One Month In China

Happy New Year!

Yesterday marked my fourth week in China, and the first day of 2017. To mark this momentous occasion, I have decided to compile all blog posts so far and actually edit and publish them.

Before I begin, I want to talk a bit about my trip to Hangzhou for new year. It was my first proper holiday since arriving, as well as the first trip out of Yuyao. I’d heard great things about Hangzhou, and was really looking forward to some green space and time to relax.

We arrived at Yuyao train station at about 10am and got the train to Hangzhou from there, which took about 40 minutes. Once we arrived we got a taxi straight to our hotel which was located by West Lake. The hotel itself was absolutely beautiful, and had a very modern but Chinese feel with a lovely garden courtyard for guests to sit and relax. Our room had a big TV and projector screen with access to lots of films which we made the most of in the evening! We arrived at the hotel around 12pm and dropped our bags off before going to a restaurant and walking to West Lake. We definitely chose the right day to visit West Lake because the following day was a national holiday and swarms of people decided West Lake was where they wanted to spend their day off.

The Lake was really beautiful and didn’t disappoint. Although it was still busy at parts, we managed to pay for a boat trip which took us to one of the central islands where we wandered around and enjoyed the sights. It definitely restored some peace in me and the scenery was a welcome change from the busy city sights I have become accustomed to.

Later on we had hoped that there might be some fireworks by the lake to see in the New Year, but Chinese people don’t tend to stay out late for new year as we do in England. So instead we just relaxed in the hotel room and watched a few films – call us sad but I needed the rest!

The following day after breakfast we headed back into the city to have a look around and do some shopping. Although everywhere was quite busy, we still had a good day looking around and making the most of Western conveniences (by stocking up on dark chocolate, unsweetened bread and H&M basics!). It’s good to know that these Western comforts are at a reachable distance, however I am quite glad to be living in a city where you don’t feel like you could be in Birmingham or any big shopping centre around the world! Finally, we managed to work out the subway system and get back to the train station in time for our train back home.

I am really keen to visit Hangzhou again, particularly for West Lake- and would love to hire a bike or hike around a bit more- maybe in the spring when the weather is warmer.

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A final farewell

My friend Pat has left Yuyao and arrived in Kunming ready for the next step of his journey. Whilst it is a shame we can't hang out together, it's also exciting to think what new journeys I might be planning a year from now and how many other wonderful friendships will have grown!


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