China with Rae: 湖州, Zhejiang (III/IV)

[07/23-07/29/2016] I travel to China almost every year to visit my family in Guangdong, but I never really get the chance to explore the rest of the country. This summer, however, my two lovely friends who were staying in Huzhou for the summer invited me over to hang out and explore their city.

And of course I said yes! It’s all or nothing for my grad trip hehe.


Getting there.

I booked my flights from Guangzhou to Hangzhou a while back, before I planned my trip to Hong Kong. The dates overlapped, so I ended up having to travel from Hong Kong to Guangzhou airport to catch my flight to Hangzhou.

Guangzhou Baiyun Airport was a bus, a cross-border train and a subway ride away but luckily, the transfers were relatively simple. It took around 4-5 hours to arrive before another 2 hours of flying.

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Candy, who I was staying with for most of the week, and her dad picked me up at the Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport. Huzhou is another 2 hours on the freeway.


Yummy meals.

My first meal in Huzhou was a bowl of scrumptious rice vermicelli made by Candy’s grandma, with some takeout spicy crawfish.

The rest of the trip was filled with healthy, delicious home cooked meal as well. Lots of veggies grown at home in Candy’s family garden. ^^

More eats from the trip!

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Bubble Waffles & Cheese Topped Green Teas!

The heat…

I came to Huzhou during one of the hottest times of the summer. It was reaching nearly 40C every single day and many workers were off work due to health concerns! Even the malls were relatively empty, and the people only began to go out after the sun goes down in the evening.

While Candy’s parents were at work, we spent our days in cool places; shopping, eating, and we even visited the karaoke lounge one afternoon.


Evenings walks.

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Something I admired about Candy’s family is that after everyday, even a busy workday, the family would take the time to stroll around the neighbourhood and community parks. It’s a nice, relaxing way to get in some exercise, while spending quality time with your loved ones.

Yishang Street (衣裳街) is a popular shopping and food district in Huzhou. The buildings here are all preserved from the olden times.


Time for some touristy things!

The Sheraton Resort is one of Huzhou’s most prominent landmarks, a 5-star doughnut-shaped luxury hotel overlooking Lake Tai (太湖), which is the third largest lake in China.

The locals here joke about it being the toilet seat cover hotel.. do you see the resemblance? 😛

The tallest buildings in Huzhou; Soochow International Plaza.

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Lian Hua Zhuang Park (莲花庄, aka Lotus Flower Park)

“Lian Hua” means lotus, and in this park, there’s lots of them in this park. Candy’s dad took us here on a weekday, and we spent a good hour walking around here. Can you believe this is historically a garden of a scholar? His name is Zhao Mengfu, and he lived in the Yuan Dynasty.

Museum Art China Hubi (湖州中国湖笔博物馆)

Candy’s dad also drove us along the shoreline of Lake Tai.

We stopped by the pottery district in a neighbouring city, Yixing (宜兴), as well.

 


A warm welcome.

Candy and Joy are two of the sweetest girls I know, and they kindly accommodated me for this trip. I would like to especially thank them and their kind families for the comfortable stay and wonderful time I had! And to God for bringing me close to them at church. (:

I hope that we will continue to grow close together, not just as friends, but also as sisters in Christ.

***

Huzhou was a relaxing trip, and a nice break after jumping from place to place.

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Unfortunately, since it was so hot when I visited, I really didn’t get a lot of outdoor exploring done. With that said though, it is definitely a city I’ll be returning to another time!


Back in Vancity sipping my latte, stay tuned for my Zhongshan post!

Wishing you all a joyful day~

<3, Rae

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