Category Archives: China

Escape from the city clutter to Xixi Wetlands

Xixi Wetlands

Besides the omnipresent West Lake, another attraction that will satisfy water-scenery lovers would be Xixi National Wetland Park 西溪国家湿地公园, a rare urban wetland located less than 5km from West Lake. The only wetland park in China, Xixi is densely crisscrossed with swamps, lakes and ponds. Yet, rich ecological resources is not the only feature of Xixi – the natural villages signify the history of the area, and the broad open…

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First & last stop: West Lake

West Lake

West Lake 西湖 is the heart of Hangzhou and the emblem of its natural beauty. In the midst of winter, the lake is engulfed in a piece of misty white and dotted with silhouettes of wooden boats. The waters are calm and the air is breezeless. Overlooking the lake, the horizon is but a stretch hilly peaks and dense foliage. To experience the lake, most people opt to be chauffeured…

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[Actual Journey] Hangzhou, once again

Hangzhou

Ignoring the business talk between my dad and his business friend, my eyes were fixed on the passing scenery through the windows of the car. I entered the city of Hangzhou 杭州 once again, after my first encounter back in my early childhood. I wondered if it was my memory that failed me or if Hangzhou had really undergo an extreme makeover. Unlike the gravel roads of the past, the…

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Zhujiajiao Water Town – Shanghai’s Venice

Zhujiajiao

Fancy a side trip out of Shanghai to see a Chinese equivalent of Venice? My family and I spent our last day at Zhujiajiao 朱家角, a small town located about 30 minutes away from Shanghai by taxi. Like the description suggests, Zhujiajiao is an ancient water town consisting of rows of narrow canals and centuries-old stone houses. Today, its a popular detour for tourists to Shanghai, so much so I had…

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Shop till you drop at Nanjinglu Pedestrian Street

Nanjinglu Pedestrian Street

If there is Orchard Road in my hometown Singapore and Avenue des Champs-Élysées in the romantic capital Paris, there is Nanjing Road 南京路 in the oriental city of Shanghai. Nanjing Road is Shanghai’s premier shopping street and at 6km long, it is one of the world’s longest, stretching from the Bund to Jing’an Temple. I do love walking, but shopping definitely does not rank on my travel to-do list. In…

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Return to Shanghai’s past at Yuyuan’s Bazaar & Old Street

Yuyuan

On the first day of our Shanghai trip, we visited Yuyuan Garden 豫园, a classical Chinese garden located right in the heart of Shanghai’s Old City. It was first built in the Ming Dynasty, and now its one of the remaining few old attractions in Shanghai. But claiming to visit Yuyuan is a misnomer, as we only had our share of time in the bazaar surrounding the actual garden. Walking…

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