Thirty six strange peaks, Immortals with black top knots. Morning sun strikes the tree tops, Here in this sky mountain world. Chinese people, raise your faces! For a thousand years cranes come and go. Far off I spy a firewood gatherer, Plucking sticks from stone crevices. -Li Bai “Dawn Vista On Huangshan” There are some […] "Continue reading"
A wall of gold has been mounted on Shu brocade. Craftsmen from Wu collect spare change To pay tribute to the abundance of a myriad of families. The watchtowers of the city rise to great heights. The bustling scene is truly impressive. It is a chance to explore vestiges of bygone days. -excerpt from a […] "Continue reading"
It all started with a wooden table in an alley: square, unadorned, pressed up against a cement wall. It wobbled a bit on the uneven cobbles. Somewhere nearby, a game of mahjong- the soft clinking of tiles echoed faintly on the evening air. Wisps of a forgotten dream, sounds from another time. I imagined the […] "Continue reading"
D House Boutique Resort is a unique little place tucked away on a quiet pedestrian only street in an old section of Hangzhou. It is a hidden gem of a spot: perfectly located just steps away from Qinghefang Ancient Street, old neighbourhood alleys, picturesque walks along the canal, a drum tower, and Zhongshan Road- which […] "Continue reading"
Since the new high speed train line opened up in July 2015, it is now easier- and faster- than ever to get from Shanghai to Tunxi, and the foothills of the Yellow Mountains. You can also choose to break up the trip with a stop in Hangzhou (like we did). It is a nice city […] "Continue reading"
We emerged from the narrow street where our little guest house sat nestled into a row of white washed buildings. It was quiet, and the essence of another era lingered between the walls and the cobbles. Then, as we rounded the corner and stood at the opening of Qinghefang Ancient Street we saw it: a […] "Continue reading"
We woke on our first morning in Hangzhou to the sound of birds chirping in the courtyard. I kept my eyes squeezed shut and listened intently to their song, not yet wanting to break the spell, and tried to imagine what words the ancient Chinese poets would use to describe the moment. Is it possible […] "Continue reading"
The bus hurdled westward until Shanghai was just a collection of faded grey shapes. I watched through the window as the suburbs rolled by: groups of colourful housing complexes creeping their way across green. Power lines, train tracks, industry. Even in the mystical land of the red dragon "Continue reading"
From Shanghai, you have a couple easy options for getting to Hangzhou. It serves as a nice hub for other points westward (Tunxi, Huangshan, etc…) and is definitely worth the stop for a day or two of exploring and eating. "Continue reading"