As I only spent about a day in HangZhou (with about 3 hours went to eating), there's no way I could miss visiting their most well-known scenic attraction, the Westlake!
Upper: My talkative and skinny-yet-arm-strong boatman/tour guide
Covering over 6 kilometres square, the westlake is associated with many historical figures of China, such as poet 苏东坡 (also inventing the recipe for yummy 东坡肉!) and national hero 岳飞. The lake also has three stone structures (shown in the very first shot) in the middle of the lake which with the aid of candles within, are able to showcase 17 moons on a full moon night, thus reflecting the phrase 三潭印月 and captured on the back of the RMB 1 dollar note!
Small boats are available for rental at the piers, with a fixed price of RMB120 per boat for a 20-30 minutes water tour of the lake. Each can hold up to a maximum of 8 people, a really good deal if you have enough friends with you!
During the months of April and May, weather was really good for walks along its picture-perfect causeways (kinda remind me of the ones you see loving couple cycling down in a tv drama) and changing lakeview along the way. If you are tired, hop on the tram which would cost you about RMB40 for a full guided tour around the lake's perimeter!
There are a few bridges surrounding the lake, each named after someone or special events. Confident with your kayaking skills? Rent one and explore Westlake yourselves!
And this was probably one of the rare times that I bothered to patronise a multi-national brand in China, as the triple storey Starbucks had an outdoor balcony with magnificant 180degrees view of the lake. Warming my palms with a Latte and digging at that New York Cheesecake, the poetic atmospehre simply refined made my teabreak! On a side note, I didn't see any Kong Ba Bao or anything that came close, if you get what i mean..
If you have the time, try to spend at least two days in HangZhou to explore the bustling city a little more in-dept. Otherwise, Westlake is definitely worth a visit as nature eye-candy!
For more information on Westlake, click here for the Wikipedia entry.