Hangzhou Trip Part II.

One of our favorite destinations of the Hangzhou trip was Songcheng Theme Park, where the girls got to experience a variety of folk customs and cultural performances. Prior to this trip, their only reference to China was Disney’s Mulan, the Chinese princess. Throughout this trip, however, they learned about the real queens and princesses of historical China. Although they are still too young to understand, they at least were intrigued by all the attire!

The absolute highlight for the girls at Songcheng? Getting to sit inside a huaqiao, which is the proper form of transportation for ancient brides in China. See a video of them being bounced around the huaqiao here.

That night, we feasted on what Alan and I have been looking forward to all year…hairy crab!

To burn off all that excess calories, we went for a swim at the hotel’s heated pool that evening.

The next day, we visited the Tomb of Yue Fei, and my dad entertained us all with his usual humorous, yet informative, lesson on its history.

Next stop–Xixi Wetland Park. We got a boat ride where we saw nothing but a few ducks, so that was quite a disappointing visit. The girls enjoyed it though, as there were lots of open spaces for them to run around.

Now, for the most favorite part of the trip for me….the scenic boat ride around West Lake. It was truly majestic and wondrous, with sweeping willow trees and falling maple leaves all around the lake. There is a musical fountain show on the lake that attracts quite an audience, and the girls loved dancing to the music!

That about sums up our 4 day Hangzhou trip! We considered taking the train to Shanghai for a day trip, but we ended up loving Hangzhou so much that we stayed there the entire time. I would say that the only downer from this trip was our inexperience in price negotiation, so we ended up getting ripped off a few times. It’s pretty outrageous how cunning the locals can be when it comes to tricking tourists, and we learned quite a few lessons on this trip. I think we will be wiser in our future travels to China…

Overall, this trip was fantastic and although we did not get to stay at the Four Seasons like I had wanted to, the Hyatt provided us a pretty pleasant experience. Spacious, modern rooms with partial views of West Lake and conveniently located right across from the fountain performance on West Lake. The food in Hangzhou is very flavorful and spicy, which suited Alan well but I personally would have preferred a lighter palette. The best way to get around is either by taxi, or to hire a chauffeur and car. Our chauffeur and van only costed RMB 300 per day, which equates to about USD $50. Not bad at all, right? Our chauffeur even acted as a partial tour guide for us!

I’ll end this post with just a few more photos of our trip….

Just dancin' along the streets of Hangzhou
Left: Learning to use chopsticks | Right: Tea tasting
Beautiful sunset on West Lake
The girls acting as "objects" for the street side sketch artist
We all thought the artist did a much better job on my parents' sketch than the other ones of my sister and I and Bridgette with Brianne
Left: Dined at one of the most famous restaurants in Hangzhou, which we thought was just mediocre in terms of quality and service | Right: Tomb of Yue Fei
Introducing to the girls the old, ancient architecture of China

We’ll be back, Hangzhou! 🙂

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