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Fei Lai Feng @ Hangzhou China

Fei-Lai-Feng-Hangzhou 8
Fei Lai Feng (飞来峰) literally means “Peak Flown in From Afar” and was thought to have flown in from India in Chinese legend.  The peak is rather rocky with ancient grottoes featuring plenty of Buddhist stone carvings.  The peak is located right next to the Lingyin Temple (灵隐寺) and the two are some of the finest historical places in Hangzhou that have endured for more than 1000 years.    Continue reading

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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

Lotus Breeze Winding Courtyard West Lake Hangzhou 3
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

Fish viewing flower pond Hangzhou 12
“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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Huang Fan Er @ Hangzhou China

Huang Fan Er @ Hangzhou 3
Huang Fan er (皇饭儿) literally means “emperor’s meal” in Chinese and it is an alternative name for Wang Run Xing Restaurant (王润兴).   Hangzhou is a favorite place for emperors throughout different dynasties.  It is far away from the emperor’s palace; it is full of picturesque sceneries and it was fun for the emperors to disguise as a commoner to visit Hangzhou.  Naturally, there would be a lot of stories related to the emperor in Hangzhou, including food!     Continue reading

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Leifeng Pagoda @ Hangzhou China

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The original Leifeng Pagoda (雷峰塔) was built by King Qian Chu in 971 during the Five Dynasty and Ten Kingdoms Period, more than one thousand years ago.  The King named the pagoda after his beloved concubine, Huang Fei, and hence the pagoda also has an infrequent name of “Huang Fei Pagoda” (黄妃塔).  The Leifeng pagoda that we see today is not the original one as the original had collapsed in 1924 due to deterioration and due to people taking the bricks home for their own use.   Continue reading

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