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HANGZHOU - CHINA

 
 

Hangzhou is the capital of Zhejiang province. It is an ancient and important city which was the southern terminus of the Grand Canal. It is on Hangzhou Bay and now is located on the east side of Xi Hu Lake, in a formerly submerged area. The lake was formerly part of the bay and open to the sea until in the 4th century the accumulation of silt blocked the entrance. The city benefited greatly from the 6th century with the start of construction of the Grand Canal. With the Tang Dynasty and greatly expanded commerce the builders constructed a sea wall circa 910 AD to protect the city from tides and storms. in those days the city was well fortified by walls that are now long gone. It was during the Song Dynasty that the city developed further. The nomad invasions destroyed the Chinese Empire's northern capital at Kaifeng causing the Song to make Hangzhou their capital from 1138 to 1279, when it was finally taken by the Mongols. Marco Polo visited the city and described it as the most beautiful anywhere. The silk and brocade industries had been flourishing for centuries. There were many market places filled with all sorts of produce. The population exceeded a million. Unfortunately the city fortifications - ramparts are no longer, even though they were rebuilt by the Ming emperors, and the numerous canals are mostly filled in. The city was severely damaged during the Taiping Rebellion in 1861-63. Today the city again has a population of six million. It again benefits from the expansion of overseas trade from nearby ports. It produces not only silk but also tea and pharmaceuticals. Lacking significant ancient or medieval historical sites, the chief attraction for its many tourist visitors is the lovely lake, Xi Hu. But of interest also is the Yuefei Mu (Temple and Tomb of Yuefei) and the Buddhist carvings at Feilai Feng and the temple of Lingyin Si.
Rather than try to include the history of Hangzhou here I refer readers to the extensive Wikipedia article.

 
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The wealth of Hangzhou is readily apparent even during the approach to the airport, even through the typical Chinese haze.

 
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The modern Hangzhou airport - note the row of workers standing at the ready to service the aircraft.

 
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Driving into Hangzhou on modern highway we are amazed at the large developments full of strikingly modern architecture.

 
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Driving into Hangzhou on modern highway we are amazed at the large developments full of strikingly modern architecture.

 
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Driving into Hangzhou on modern highway we are amazed at the large developments full of strikingly modern architecture.

 
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Driving into Hangzhou on modern highway we are amazed at the large developments full of strikingly modern architecture.

 
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Driving into Hangzhou on modern highway we are amazed at the large developments full of strikingly modern architecture.

 
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Driving into Hangzhou on modern highway we are amazed at the large developments full of strikingly modern architecture.

 
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Driving into Hangzhou on modern highway we are amazed at the large developments full of strikingly modern architecture.

 
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Driving into Hangzhou on modern highway we are amazed at the large developments full of strikingly modern architecture.

 
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Driving into Hangzhou on modern highway we are amazed at the large developments full of strikingly modern architecture.

 
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Driving into Hangzhou on modern highway we are amazed at the large developments full of strikingly modern architecture.

 
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The city skyline is obscured by the constant haze -but new construction is everywhere.

 
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The old ways exist along with the new.

 
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View from the hotel window over the city toward the lake. - The Radisson Plaza Hotel in Hangzhou is another of the spectacular first quality hotels in which we stayed in China. - email hzrph1@mial.hz.zi.cn

 
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View from hotel to adjacent modern building

 
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View from hotel to adjacent modern building

 
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Rock garden in the hotel back yard.

 
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Rock garden in the hotel back yard.

 
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Sybil and Ruth at the Zheijang Provincial Museum

 
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The museum lobby proclaims the historic importance of its contents.

 
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A model of an ancient archeological site - It was a ritual altar Yaoshan

 
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pottery - Yu - Hemudu

 
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Models showing neolithic and early bronze age activities - weaving.

 
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Models showing neolithic and early bronze age activities - weaving.

 
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Models showing neolithic and early bronze age activities - skinning animal.

 
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Models showing neolithic and early bronze age activities - sowing seed.

 
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Models showing neolithic and early bronze age activities - starting fire.

 
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Models showing neolithic and early bronze age activities - creating a pot.

 
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Bronze Ding - cooking pot - 770 - 476 BC - Yue State.

