Let me ask you a question. What’s better than a cup of Starbucks coffee?
Why, it’s drinking Starbucks coffee over looking the West Lake in Hangzhou, which was exactly what I did last week!
Let me tell you a secret: Starbucks coffee in China (or at least in Hangzhou) is dirt cheap ~ well, relatively anyway, if compared to the price in Malaysia. For instance, I bought the patented Starbucks coffee thermos below for only RMB 85 (that’s about RM 40) as opposed to it being sold for RM 90 here!!!
I got the sweet lady in Starbucks to fill it up with their ‘Coffee of the Day’ for merely RMB 6! You go figure out the math!
If I have to choose between Shanghai and Hangzhou, I would choose the latter anytime. Why? Because the place is simply beautiful! Let me share some pics with you.
A close-up shot of a willow tree stem against the West Lake as its back drop.
Another shot similar to the one above. The lake is surrounded by willow trees, and I’m told, in remembrance and honour of the Chinese poet cum governer who made the lake what it is today. You can read more about it here: West Lake, Hangzhou.
Picture of the lake in the evening with the misty mountains far away. The air was cool and crisp and it was nice just standing there, taking in the serenity and peace.
Another shot of the lake with another hill in the distance on which stands the pagoda which inspired the story of the Legend of the White Snake.
The pavement around the lake are lined with these big trees and well kept lawn with lots of flowers of different colours. The place is very clean, not a piece of rubbish was seen on the ground. Starbucks is to the right of the pisture in the distance.
Almost got myself in trouble with the law when I stepped onto the manicured lawn to take a shot of the flowers there. The guard was blowing his whistle repeatedly at me but I pretended not to hear, at least until I got a few shots taken.
The next day we took a short boat ride on the lake. Pictured here is a ‘Dragon Boat’ which is actually a floating restaurant. The back drop is the pagoda mentioned in the story of the Legend of the White Snake.
One of three sunken pagodas built into the lake. The 3 pagodas mark the deepest part of the lake which is about 3 meters in depth. The rest of the lake, I am told, is merely 1 – 1.5 meters in depth. Our tour guide candidly said, the depth is hardly enough for jilted lovers to commit suicide by drowning!
A distant shot of two of the pagodas. The RMB 1 note has these pagodas adorning its surface. The boat ride took us to some of the many attractions on the lake, like the ‘Three Ponds Mirroring the Moon’. We also passed by a number of small islets which are ancient private gardens. These gardens were built by rich officials in those days. I am told you gotta to be filthy rich (a.k.a corrupt) in order to be able to afford gardens like these!
Unfortunately, as with all guided tours, they didn’t give us much time to savour the place. Perhaps some day I could go back there again, on a free-and-easy trip and really enjoy the place, and the Starbucks of course.
Sat, 120408 @ 0700