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We had an absolutely perfect day with our tour guide - Rogin Luo - who took us for a hike along The Great Wall! Didn't know what to expect and were thrilled to have him as our guide. Very imformative, knowledgable and fun! We go to experience a part of The Great Wall that was unrestored and see all its natural beauty. Got a long history lesson along the way!
After the hike, we all went to lunch at a small place at the bottom of the hill. Located in a house, we ate lunch in the proprietors bedroom! What a hoot! Rogin is the Best of the Best! This tour company delivered for us and we are extremely grateful.
Hangzhou is oft-lauded as " Paradise on Earth" with its magical West Lake dominating the local "Psyche". The West Lake landscape was crowned as UNESCO World Heritage in 2011.
Hangzhou is the capital city of Zhejiang province, about 2 hours'drive southwest of Shanghai. Hangzhou has myriad historical sites and scenic spots, including West Lake, and the scenic area around West Lake. It boasts numerouas local products, such as silk, West Lake silk umbrellas, color-glazed porcelain, Longjing tea, and white chrysanthemum.
West Lake is located to the west of Hangzhou, hence the name of " West Lake ". It is said that there are totally 36 "West Lakes "in China, the West Lake in Hangzhou is the most beautiful of 36 west lakes of the same name. It was a lagoon,once a small bay at the mouth of the Qiantang River. It was once the sea mouth that was blocked from the sea by river sediment and later became a lagoon lake.
The Lingyin (Souls Retreat) Temple is one of the most famous Buddhist Temples in China. It was constructed in 326AD at the foot of Lingyin Mountain by an Indian monk named Huili with a history of more than 1,600 years. The temple has the Front Hall, the Hall and the Hall of Herb Masters. China’s largest wood-carving of sitting Buddha Sakyamuni sits in the Magnificent Hall.The main hall is 33.6 meters in height.
Longjing actually means, "Dragon Well", a place suitable for the planting of the famous green tea. Longjing Tea is one of China's best teas and is one reason for Hangzhou's international fame. Meijiawu Tea Plantation is the most ideal place to visit if you are interested in the tea culture in Hangzhou. It provides a wonderful rural scenery and peaceful atmosphere. It is possible to climb the hill and mix with the dense tea trees on the terrace and see how local people picking tea.
Hangzhou has several walking only streets including Hefang Street (also named Qinghefang Street) and Zhongshan Road ( also named "the Royal Street of the Southern Song Dynasty".
The two main traditional and cultural streets form a pedestrian block reconstructing the former prime time of the Southern Song Dynast(1127–1279) when Hangzhou served as its capital about 800 years ago.
Just like each major city has its own unique streets of pub, as a world famous leisure city, Hangzhou is not lagged behind in this regard. Among the numerous bar and pub streets in Hangzhou, Nanshan Lu (or Nanshan Road) Bar Street is one of the best in terms of location, architecture, quality and taste.
“Liuhe” literally means the harmony of east, west, south, north, heaven and earth, the six Buddhist ordinances. So Liuhe Pagoda is often translated in English as “Six Harmonies Pagoda. The original Liuhe Pagoda was built in 970AD aimed at controlling the tidal bore of Qiantang River and serving as a lighthouse as well. However, the pagoda was completely destroyed during warfare in the year 1121.
Historically the Yellow Dragon Cave in Hangzhou used to be a buddhist temple during the Song, Yuan, Ming and Qing Dynasties. In 1922, the Yellow Dragon Cave turned into a taoist temple. After 1949, the Yellow Dragon Cave was taken over by Hangzhou Municipal Bureau of Landscape and Cultural Relics. Trees were planted, bridges and pavilions repaired, made into an important attraction of the Northern Hill in Hangzhou.
Hupao Spring is reputed as the Third Best Spring in China due to its unique fountain. Longjing Tea made of the water from Hupao Spring is regarded as the “two wonders” in Hangzhou. Of course, Hupao Spring was not taken here by the two tigers. Hupao Spring gushes forth due to the underground water seeping from quartz sandstone.
There are numerous paths leading up the hill either from the lakeside, or from its north hillside. Precious Stone Hill (Baoshi Shan) is dotted with unique caves, Buddhist and Taoist shrines. The slender Baochu Pagoda rises atop Precious Stone Hill where you can have a panoramic view of West Lake and the city as a whole, one of the two best West Lake viewing places with the other being Leifeng Pagoda.
The Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal is one of the greatest ancient projects in China and is the longest man-made canal in world. It covers a total length of 1,794 kilometers, and meets five rivers of the Yangtze, Yellow, Huaihe, Haihe, and Qiantang rivers. On June 22,2014, China's Grand Canal was listed as World Heritage. The decision is announced at the 38th session of UNESCO's World Heritage committee in Doha, Qatar.