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Day 17 Hangzhou

June 14, 2011
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June 12, 2011 (Sunday)

Seventeenth day in China, second day in Hangzhou: Chinese medicine, Yellow Dragon Cave, Bai Causeway

Ate fried eggs, toast, and cappuccino in the cafe next door. Toured the museum of Chinese medicine inside the 胡慶餘 Huqingyu company dispensary, located in its original 1874 building with stone carvings over the doorway, wood carvings on railings and posts and geometric designs on the windows. Watched a technician grind powders with a machine, saw cases displaying medicinal ingredients, crushed powder with a metal roller, and drank tea in the handsomely decorated sales room.

Ate fresh Xinjiang-style sesame bread, corn cakes, and soup. Took the bus north, by several department stores, and walked over to the hills by 黃龍洞 Yellow Dragon Cave north of the lake. Climbed stone steps through a bamboo forest and reached a summit at the 初陽臺 Sunrise Terrace as the sun set. Walked east through the trees and saw 抱樸道院 Baopu Daoist Temple. A yellow exterior wall stood before wooden buildings. Beside the wall was an ancient well, and the remains of the courtyard floor from an earlier temple. I crossed a bridge by dripping craggy rocks in a pond full of groaning frogs, and saw the West Lake and Hangzhou’s glittering nightscape through the trees. Descended, walked around the shore of the 北里湖 North Inner Lake, crossed the 西泠橋 Xiling Bridge onto 孤山 Solitary Hill island, and the 錦帶橋 Colorful Stripe Bridge onto the 白堤 Bai Causeway. Saw 雷峰塔 Thunder Peak Pagoda glowing in the distance, and Hangzhou lit up at night. Crossed 斷橋 Broken Bridge back onto the mainland, took a bus to 南宋御街 Southern Song Street, walked back to Hefang Street and down a crowded alley with tables in the center and food stalls on either side. Ate 牛肉粉絲 rice-noodle soup and 煎餃 fried dumplings. Met my roommate Mini, from Sichuan, in Hangzhou to learn English.


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