China 2013: First Snow at Hanzhou West Lake

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 out 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 that that the rain 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 took at train from Shanghai to Hangzhou from the Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station.
We went in search for food upon reaching Hangzhou, and were lucky enough to chance upon The Grandma’s right across West Lake! 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 green walls of the elevator going up to the restaurant: “So many people” “Are there really a lot of people?” “Uh huh there’s a lot!”
Clockwise from the left: Green Tea Cake, Mutton Ribs, and Pea Paste Soup. I could not get enough of the Green Tea Cake! Also, the Pea Paste Soup looked slightly icky but was so delicious. Photo by: Ade.
Black Rice Cake. Photo by: Ade.
Mango Dessert Bowl.
Stomachs full, we walked across the street to the famed West Lake. I would love to visit it again one day, when weather allows me to explore more and at my leisure without worrying about breaking my equipment due to rain. Although I would have to deal with a lot more tourists during good weather… I guess the rain was a mixed blessing.
Photo by: Ade.
Ade, Ren, and Puey in the rain at West Lake, Hangzhou. Photo from Ade.The rain got heavier when we reached West Lake, but the kind ladies at the information kiosk offered us disposable ponchos for free! Since I had come prepared with my raincape after checking the weather forecast, I decided to test how waterproof it was. I’d bought it in LA, but never had the chance to use it, so I was pretty excited. Unfortunately, I forgot to account for warmth, and no raincoat could prevent me from freezing in 5ºC. 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!
Puey and I chilling. Photo by: Ade.
And then the rain turned into snow. It was so glorious.
Ade and I braved the cold to take in the snow in person.
Photo by: Ade.