For the first leg of my journey after Liaocheng I got on a sleeper train and headed south to Hangzhou, widely regarded as one of the most beautiful cities in China, and one of the few places that lives up to it’s touted beauty amongst the guidebooks and travel agencies. (It’s not that China isn’t beautiful, it’s that Chinese people really like to use hyperbole in order to attract people.)
With a history of over 2,000 years, Hangzhou is one of the most culturally relevant cities in the history of Chinese civilization. Today, Hangzhou is known for three things in particular. Its silk, its tea, and the West Lake. The West Lake is without a doubt the most famous lake in China. Poets, philosphers, emperrors, and common people throughout China’s long history have spoken of the West Lake as a place of awe inspiring beauty.
While much of the natural…
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