Last Tuesday I went to Hangzhou, a province near Shanghai.
Shanghai has been raining for over a week but that didn’t ruin my excitement of this short trip and to meet with a dear friend, Yi.
Shanghai railway station.
Railway station is always busy. It used to be dirty and messy but it has been renovated recently and it’s now clean and neat.
this is a high speed train. It took 50 min, it used to take 2.5 hrs. The train is very modern as well. Everyone was busy reading something. I watched part of “limitless” with my ipad2.
Yi has already reserved a room in a hotel besides West Lake
We walked besides the lake for about an hour. The landscape is peaceful and beautiful. I liked it immediately.
Two friends of Yi joined us for dinner at a traditional restaurant. They ordered a bunch of traditional Hangzhou dishes for me to try. Here are some of them.
panfried pancake filled with green onions (left), radish pickle (right)
Yi asked me if I am adventurous in food. I said yes, I’d eat anything. So he ordered Stinky tofu. I laughed because that’s not adventurous to me at all. I used to eat it a lot when I was a kid. 🙂 When the dish arrived, it was soooooooo stinky!!! But it’s surprisingly tasty! 😀
and the most famous dish in Hangzhou: pork belly. One big piece of four of us!
The three man devoured it in <1 min :shock:, I had to work it out slowly! 😉
After dinner we went to two different bars for drink. The relaxing atmosphere invited for some heart-to-heart conversation! 🙂 That’s the wonder of alcohol!
The next day I woke up after 9 hrs sleep (I should drink more often!). Yi had to take his mom to doctors so I had two hours to walk some more besides the lake
and then I found a Starbucks to have the so much needed caffeine in the morning! 🙂
I enjoyed those 30 min. I love contrasts, specially cultural ones. A western iconic place, Starbucks, besides the ancient West Lake with the most old-fashion South River landscape.
I met with Yi and we went to a temple called Huang Long
it’s famous for its square bamboo
and then we went to Ling Ying Si, one of the highest level temple in China. These four words mean “one foot away from heaven”
entrance to the temple
Buddhas are everywhere
this is a typical chinese pavilion
The temple has many palaces for different buddhas
Yi prayed in every palace for his mom.
Before I left Hangzhou we had lunch in a family restaurant. They serve farm food. No fancy decor, no fancy meals, but their everyday food. Yi and I sit in a small table besides the window. The small mountain grows Long Jing, a famous chinese tea.
I met Yi last year when we were both doing an internship in DC. We became friends right away. He’s a very cool guy and a great friend. I know that we’re in a globalized world but I still get amazed when things like this happen: last year we met in DC and this year we meet again in China, thousands of miles away! 🙂 I hope Yi can get a job in DC so we can hang out again. But if not, I know that we’ll be good friends for a long time, even not living in the same country, just like my other good friends.
Sometimes I wish my best friends and I live in the same country/city so we can hang out more often. However, whenever I reunite with them (maybe once a year), the feeling of wonder brings me so much happiness that makes the wait to be worth. I wonder about how is it possible that we haven’t met each other for so long and still feel so close.