Ye Shanghai, A Pearl in the East – Part 5 : Hangzhou – Grandma’s House 外婆家

Yup, Mr. Lee Kuan Yew and his wife have been on this cruise before!
A cruise tour around West Lake in Hangzhou. We’ll still touring Hangzhou in Zhejiang Province.

Everything was beautiful and I wish I had time to roam around this place to take more photos but it was way too cold and my fingers were almost frozen. The gloves didn’t help because the coldness and moisture from the air can enter the tiny pores in my cheap cotton gloves I bought from Daiso for $2. It was the heating packs that help to keep my hand so warm in pocket.

It would be so lovely to cycle down this pathway or to jog around this vicinity. Every angle is so picturesque.
Leaves of the sycamore tree.
At first sight, I thought it was a maple leaf but our guide told us that it was actually leaves from the sycamore tree and there are rows of sycamore trees planted along the side way pavements in Hangzhou.

You could get so poetic by just looking at the fishes swimming in the pond while enjoying the light breeze and listening to the rustling of the leaves. No wonder the Chinese are pretty good in coming up with poems as they lead their daily lives.
There’s the tree, pavilion, the pond, the rocks, the mountains looming in the background and a nice weather with fresh air. What more could you ask for?
The winding paths.
I didn’t want to leave this place!
Lunch at Grandma’s house 
< 外婆家 >

This is reportedly one of the most popular Chinese restaurants in Hangzhou which is famous for their Dong po rou or 东坡肉(Braised pork) and Green tea scented Chicken. We were a lucky bunch of people because they don’t usually host huge groups of tourists.

I simply love the decor of this restaurant which has a elegant western-outlook with its glass chandeliers and royal cushioned-chairs. There were even a corner for customers to use the computer to surf internet.  If I remember clearly, this restaurant was housed within a hotel in Hangzhou. Yes, it seems like a lovely place to dine but food wise, I would say that it isn’t anything to really rave about except that it was just mediocre.

Green Tea Scented Chicken
 or Long Jing tea scented chicken 龙井茶香鸡
Long jing tea ( or Dragon Well’s tea) is a type of green tea which is locally produced in Hangzhou. These type of green tea leaves don’t come cheap! At our next stop, we were brought to the Green tea plantation to take a look but sadly, we didn’t really enter the fields and walk through it to explore.

Longjing Tea Plantation
( Dragon’s Well Green Tea)

The young tender leaf shoots of the plant is used to make the green tea leaves.

This tea expert who has just graduated from university was there to explain the tea benefits to us. He was a comical guy who made everyone in the room laughed.

You need some skill in doing this if not you will scald yourself or worse, others.

Fragrant tea leaves.
Ever since we came to China from the start of this trip, we’ve been drinking Chinese tea after every meal. The Chinese says that drinking green tea is beneficial for health and I didn’t realise this wholesome truth til I came back to Singapore when I realise I did shed off some kilos. I’m starting to pick up the habit of drinking green tea everyday. I’m even sipping on Green tea as I’m typing this blog post.

One packet of tea leaves is worth about $200. No wonder he’s smilin’…

You’ll need is a pinch of tea leaves to brew a pot of green tea with anti-oxidants.

Long Brigde Park

After sipping some hot tea, the bus drove us to another scenic spot, Long Bridge Park.

The sun is dawning upon us and we made a quick rush to visit the eight diagram fields before the sky turns dark.
I didn’t catch the tour guide’s explanation about this attraction as I was blown away by the beauty and serenity of this place. He did mention a thing or two about this origins and history of this place but I was dozing off in the bus. His voice is humming in the background like a soft lullaby, cooing me to sleep.
Eight Diagram field 
The crops are planted in a piece of land with an octagonal shape. It would have been better if we have a bird’s eye view of the view itself.
Mirror reflection
The water was so clear that it beautifully mirrors everything it could capture.
Can’t wait to retire for the night! Hands and feet were turning blue from the cold!

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