Friends and acquaintances alike have described Hangzhou as the most beautiful city in China. Despite the torrential rain and mist that quite literally dampened our visit, I definitely agree with them.
Our hostel was tucked away in a pedestrian street near the Drum Tower, surrounded by shops and specialty stores selling silks and tea. It was a 20 minute walk from Hangzhou’s famous West Lake and we enjoyed walking amongst the crowds on the Friday night, especially with the tempting smells of dinner from the hawker stalls!
As the mist rolled across the City, we ambitiously set out to walk the entire perimeter of the West Lake. It was no easy feat, as the walk took about 4 hours in total. There were so many beautiful vistas, weeping willows touching the water and pagoda’s gently resting alongside the lilypads that around every corner there was ‘the perfect’ photo opportunity.
Walking home from our lake expedition, we came across a shop with a large crowd gathered in front. If nothing else, traveling has taught me that if there is a crowd, you follow it! My instincts to zone in on the shop paid off as they were selling the most delicious desserts – crepes filled with peanuts and ice cream. The crowd was drawn to the shop as shavings were hacked from a humungous block of peanut brittle and placed on the crepes, then scoops of ice cream were added before it was folded and wrapped up tightly. The perfect on the go snack!
While we were not able to venture very far around Hangzhou because of the rain, I think that we would definitely visit the city again to see what it has to offer when the sun is shining.