We took a day trip down to Hangzhou from Shanghai one day; I really wanted to see West Lake, a place that Zen (who’s from Hangzhou) had fervently recommended when we hung outÂ in LA. It was a bit of a bummer that the only day that we could spare turned out to be a rainy one in both Shanghai and Hangzhou, but we were ever hopeful thatÂ that the rainÂ would be short-lived. Thanks to Ade and Puey for making it possible by agreeing to spend a day there with me, and for the logistics of getting there! We didn’t realise it at the time, but we were in for an incredible experience:
We went in search for food upon reachingÂ Hangzhou, and were lucky enough to chance upon The Grandma’s (å¤–å©†å®¶)Â right across West Lake! Unlike our experienceÂ in Shanghai, this was the one that Zen had recommended. There weren’t many customers, the drizzle probably acting as a deterrent, so we were immediately ushered to an empty table. Lucky!
It was amusing to see a conversation scrawled on the awesome green walls of the elevator going up to the restaurant:Â “äººçœŸå¤š (So many people)” *Â “å¾ˆå¤šå—? (Are there really a lot?)” *Â “å—¯å¤š! (Uh huh!)”
Clockwise from the left: Green Tea Cake (ç»¿èŒ¶é¥¼), Mutton Ribs (æƒ³åƒç¾ŠæŽ’), and Pea Paste Soup (é’è±†æ³¥). I could not get enough of the Green Tea Cake! Also, the Pea Paste Soup looked slightly icky but was so delicious. Om noms.
Photo by Ade.
Stomachs full, we walked across the street to the famed West Lake (è¥¿æ¹–), I would love to visit it again one day, when weather allows me to explore more and at my leisure without worrying about broken equipment. Although I wouldÂ have to deal with a lot more tourists during good weather… I guess the rain was a mixed blessing.
The rain got heavier when we reached West Lake, butÂ the kind ladies at the information kiosk offered us disposableÂ ponchos for free! Since I had come prepared with my Calvin Klein cape after checking the weather forecast, I decided to test how waterproof it was. I’d bought itÂ in LA, but never had the chance to use it, so I was pretty excited. Unfortunately, I forgot to account for warmth, andÂ no raincoatÂ could prevent me from freezingÂ atÂ 5ÂºC.
Photo from Ade.
The rain got so heavy that we sought shelter at a Starbucks in West Lake. It was so warm and cosy and the staff even went round giving customers free cake samples! â™¥Â My only gripe was that free wifi wasÂ onlyÂ available to customers who hadÂ an account with a telecomm company in China.
And then the rain turned into snow. It was so glorious:
Having lived most of my life in perpetual summer, snow is one of those rare things I, like most of my fellow Singaporeans, get to see once in a long while. Just being in aÂ snowy place already makes me giddy, but seeing åˆé›ª (first snow)?Â I could hardly believe it.
If anyone remembers the video compilation I made of our day in Hangzhou, it’s in this post here. This concludes my writeup of my awesome vacation!