Sight Seeing in Hangzhou China
Bamboo Garden Photos
“The City of Heaven, the most beautiful and magnificent in the world.” said Marco Polo when he visited Hangzhou way back in the 13th century. It is a popular destination for travellers from within China, and from overseas.
The focal point for many tourists is the West Lake - a place of great beauty and history. I first visited the West Lake area way back in 2008, soon after I arrived in China to work as an English Teacher a short distance from Hangzhou, and over the periods that I worked there I visited the city on many occasions. We loved visiting the tourist spots around the lake, and various other spots in the city - including the Silk Market, and a book store that stocked Engish books - something that we craved!!
It was also the place we would go for our regular medical examinations, which was required as part of our employment in China.
The wedding in December was in Hangzhou, so I booked into a small hotel near the West Lake, hoping that as I was alone I could manage to find my way around the city on the days that I was not with the wedding events. I stayed in the Hangzhou Bokai Westlake Hotel which was a short walk from the Westlake, surrounded by a range of retail outlets, and most convenient to what I needed.
Most of the week I was there was taken up with wedding celebrations, but I managed two days to play tourist. One day I visited the Botanical Gardens which is in the West Lake area. I asked the hotel staff to book a taxi for me and tell the taxi where I wanted to go. (My Chinese language skills are limited!)
The taxi took me directly to the entrance to the Gardens, and I examined the map at the entrance and worked out where I needed to go to find the Bamboo Garden. The Botanical Gardens are huge - almost 250 acres of amazing nature and beauty.
My camera was kept busy - and I was not the only photographer in the gardens. Not only did I meet a group of camera enthusiasts who appeared to be part of a club, but watched other professional photographers taking wedding photos. In China the wedding photos are often taken well before the wedding, and garden photos are part of the raft of photos prepared for the wedding.
The Bamboo Garden was most impressive. Many varieties of bamboo grow in this corner of the gardens, with pathways, a stream with bridge, and many interesting walks through the gardens.
Following my exploration of the Bamboo Garden, I explored other parts of the Gardens. One could spend many hours there, and I did spend about 4 hours wandering around taking photos, exploring the many features in the gardens.
There is one area, where in spring the fish jump out of the water to entertain visitors, but on this day they were lazily swimming in the water, much to the amusement of the children who leaned over the pond in anticipation of a jump.
The lakes, buildings, and gardens were all interesting places to explore.
After a long walk in the gardens, I was rather tired, so walked back to where the taxi had dropped me earlier, and found a vacant taxi passing and flagged it down. Taxi's have a green light if they are vacant and looking for a passenger, so it is easy to do. I had the hotel's business card with address, so it was easy to get back to the hotel. No problem.