When my family planned a trip to Shanghai, I included Hangzhou into our itinerary just to see Zhang Yimou's Impression of West Lake.
A short hour high speed train ride, and you're there. Hangzhou is a big city that has a historic lake. At the end of the 13th century, Marco Polo had declared Hangzhou to be "the City of Heaven, the most beautiful and magnificent in the world."
Away from the bustle of the city and the crowds of tourists, a boat ride on the lake is a relaxing retreat (and authentically mainland CHina with our spitting boat driver).
The Zhang Yimou show is another impressive production. We sat in the VIP boat seats, but I would actually recommend sitting in the middle of regular seats to enjoy the center point of view of the show.
The lights, the thematic colors, the cast, and the number of them are all sights to see. Zhang Yimou continues to succeed in his craft.
From big cities to rural, China is filled with so many cities and towns to visit. They are all so different with unique natural or metropolitan settings.
Here are some pictures from my trip to Hangzhou. In the days to follow, I'll feature our hotel and, of course, a couple of the memorable meals.
The slide show here runs on Flash. If you can't see it, check out my Flickr album: Hangzhou Fall 2011