Thursday, April 5, 2012


This past weekend, Matthew and I headed out of the city for a few days to relax. We both were in need of some fresh air so we took the high speed train to Hangzhou, a small resort city located about 120 miles outside of Shanghai. The train was cheap and efficient, getting us to Hangzhou in 45 minutes and only setting us back around $25 for two tickets.

We arrived just at dusk and after checking into our hotel, headed to the famous West Lake to look around. It was a beautiful night and we both commented that the air smelled so fresh as compared to smog filled Shanghai.

From West Lake, we grabbed dinner and ended the night with some insanely relaxing foot rubs. Calling them a foot rub is rather misleading though as you also get a neck and shoulder rub while your feet soak in lavender water. Foot rubs are huge in China and for roughly $15, you can have someone rub your gams for an hour. Heaven I tell you.

On Sunday, I had booked us a full day of tea touring (more on that in a future post) but we were able to sneak back out to West Lake for a bit to enjoy an early morning stroll. The park area was full of meandering paths, beautiful flowers, and towering trees. Despite the large number of other people, the whole setting was intoxicatingly serene.

One of the most popular activities in Hangzhou is to charter a boat to take you out to one of the many islands in West Lake. Most of them have nice walking trails or even a pagoda to visit. We did not have the time to squeeze in a boat ride this trip, but I have no doubt we will on our next visit.

Of course, no trip to a park in China would be complete with witnessing some morning exercise.

In the end, Hangzhou was the perfect place to spend a few days and unwind. I have no doubt that this will become a frequent destinations for us, one where we bring visitors when they need a break from the bustle of Shanghai. Speaking of visitors, my parents booked their tickets to come visit us in November! Even though their visit is still quite a few months away, I cannot wait for them to get here. While I can give them a glimpse of our lives here through this blog, I know they will be fully able to appreciate our new home once they experience it themselves. So book your flights now, because our guest room is taking reservations.


  1. So cool! Looks like such a lovely getaway. I love that the train got you 120 miles in 45 minutes, that is awesome!

  2. I really wish trains were more utilized in the US. They are such a great way to travel

  3. That first picture looks like a postcard. So beautiful. Again, thank you for all this info and the pics.


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