 
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Gold He 770- 476 BC

 
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Swords - Zhougou from Yue state

 
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Spear point - Yue state

 
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Battle ax head - Yue state

 
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Bronze Nao - 1250 - 1066 BC

 
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Bronze Yong Bue - 1066 - 772 BC

 
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Brass tower 907 - 971 AD - fronm temple in Feixin

 
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Colored Buddha - 960 - 1127 AD - Song Dynasty

 
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Seated statue of Guanyin 960 - 1127 - Song dynasty

 
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Model of the Harmony Pagoda - Song dynasty

 
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Uniform of Qing dynasty Inlaid Red Banner Regiment - see samples in the Military museun in Beijing

 
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Uniform of the Pure Yellow Banner Regiment - Qing dynasty

 
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Uniform of the Pure Blue Banner Regiment - Qing Dynasty

 
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uniform of general with dress helmet - Qing Dynasty

 
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Uniform of Pure White Banner Regiment - Qing dynasty

 
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Full dress helmet of Qing general

 
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Uniforms of Qing dynasty regiments.

 
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Model of Chinese with 1885 cannon

 
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Model of Chinese with 1885 cannon

 
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Wall plaque with discussion of the 1911 Revolution

 
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Various rifles and a mortar used in Chinese Revolution

 
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Cannon made from pine logs and sandlewood.

 
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Bronze artifact

 
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Bronze weapons

 
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Bronze artifact

 
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The main building of the Zhejiang Provincial Museum

 
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Building in the Zhejiang Provincial Museum

 
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Building in the Zhejiang Provincial Museum

 
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Building in the Zhejiang Provincial Museum

 
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Our clever taxi driver returned and is waiting for us to leave the provincial museum even though we didn't think to ask him - across the street is tourist shop next to the West Lake.

 
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The lobby of the Radisson Plaza Hotel

 
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Buildings in Hua Gang Park next to the lovely West Lake

 
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Buildings in Hua Gang Park next to the lovely West Lake - pools with multitude of large goldfish,

 
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Many goldfish in ponds at the Hua Gang gardens park

 
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Buildings and goldfish in ponds at the Hua Gang gardens park

 
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A peacock displays his finery at the Hua Gang park

 
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Another building in the Hua Gang park

 
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The upper floors of a tall Lei Fang pagoda rise above the trees across the lake. It was originally built in 975 AD but deteriorated and was reconstructed in 2002=see Wikipedia article

 
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We are greeted by a Chinese child who is also enjoying the park

 
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Another building in the park

 
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We approach the West Lake - time to take a cruise

 
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Boarding one of the many river craft - this lake is a hugely popular stop for Chinese tourists.

 
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The upper part of the Lei Fang pagoda stands out above the trees - another cruise boat passes before us on the West Lake

 
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Interesting decorative wall in the cabin of our cruise boat.

 
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View of West Lake and one of the bridges over causways.

 
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We are taking pictures of Chinese tourists taking pictures of us.

 
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Happy tourists enjoying themselves just as we are on adjacent cruise boat.

 
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The Hangzhou skyline is seen through the haze across West Lake. The provincial museum we visited is on the shoreline.

 
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More of the Lei Fang pagoda is visible from this point in the lake but the general haze persists.

 
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Another view of West Lake through the haze.

 
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Returning to the boat landing complex.

 
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The Lei Fang pagoda and small craft on the lake

 
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The Lei Fang pagoda across West Lake

 
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Small craft on West Lake

 
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Small craft on West Lake

 
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The hillsides are covered with tea plants - on our way to the tea museum in Longjing village

 
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Tour guide Kelly Wei and tourists outside the tea museum. The Longjing tea (Dragon well) is very famous and often counterfitted.

 
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More hillsides covered with tea plants adjacent to the museum

 
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Close up view of tea plants.

 
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Statue of the man who made important research into tea - Su Lou - he wrote the 'bible' about tea culture

 
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A demonstration of the art of fine tea drinking. - This is Dragon Well Green Tea - small tea leaves from spring harvest is best - a small amount of tea means you are welcome - three dips with the pot means you are very welcome - don't cover the glass and don't use boiling water. fermentation kills the vitamins - eat theleaves - 'they say' eat the tea not drink' -

 
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The tea demonstration continues

 
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In the garden at the tea museum

 
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The tea shop section of the museum -

 
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The general sales store section of the museum -

 
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A walk through the village from tea museum to local lunch with family - the village is obviously wealthy from something - tea?

 
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A walk through the village from tea museum to local lunch with family - the village is obviously wealthy from something - tea?

