Our next stop after Suzhou was the city of Hangzhou. Any Chinese person will tell you that you must visit Hangzhou for its natural beauty, particularly West Lake. This seems supported by the tourism industry as it’s a stop on most China tours. But in our opinion we think Hangzhou’s reputation is exaggerated and what we saw failed to impress. What was impressive was the traffic. This might be due to the fact that there are three cars for every Hangzhou family.
Despite the traffic we did manage to visit the famous West Lake (and many of its sites), Yu Fei Mu (Temple) and Xixi Wetland Park during our two days in Hangzhou.
It’s #1 on Trip Advisor’s list of things to do in Hangzhou and the guidebook refers to West Lake as one of the scenic wonders of the world. It didn’t seem to be any different than Xuanwu Lake in Nanjing or other such Chinese lake parks. But perhaps I just didn’t see it under the right appreciative light.
TEMPLE OF YU FEI
Yu Fei Mu is the tomb of a Song dynasty general who was so successful in his battles that his overlords had him falsely charged and executed for fear he would overthrow them. Yu Fei was revered for his patriotism and became a martyr after his death. To this day, he is still a symbol of patriotism to the Chinese people.
XIXI WETLAND PARK
It was a lovely green space but it was certainly not like the wetlands we are accustomed to in Canada. Our wetlands are wild and full of wildlife. Xixi Wetland was neither. It was “managed” and “restored” to the point that few birds were seen. We saw two. Xixi Wetland Park is more like a pioneer village but with more green space.