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Hupao Spring (Running Tiger Spring) @ Hangzhou, China

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The Hupao Spring in Hangzhou is one of the top three springs in China.  The Hupao Spring, literally meaning Running Tiger Spring, came about because it was thought to be dug out by tigers.  Once upon a time, there was a monk who came to spread the teachings of Buddhism in Hangzhou.  He wanted to settle in for long-term but was unable to find a water source nearby and hence had to look around for another location.  During the night, he dreamed of two tigers, digging the ground with their paws, releasing spring water from underneath.  As he woke up, the two tigers were indeed next to him, digging out water for him.  The word digging in Chinese (刨), has the same pronunciation as “running” (跑), and hence the spring is commonly known as Running Tiger Spring (虎跑泉).  Continue reading

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Lotus in the Breeze in Winding Courtyard @ West Lake, Hangzhou, China

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Lotus in the Breeze in Winding Courtyard is one of my favorite spots on the West Lake.  In Chinese it is known as Qu Yuan Fen He (曲院风荷), or Quyuan Park.  We visited in May when the lotus flowers weren’t blooming as the season is in July / August.  It was also because of this reason, this spot didn’t have swarms of people trying to squeeze past each other.  Only scattered locals enjoying their time leisurely, not doing much and just sitting around.       Continue reading

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Fish Viewing at Flower Port @ West Lake Hangzhou, China

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“Fish Viewing at Flower Port” is an insanely popular attraction being one of the Ten Classic Scenes of West Lake (花港觀魚, “huagan guanyu”).  The “Flower Port” is an enormous 4 acre park with peony gardens, bamboo paths and willow tress.  The Red Carp Pond   is the habitat of thousands of carps, glowing in gold and shimmering in orange.  While it is entertaining to watch the carps squeeze through each other, fighting for food; it is also pretty amusing to watch people adjust themselves, peeping over shoulders, standing on their toes, fighting for a view!      Continue reading

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Southern Song Imperial Street @ Hangzhou, China

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Stumbling upon this Southern Song Imperial Street (南宋御街) in Hangzhou is a bit of a misadventure for me and Gary.  The street is termed “imperial” because it was the main street traveled by the emperor in the Southern Song Dynasty, from his palace to the temple for him to make routine prayers.

After getting our noodles from Kui Yuan Guan, we asked the staff how to get to Hefang Street.  She pointed expressionlessly towards one direction and told us it’s just there, as if the street is just a 10 minutes walk away.  Well, we walked and walked and walked, passing through a good 2 km (?) length of Southern Imperial Street, before finally reaching Hefang Street.  I didn’t mind the walking too much as I love exploring.  We came across these brilliant statues of a family with 4 generations.  Wow.  That’s a big photogenic family there!   Continue reading

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Gallery Old Town @ Ipoh, Malaysia

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Gallery Old Town in Ipoh is one of a kind on its own.  Basic, unaltered and intertwined with nature, the gallery is set up in a previously abandoned house.  The roots are finding their ways into the house through any opening – through the roof or climbing along the walls, but all of that create a yearning for the yesteryear.  Even the musty smell is acceptable in here.     Continue reading

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Hefang Street @ Hangzhou, China

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Hangzhou’s Hefang Street (河坊街) is a vibrant old street that will keep you entertained.  Shopping in stores that are more than 100 years old, discovering diminishing arts & crafts, drinking the famous Longjin tea and having fun playing dress up!  Hefang Street had always been an important place for  trade some 800 years  ever since the Southern Song Dynasty. In 2000, the street has been made a pedestrian street and renovated to depict old Hangzhou.     Continue reading

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