So today, we celebrated our country’s independence at the historic Leifeng Pagoda in Hangzhou, China. Shortly after, we enjoyed a meal where most of us consumed Australian beef before returning to Shanghai for the night. Happy Birthday, America!
But in all seriousness, it was a pretty cool day trip. I was under the impression that we were headed to a small rural area, and was surprised to find that Hangzhou was actually a large city. The city was built around West Lake, and the area around the shore was beautiful and full of the old rural architecture we expected. There were a lot of open green spaces, little boats crossing under footpath bridges, and lilies as high as your head. The pagoda was pretty interesting too, had a really great view… One of the most entertaining aspects of the trip was that we were some of a very small amount of white people in the area, and it was clear that a group our size (13!) is not a common site in Hangzhou. We realized this once we noticed locals taking pictures of us as if we were important. And it wasn’t just one person, it was everywhere we went, and it was pretty much hilarious. It was hot as hell there too, I’ve never experienced heat like this in my life. Between Belize, Mexico, and the fifth floor of this pagoda, I’d say the pagoda takes the gold out of all three. I’ve never sweat so much just from walking up a few flights of stares, and until it started to rain the air was just heavy, humid, and still. I think it was worth the hour of discomfort though, and I’d love to go back to the area if I ever return to China again!
Next big trip to look forward to: Beijing on Tuesday and Wednesday!