Great Leap Brewing in Beijing). Once at the lake, there wasn't much to see since it was dark, other than distant lights across the lake, but there several other people walking the paths along the lake.
|Tea plantation at China's National Tea Museum|
|West Lake with the skyline of Hangzhou in the distance|
The next morning, I went to China's national tea museum on the opposite side of West Lake from the hotel. The museum is situated among tea plantations in the forested hills, which were a nice change from the flat terrain and sprawling urban landscapes of Hangzhou, Shanghai, and Suzhou. The museum itself was fairly small and almost empty, but afterwards I was able to try several different Chinese teas prepared by a tea server.
|Along West Lake|
A short drive from the tea museum is the scenic area of West Lake, which was packed with tourists exploring the temples, pagodas, and gardens that made this area famous and influenced garden design throughout much east Asia. I had lunch at a local restaurant after a couple of hours walking around the West Lake area, and after lunch I boarded a bus for a ride to Hangzhou International Airport for a two and a half hour flight to Guilin and on to Yangshuo.
Other posts about this trip to China:
|Along West Lake|
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