Watching sun set at Hangzhou West Lake

Hangzhou West Lake

My one week trip to Hangzhou and Suzhou feels like ages ago, even though it was just last month that I did this trip alone to find some joy after being at home for such a long time. My husband encouraged me to go out and see new places before starting my master’s degree, luckily I listened to his advice!

What I liked about Hangzhou and Suzhou is that you could actually explore parts of the city by foot. Guangzhou is so huge that by foot you don’t really get anywhere and have to rely on metros and buses. In Hangzhou the best place to wonder around is of course the famous West Lake!

 

Sara and Jocelyn

I had Jocelyn from Speaking of China as my local tour guide, showing me beautiful views to the lake and also taking me to taste both local and foreign delicacies. I’ve been reading Jocelyn’s blog since I first came to China in 2010, it was great to finally meet her. And as it happens, we just talked and talked for hours that day!

Hangzhou Tea House

Our day started at Qing Teng Tea House were we had this amazing lunch with main dish, fruits, snacks and dessert. Not to forget the famous longjing tea. We had our own small room with beautiful decorations, offering a very peaceful and calming surrounding for our lunch.

Hangzhou West Lake

Back in February 2010 I was walking on the foot steps of emperors and concubines in Forbidden City, but now in Hangzhou I was following poets and painters through dynasties who had been fascinated by the breathtaking scenery at West Lake.

The best time to visit West Lake is sun rise or sun set when the sky is painted with soft colors. And don’t make a lit of visiting the most famous spots around the lake, it’s much better to just wander around and avoid the crowds if it happens to be a weekend or a public holiday.

Hangzhou West Lake

As many beautiful places in China, the West Lake is also a popular destination for wedding photos. This bride looked amazing in her figure-hugging lace bridal gown, that I had to snap a picture.

Hangzhou West Lake

“Green mountains surround on all sides
the still waters of the lake.
Pavilions and towers in hues of gold
and azure rise here and there.
One would say a landscape composed by a painter.
Only towards the east,
where there are no hills,
does the land open out,
and there sparkle, like fishes’ scales,
the bright colored tiles of a thousand roofs.”

—From Daily life in China on the Eve of the Mongol Invasion, 1250-1276

Hangzhou West Lake

When the sun set below the horizon, fishermen came out with their long boats. Me and Jocelyn continued our discussion about everything between heaven and earth. I guess when two Western girls living in China and both having Chinese husbands, interesting topics for discussion are never-ending.

Next time I hope to visit Hangzhou and Jocelyn together with my husband.

  • Susan Blumberg-Kason

    What a great recap of your time in Hangzhou. The photos with Jocelyn and at the teahouse are lovely! I hope you can return with your husband soon.

    [Reply]

  • Jocelyn Eikenburg

    Thanks for posting these photos up! It brings back beautiful memories from that weekend. You were such wonderful company and your visit gave me a nice opportunity to take a break. So thank you for that! :-)

    [Reply]

  • West lake looks really peaceful in your pictures. Good thing to know that there are still spots that aren’t completely overrun with tourists. The food in the tea house just looks yummy!

    [Reply]

    Marta Reply:

    I was going to say the same about the lake haha. Every time I’ve been there it was crowded! But it looks very nice on Sara’s pics.

    [Reply]

    Sara Jaaksola Reply:

    I always take up the challenge to make crowded places look peaceful ;)

    [Reply]

  • R Zhao

    My two favorite China bloggers in one place?! You guys must have had fun.

    [Reply]

    Sara Jaaksola Reply:

    It was so great to meet Jocelyn :)

    [Reply]

  • Pingback: 2015 Blogs by Western Women Who Love Chinese Men | Speaking of China()