Day Three of my trip started with a boat tour at the West Lake. We arrived earlier than the intended time. Our boat wasnt ready for us yet. So we walked around the place and shopped for a while. There were so many tourists around us although it was Monday morning. West Lake is like the main recreation place for people of Hang Zhou. Its depth is only around 1 to 2 meter. There are lotus planted around certain sections of the lake. Long ago, when West Lake was so clogged and dirty, the people of Hang Zhou suggested that the lake to be filled and made into a flat ground. But Su Tong Puo (the governor then) decided not to do that but instead ordered people to clean up the lake. The mud was dugged up to make small island and a pathway across the lake. Su Tong Puo had the place beautify by planting Weeping Willows and Sakura trees and some other trees. Lotus was also made to be planted at the certain areas of the lake to avoid anymore clogging. The statue below is of Su Tong Puo.
Finally, we board the boat and sat in the air-cond room which, according to our tour leader, is the most comfortable place in the whole boat. The tour guide told us the stories that evolves around West Lake.
The stories are such as:
The three small pagodas in the water - it is shown on the 1 yuan note. To symbolise the deepest water in the lake during the time of Su Tong Puo. Now it is a popular place to watch the moon during the Mid Autumn Festival.
The pagoda at the hill - built to protect the over-thrown king in the ancient time.
The pathways across the lake - One is named after Su Tong Puo for his contribution to the West Lake and the other one is named after a poet and also once-the-governor of Hang Zhou.
The bridge of the lake - was called the Broken Bridge because during the winter and the bridge is covered in snow, the bridge will create an illusion that it is broken when snow at one side of the bridge melts. It is also the bridge where the White Snake Tale took part.
After the boat ride, we went through the garden around West Lake and stopped by the Peacock Garden. The true reason why we stopped was because the aunties need to go to the toilet.
Hang Zhou is famous for its Long Jing Tea. So we went to the Long Jing Village. The place we went , Mei Jia Wu, is specially commissioned to cater to tourists to ensure that we purchase the real Long Jing. But i think it is also a way to ensure that the government can earn from the tourists. We were brought a room where we were introduced to how to drink Long Jing Tea and the benefits of drinking Long Jing Tea. I accidentally discovered that the angmohs actually has a more comfortable room to sit in than us. :P Anyways, the aunties, which also includes my mum, went shopping-mad in Mei Jia Wu. The tour guide constantly trying to stop us from buying stuff because according to him, the stuff on sale is not worth it. Only until we are at this tea village, he didnt stop us from buying. I am guessing that the reason why he didnt stop us is because he is earning some commission from the shopping we did there.
After the tea village, we headed to Lily Hotel to have lunch. After lunch, we left Hang Zhou for Su Zhou. When we arrived at Su Zhou, which looks pretty rural, it was already time for dinner. So, we had our dinner where we were entertained with the sound of Pi Pa's playing.
After the dinner, we walked around the riverbank to observe the night life of Su Zhou's people. There were a big group of ladies dancing to the beat of disco songs such as Venga Boys's Ibiza (if I remember correctly). Then there were also teenage boys roller-blading and teaching kids how to roller-blade.
In Su Zhou, our tour guide was replaced by the local tour guide. So, Siaw Ma only follow around to control us. The reason why he didnt introduce Su Zhou is because the law requires that only the local guide can introduce Su Zhou. The Su Zhou's local guide is not well-liked by us. We endured her out of courtesy. She was constantly rushing us around and looking at her watch all the time as if she cant wait to get rid of us.
Which brings me to tell all of you that how nice is Siaw Ma, the tour guide. Despite of his poor English, he is very friendly and sporting. Of course, I am ignoring the fact that he is a tour guide thus he must be friendly to us. I will always remember the way he shouted 'Halim~! Halim~!" I even recorded him singing "Seal With a Kiss" Hehe... Ask me to show you when you see me with my handphone if you want to hear it.
Finally, I want to show you all a pic of this guy carrying a lot of stuff on his bicycle. Usually you will see this on a forward mail and it is unbelievable. I saw it with my own eyes and it is truly a whoa.