Hangzhou – Venice of the East

Just one hour outside of Shanghai, via high speed train, lies the gorgeous green city of Hangzhou.  Unlike it’s close sibling, Shanghai, Hangzhou is a place that grows from the land. It is a city that has embraced it’s history and nurtured it’s gardens.

There are many great things to do here, including taking a walk through the old street markets, visiting some of the wonderful museums or strolling along the massive West Lake. But, two of our favorite things to do in this beautiful place are to visit the Bamboo Forest and traverse the amazing Tea Terraces.

Bamboo Forest Lake

Bamboo Forest Pagoda

Bammboo Forest

Grabbing a taxi or arranging a car to start your day with a hike through the Yunxi Bamboo Forest is a fantastic way to begin. Just twenty minutes outside of the city, you will find this mystical place awaits your exploration.

Beautiful and massive varieties of bamboo aim for the sky as you meander through the pathways and slowly work your way up the hills. There are plenty of benches, small pagodas and rest spots to stop, breath in the fresh air and absorb the gorgeous scenery.

If you’re lucky enough to be there around wet season, numerous streams and small waterfalls will add to the ambience and your visual and auditory experience. Simply stunning….and tranquil.

Lake Gazebo

The Falls

Hangzhou Forest

After you’ve meditated and found your zen place, walk back out and head up just a bit to the Tea Terraces. The beauty of these hills, combined with the surrounding edge of the forest is quite astounding. When the light fog descends upon this valley, there is almost a surreal moment…one of transcendence.

Hundreds of Tea Ladies, the local workers, can be seen picking the special type of tea that grows in this area, Dragon Tea, which is the governments private reserve.

For lunch, grab a spot at one of the many restaurants that dot the road, eat some local cuisine, definitely drink some Dragon Tea, and take in this majestic view.  I promise, you will be back, and the beauty of Hangzhou, her grand green spaces, her rolling hills, will be there to welcome you…

Hangzhou Tea TerraceTea Terrace Workers

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