I recently went on a business trip to Hangzhou, China. Following is a log of my trip. You can view the pictures here.
First, I made the mistake of staying awake the entire flight to get on “China time”. Should have slept the whole trip to be rested and recover more easily.
BTW, Hangzhou is correctly pronounced “Haw-ng-Joe”
Monday: Got to tour the Lingyan Temple (4 different temples, 1 giant budda, building built like a swastika filled with 500 statues of disciples of budda, lots of incense, other huge statues that people were bowing and praying to. I had the famous Lingyin green tea in a tea garden at the monastery, served with peanuts, cherry tomatoes, lychee (new and interesting to me!), cumquats, sunflower seeds, oranges. Then went to the Leifeng Pagoda, which was on the West Lake. Very beautiful! Had famous noodle bowl at a restaurant with eel strips.
Tuesday: after meetings our host, Tony, took us all to a big sit-down dinner at a nice restaurant near the Leifeng Pagoda – beautifully lit up at night! Large lazy susan on the table and had at least 20 different specialty courses such as: Beggar’s Chicken, Vinegar Fish, bbq pork, lotus stems, dumplings, soup, flattened-sweet sticky rice (tasted like toasted marshmallow, but looked like pork fat).
Wednesday: after meetings, Tony took us to two famous outdoor markets. You had to haggle. Got Dawn a Louis Vitton ipad purse, 2 jade necklaces, 2 disney watches, all for 440 RMB = $66.91 USD! Found some nice chopsticks, but they weren’t willing to negotiate. I was afraid to buy silk pyjamas, for fear of size - the chinese are much smaller people! Will have to wait for airport to get the boys shirts and hats and my hat pin. I am also hoping to get a jade jewelry box or some silk paintings. Learned the phrase: Tai gui le = too expensive!
Thursday: after meetings, Tony ftook us to a very famous local show called Impressions of West Lake, which was created and directed by Zhang Yimou (creator of the Bejing Olympics opening). The stage was under about 4” of water on the lake, so the people were all dancing on the water! It was a very well done show. All for $150 RMB, too!
On a side note, KFC is huge here! I’ve seen several of them in various places. Another chain I have seen is Subway. I haven’t seen McDonalds or other major chains though.
Friday: for lunch today, had a very spicy yellow soup, but good! Also, apparently, I ate dog. It was very salty and mixed with rice and some kind of pink sausage. I was more afraid of the sausage. Of course, I wasn’t told it was dog until afterwards... Tonight, Stuart was tired of eating vegetables, since he couldn’t eat much with a peanut allergy in China. We went to a French restaurant. I tried a French Bordeaux wine and Beef tenderloin with bacon and fried duck liver.
Saturday: I wanted to go to the The Six Harmonies (Liuhe) Pagoda and the Dreaming of Tiger Spring at Hupao Valley(虎跑泉). It was raining, so instead, we took the high speed train to Shanghai and went to the black market above the Science and Technology Center, then to the Bund area by the river and then to the Jin Mao tower for drinks/lunch. Unfortunately, they gave Stuart something with peanuts, so he had a bad reaction. We got out of there quick and back to the train station. Was hoping to go on the Mag Lev they have, but we had no time. Instead, when we got back to Hangzhou, Lei took me to see the Six Harmonies Pagoda, but we got there just after it closed.