Shhh! Secret Life of a Princess

Random, provoking thoughts from a self-confessed princess :: with focus on motivational learnings from the media. I hope to inspire everyone to be the best they can be

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Shanghai and her Sister - Hangzhou

As a sister of Shanghai, located just one and a half hour above Shanghai by train ride, I ventured to Hangzhou one idyllic Saturday evening, accompanied by my effervercent mother. With a population of 6.7 million (bigger than the whole of Singapore!), the city has not let me down on it's tagline as one of the most beautiful paradise in the world, as quoted by Marco Polo. Walking along the west lake (pronounced 'Xi hu' in Mandarin) was one of the most tranquil experience I have ever had. Despite the huge number of visitors who also vists this lake every weekend, I could embrace the serenity and peace 'ambivated' by the lakeside, almost dreamlike. Hordes of people sit by the lake to sip tea, the most famous past-time here due the famous merchandise sold in this city. Visitors could also opt to sit on little boats that bring you across the huge lake while sipping tea along the wide lake, fogs almost enveloping you creating a dreamlike ambience.

A second tier city wll-known for its entrepreneurs, the city could be a cash-cow for the nation has it not been in such close proximity to Shanghai which is already overshadowing it. Jack Ma, the founder of Alibaba, the biggest online tading portal in China was also conceieved here. Yahoo bought a 24% share into Alibaba and despite its expansion, it is still operating in Hangzhou, giving employment to more than 6,000 people in Hangzhou. It is also well-known for its universities and schools due to the interest of people to be hired in the same city.

It was a pity I did not have the time to visit the famous pagoda as I was in a hurry to get back to work (yes, on a Saturday! I am here on business anyway), but I promised to return to touch the tip of the clouds from the pagoda situated on the high mountains and to climb the famous Yellow Mountains located not too far from Huangzhou (pronounced 'Huang Shan'). Hangzhou, the best place to unwind. I could almost feel my stress seeping away.

Another idyllic place in Shanghai which has now become very commercialised is Yu Garden. I could not believe my eyes when I saw a whole town of old wooden shophouses being refurbished to create a new town filled with these wooden structures. This is one of my most recommended to place to visit in Shanghai. It's no wonder I have heard so much about this place.

And finally, I got to savour my favorite Hershey's very chocolate ice-cream. Milk tragedy or not, I am still getting my ice-cream, plus this brand is from United States, so I should not be so worried, right? Hmmmm. It tastes so chocolatey, it is almost like drinking dark chocolate with crunchiness coming from the very delicious Hershey's Kisses in multitudes of color. Yum yum!


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