We had only 4 days to do some sight-seeing after a retreat in Zhejiang Province 浙江省。Zhejiang is a province in eastern China along the East China Sea. Hangzhou 杭州市is its capital. To put you in perspective, Hangzhou is south-west of Shanghai. Hangzhou was the venue of the recently completed G20 China Summit.
We visited Hangzhou 杭州市, Wuzhen 乌镇, Shaoxing 绍兴市 in the four days.
First stop was Wuzhen Xizha乌镇 西栅. It is an ancient and charming water town with stone bridges and waterway fed by water from the Grand Canal, South of Yangtze River. This town has 1,300-year history. One can take a cruise along the waterway to appreciate various ancient houses on both sides of the riverbank. The night scene is spectacular and romantic with the lights from the streets and shophouses.
We stayed at Waterside Resort 枕水度假酒店。 This is the starting point to roam the place.
Second stop was Shaoxing 绍兴市. This rich cultural city is home to well known poets and writers. Places worth a visit are the Shen Garden 沈园，Lu Xun’s former residence 鲁迅故居。
What was most memorable was the boat ride along East Lake 东湖. We took a black awning boat 乌篷船 to cruise the calm water. We were so close to the rock cliffs alongside the water. The boat can only accommodate three persons and a man using his legs to paddle his oar in the water.
At Hangzhou, we visited two beautiful temples Xiangji Temple香积寺 and Lingyin Temple 灵隐寺。Both temples are recommended visit to Hangzhou. Both had very long history and the architectures were so pleasing for the eyes.
One cannot go to Hangzhou without a visit to the famous West Lake 西湖。Take a buggy ride (one hour) around the perimeter of the lake. Do it in the early morning and you can feel local residents up and about, some groups doing Taiqi 太极, singing Chinese songs, and various forms of exercises. The lake is truly blue that matches the sky!