BootsnAll Travel Network

Hangzhou Off Beaten Vacation

As my Hangzhou vacation plan, we spent three days in this beautiful city. We didn’t go through a typical tour-guided trip in which you will be shown around many attractions, of course including many factories visits, within one or two days, but randomly walked around and saw things as we planned.

Day 1: Longjing Tea Leaf Shopping

We had a pleasant train riding experience from Shanghai to Hangzhou. Check  Shanghai South Railway Station: the start of a most environmental friendly travel option   for tips on how to take trains from Shanghai to Hangzhou.


The weather wasn’t perfect, so we went to Long Jin Village to shop LongJin green tea leaf.  Spring tea season usually lasts for 5 to 6 weeks: 3 weeks before Qing Ming (April. 5) and 3 weeks after Qing Ming. Qing Ming is a traditional holiday for Chinese to “sweep” the tombs of their ancestors to show the respect ion and worship of the passed family members. Because of the snow storm disaster happened early this year in South China, the season started about 2 weeks later than usual and we were very lucky to buy the 3-day old fresh tea leafs from the farmers at very good price – more than 50 % less than the prices  in the tea stores in the cities. 

Longjing Tea and Tea trees

Day 2: West Lake (Xihu, 西湖)

Hangzhou is famous for its West Lake, and West Lake is famous for a lot of Chinese historical events and people, of course also its scenery. I was surprised at myself that I don’t know how the West Lake came from even though I know its big name when I was little. In this trip, I found some description on the attractions implying that West Lake is a volcanic lake, but when i researched on line later resources  say that there are two explanations on the cause of West Lake: 1. volcano eruption, 2. it was a bayHangzhou Xihu  West Lake connecting with Qiantang River and East Sea in about 12,000 years’ ago and was blocked and separated by sediment later and became a lake.  I don’t know  which to trust.

Anyway, because West Lake is a “money making” lake, the government of Hangzhou City obviously invests a lot in maintaining its surrounding environments  so that it is very beautiful around the lake — a lot of greens and flowers. The roads are clean and the air condition is much better than that in Shanghai.

But if you are not familiar with / interested in the Chinese classical literature and histories, you probably don’t want to spend more than half day around the lake, and I also won’t recommend you to take any paid tour around the lake.

Day 3: Silk Museum

There are two kinds of gifts you want to buy when you visit Hangzhou: 1. green tea leaf, 2. silk.  I didn’t buy any silk as I am not confident enough that I can tell the high quality silk products from the bad. Instead, we decided to visit the silk museum to get some education. The museum is free and I didn’t see more than 10 people during our visits. It is very nice and quiet. But if you go with your family, your kids and/or husband might find it a little boring. But I enjoyed a lot especially watching skilled workers to make the complicated patterned silk fabric from the threads.

China National Silk Museum in Hangzhou Zhejiang province

China National Silk Museum in Hangzhou Zhejiang province




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