Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Hangzhou- China

This is the first post about China.
I am going to start with Hangzhou. That's where my first stop was, and where Kevin is from, so it seems appropriate.

I had never heard of Hangzhou before. It has recently turned into a bigger city outside of Shanghai. About 10 years ago, it was still ruled by farmers. Kevin told me a story that his father use to swim in the river, before it got so polluted.
This was barely 40 years ago. It was a hard pill to swallow. In my generation, we managed to pollute and change the life of a little city.

Hangzhou is known for Xi Hu (West Lake). It is a beautiful lake filled with legends and old people playing Majhong, practicing Tai chi, dancing and singing.
We went there at night and during the day. It was beautiful both times. Really peaceful to look at at night, and very romantic. ;)
Kevin and I enjoyed it.
During the day, people stared at me a lot. There isn't a lot of foreigners in Hangzhou, so I was a walking spectacle. People would really stop to look me up and down. I couldn't stop laughing about it.

We also went to the Lingyin temple. It is a famous Buddhist temple on the top of a mountain. We had to take a public for two hours. It was so early in the morning, that I was basically napping anyway.

It was filled with monks who actually had cell phones under their robes. It was quite ironic.
I went to the budda in each temples and prayed for wisdom, long life, love, happiness, and safety for everyone around me and my family.

It was very crowded, and people were bringing tons of offerings. They would climb the mountain with bags of fruits and vegetables to give to the monks.

After the Lingyin temple, there is also the Leifang Tower that we visited. I have no picture of the tower, because my camera got stolen. The legend of the tower is that once upon a time there was a goddess who wanted to live like mortal. She would take frequent trips to Earth. She met a young scholar on the broken bridge (In Xi Hu). They fell deeply in love. Leifang (The godess) stole some buddhist scrolls to become mortal, so she can marry the young scholar.
The monk becomes angry, and so he starts a war with her. Too bad that she can control the lake. She took her army of sea creatures and tried to defeat the monk.
The monk ordered to have locked up in the tower. They buried her under the tower.
Later her son came back and destroyed the tower, freeing his mother. She returned to the heavens, leaving Earth forever.

It was a gorgeous tower, and I really wish I had pictures to show you :/ We could see all of Hangzhou and Xi Hu.

We also climbed a mountain to another Tower. I do not remember the legends being that tower. There was a fabulous view of Hangzhou there.

There was a lot more things to do in Hangzhou but I do not have pictures, and I do not want to bore you with the little details. If you want to hear more, you might post a comment and I will do another post about Hangzhou, including Chong Se, The science museum and the zoo. :]

Tomorrow, I'll post about Wuzhen!

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