Hangzhou China 2016

 

 

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Boats are all over the lake, even the cleaners are riding around on boats

 

Hangzhou is one of the most famous tourist cities in all of China and thousands of people rush there each day, trying to take in the sites and have some fun on the lake. Hangzhou is really close to Nanjing so I can take the train to the city and it will only take me one hour to get there. I have been to Hangzhou a few times now, but each time I take a trip there, it seems to rain. Trying to get photos in the rain is really hard. But you got to work with what nature is giving you for the day so I spent the day exploring Hangzhou again.

 

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I really hoped to get a good shot of this but I had the wrong lens and the weather was terrible.

 

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The 1RMB Chinese banknote.

 

First up for me was to go visit 三潭印月(sintanyinyue). This is one of the most famous places in Hangzhou and this scenery is on the back of the 1RMB banknote in China. But the weather was terrible and there were so many people there taking selfies that is was so hard to even get a good shot. But I was happy to just get a clean shot of the XXX without being pushed into the lake by a crazy selfie shooting Chinese lady. I wish I brought a longer lens than the 35mm Fuji lens that I had with me though.

 

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The foundation of the old pagoda

 

Because of all the rain and mist around Hangzhou, while I was there, I decided to go see the 雷峰塔 (Leifengta) pagoda. The original pagoda is no longer there but it was rebuilt during the 1990’s but you can still see the original foundation of the old pagoda. Unfortunately there is not much left of the original foundation of the pagoda as an old Chinese folklore says that if you had one of the bricks from this pagoda, then you first child would be a male so the pagoda was slowly destroyed over the years in China, with many people taking home the bricks so that they could have a male child.

 

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The bricks from the pagoda

 

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I wonder how often the money gets cleaned out, i guess there must be a few thousand coins thrown into the foundation each day.

 

It was raining so hard that I could not go outside to shoot the new pagoda, so I guess I will have to go shoot the pagoda next time I visit Hangzhou. Next up for me was back to the broken bridge. This is my favorite place in all of Hangzhou, so I try to visit the bridge each time I visit the city.

 

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The weather was terrible but it still did not stop a lot of people from coming out to see the bridge.

 

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Broken bridge shot with Black and White film. I think this shot just looks so much better than the digital image.

 

I always carry a film camera with me, so while I was standing around waiting for the weather to clear up a little I decided to shoot the same scene with my Fujifilm XT1 and my film Nikon FM and see what the difference was. I have always loved black and white film shots so I am a little biased as too which shot I like more though.

 

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The bridge is just so popular.

 

This bridge is linked to the old folklore story in China about a white snake who married a farmer. It is a very famous story in China and according to legend, on this bridge, this is where the white snake disguised as a huge woman, met the farmer for the first time and fell in love. This is the reason why this bridge is so popular with tourists who come to the city.

 

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Climbing the hill and following this half-naked guy up the hill.

 

The rain cleared out in the afternoon so I decided to go find a place called beauty hill. To get to the top of the hill required you to ride up a cable car and a long walk up some hills.

 

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Another good luck bell. I don’t waste my time writing any good luck messages on them as they are all over china and not all the legends can be true.

 

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You must pay for your good luck at this lucky bell.

 

After you take the cable car, you are greeted by this bell and another legend about tying your names or wished together and locking it to the railing. I have seen this kind of legend all around China, to be honest, but I love shooting things that are red in color so I stopped for a few shots before I continued to beauty hill.

 

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I was speechless once I arrived at beauty hill.

 

After all that climbing and hiking, I got to the top of the hill and this was it. Beauty hill….Talk about an all time disappointment. I have no idea why people call it beauty hill or why there is a cable car to the top of this hill but it was a complete waste of time. Don’t bother coming here, there is absolutely nothing to see except for some mud and a small notice board telling you that you have arrived at beauty hill.

 

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China is the king of lights in their cities at night.

 

After climbing down from beauty hill, I decided to go get some food in a coffee shop near the broken bridge again, and then it was time to catch the last train home. Hangzhou is a city in China with a very different vibe from other Chinese cities and I think that is what keeps drawing me back to the city. This will not be my last visit to the city, as I am always looking for a excuse to come back.

Shaun.

 

 

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