We kick-started the holiday with beer, ridiculous amounts of food, McDonalds’ ‘Modern China Burger’, mooncakes, and discovering new parts of the city (Part One can be found here). The second part of the holiday had similar experiences but also a few days to chill out. One day was spent catching up on Doctor Who and finally getting Mitch into Utopia. No matter what country you live in, you still need those chilled days.
Although we’d been to the famous West Lake before, it’s so big we’ve yet to explore it all. We did some climbing to reach Baochu Pagoda. It overlooks the lake and gives you some truly stunning views. There are lots of rocks you can climb up to give you the best view but it was super busy. I didn’t feel all that safe watching Mitch ahead of me, jumping haphazardly around so I’ll save that for another day.
We then continued around the lake and walked across the Bai Causeway to Gushan Island. Due to the business, the police were out and you were herded across the causeway, with a clear division between entering the causeway and exiting. Very good for safety and flow but it did feel a bit being like cattle. Despite it being busy, we nestled into the centre of the island and found a tranquil tea house.
It was a fantastic day to see some of the touristic nature of the city. However, most of the other tourists were Chinese so there were a lot of photos of us being taken. A few people even asked for us photos with us. I felt like a celebrity but it did get a tad annoying by the end of the day.
We were tired but that didn’t stop us going out for a few drinks later that evening with some fellow teachers. All letting our hair down due to the lovely time off.
As we drew to the final few days of the holiday, we started to plan our lessons and get our other work done. However, on Monday evening we made our way across town to the south west of the city as it was one of the other teacher’s birthdays. We ate at a restaurant called ‘She Want.’ It had a wide selection of food so we got a bit of everything between us all and it was delicious. A bit more expensive than the places we visit under our flat for 20 Yuan (£2), but for 60 yuan we got a whole lot of food and some refreshing beer.
There was quite a large group of us and so after some beer and a few more drinks we decided to visit a karaoke club/bar called KTV. You pay for a room for a certain amount of time and have it to yourself, ordering drinks and being nice and loud in your soundproofed space. There are lots of these places dotted around Hangzhou and the main cities in China, and they are immensely popular. We ordered a couple of bottles of vodka, some mixers, and all sang a lot of songs and were quite merry indeed. An awesome way to end our time off.
Perhaps we should have done more exploring in the holiday but the first few weeks were so hectic with arriving and settling, that I think we needed some time just to chill out. Meeting up with other people was great too and it was nice to make some friends. It’s safe to say that it’s definitely starting to feel a bit more like home.