Friday, May 24, 2013


Our trip to see some of the "water towns" in China began in Hangzhou (say hong-joe). As we drove in from the airport, we saw these strange roof ornaments on many of the large homes.  These spires represent the wealth of the home's owner, an advertisement especially useful in helping to find a husband for their daughter.  One ball means they have half a million, two means a million, and three balls means two million or more (RMB).  A little over 6 RMB equals 1 dollar.

Tiesha River
We walked down to the last remaining tower of the old city wall and enjoyed the views of the rivers along the way.  We met with some of the other BYU Teachers and headed out for McDonald's.  Honestly, that Big Mac tasted fabulous!!  It's amazing how our taste buds have changed after eating 10 months of Chinese food!

In the evening, we walked down to West Lake, famous in China because of the Legend of the White Snake. In front of the Grand Hyatt Hotel, there was a fountain show and lots of people gathered to enjoy it.

Not the Bellagio, but fun!

Across the lake we could see the Jingci Temple (on the left) and Leifeng Pagoda (on the right) lit up on the hill.

In the water was a dragon boat with brightly lit roofs.  The weather was nice and we enjoyed being outdoors.  

In the morning, we took a boat trip out on West Lake.  There wasn't any rain, but the sky was hazy and the lake was grey.

The details of the dragon boat were more visible in the daytime.

The Leifeng Pagoda was originally built of stone and wood in 975 to celebrate the birth of the son of Qian Chu.  The 2002-built reconstruction is of steel and copper, made for tourism.  Bai Suzhen, the transformed White Snake, was imprisoned here according to legend.

'Three Pools Mirroring the Moon' refers to the three pear-shaped pagodas arranged in a triangle in the water. The pagodas are around 2 meters high with hollow interiors. The belly of each pagoda has five circular holes, into which lamps or candles can be placed.  These pagodas are represented on the back of the 1 RMB note, and are lit during the Mid-Autumn Festival.
The Broken Bridge is where the White Snake, in her human form, met and fell in love with the mortal, Xu Xian, when he loans her his umbrella in the rain.
This is called the Baochu Pagoda originally built in 963 as a place to offer prayers for the safe return of Qian Chu, the last king of Wuyue, when he was gone for years to central China. 


Are you tired of my "Rose Poses" yet?

After our boat cruise, we walked through the surrounding park with lotus ponds, bridges and beautiful vegetation.

A group of folks doing tai chi.  What a beautiful spot for a "workout"!

Hangzhou is a core city of the Yangtze River delta and one of the most renowned and prosperous cities in China for the past 1000 years, mostly due to its beautiful natural scenery.  

Truly a very beautiful place, and a refreshing, lovely day in the park.  These flowers remind me of the ones from Jeanette's wedding.  Happy memories!

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