 
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A walk through the village from tea museum to local lunch with family

 
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A walk through the village from tea museum to local lunch with family

 
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A walk through the village from tea museum to local lunch with family

 
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A walk through the village

 
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Our lucheon hosts at their home - Mei Jia Wu

 
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Outside the home of our lucheon hosts the tourists prepare for the next adventure.

 
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Ruth is enjoying the walk through the village.

 
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More modern homes in this wealthy village.

 
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More modern homes in this wealthy village.

 
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A shrine building at the entrance of the very popular Lingyin Si temple (Monastery of he Hiddle Souls) - Feilai Feng mountain peak (Peak that flew from afar) and Buddhist carvings park. The monastery was founded in 326 by Buddhist monk from India. See Wikipedia article

 
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A shrine building at the entrance of the very popular Lingyin Si temple monastery - Feilai Feng peak and Buddhist carvings park.

 
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Seated Buddha - there are 345 statues along this narrow creek path to the temple complex. These date from the 10th century on.

 
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There are many statues carved into the rock wall or set in niches - above a small stream and amid a thick growth of vegetation.

 
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More statues of Buddha inset in the rocks.

 
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This laughing Buddha may be the most famous of all the statues along this wall. This one dates from the Song Dynasty.

 
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Another statue in its niche.

 
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Another statue in its niche.

 
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Another statue in its niche.

 
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More statues along the rock wall

 
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Here we catch sight of some of the tourists who follow the path against the rock wall - it is on other side of the creek.

 
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Tourists admiring another seated Buddha.

 
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Tourists taking photo of another laughing Buddha.

 
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Building in the monastery complex

 
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Building in the monastery complex

 
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Building in the monastery complex

 
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Statue and altar to a guardian Heavenly king - in the Hall of the Heavenly Kings (Tianwang Dian)

 
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Statue and altar to a guardian Heavenly king

 
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Close up view of part of the temple ceiling structure. - very dark inside and no flash allowed

 
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Close up view of part of the temple ceiling structure. Taking these photos in very dark places without flash was difficult.

 
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Another elaborately carved and painted statue in the temple

 
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Another guardian king in his dark place

 
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Another guardian king

 
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Another guardian king

 
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Another guardian king in very poor light.

 
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Interior wall of the temple

 
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Entrance to another temple in the Lingyin Si Monastery

 
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A carved tower in the temple courtyard.

 
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Incense burning - josh sticks in use - in the temple courtyard.

 
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The gold covered seated Buddha

 
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More statues in the Daxiongbao Dian

 
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There are at least 500 bronze statues of Buddha's disciples in this building.

 
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There are at least 500 bronze statues of Buddha's disciples in this building.

 
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Another temple in the monastery complex

 
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Another temple in the monastery complex with courtyard in front

 
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More statues in another hall

 
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The gold covered Sakyamuni Buddha made of camphor wood - over 66 feet tall in the Daxiongbao Dian (Precious Hall of the Great Heroes).

 
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The gold covered Sakyamuni Buddha made of camphor wood - over 66 feet tall in the Daxiongbao Dian (Precious Hall of the Great Heroes).

 
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Roof line of another temple building

 
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Another Buddha in another temple room

 
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Another one of these demon guards.

 
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Another demon or guard

 
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Another demon or guard

 
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A rock garden on the monastery grounds

 
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Various statues and other gift items in the monastery sales store.

 
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Various statues and other gift items in the monastery sales store.

 
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Various statues and other gift items in the monastery sales store.

 
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Various statues and other gift items in the monastery sales store.

 
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Monastery building

 
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Monastery building

 
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Monastery building

 
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Monastery building

 
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Walking from hotel in downtown Hangzhou to local market - another modern high rise apartment - note that each floor has individual air conditioner.

 
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In this typical local market we found many strange and seemingly exotic meal items.

 
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In this typical local market we found many strange and seemingly exotic meal items.

 
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In this typical local market we found many strange and seemingly exotic meal items. Were these some of the unknown items we were eating each day during the extensive multi-course Chinese meals?

 
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In this typical local market we found many strange and seemingly exotic meal items. Or was this that unknown dish?

 
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In this typical local market we found many strange and seemingly exotic meal items.

 
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Fish anyone?

 
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Live chickens and ducks ready for the chef.

 
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A merchant proud of his wares.

 
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Ducks are a favorite dish

 
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So are chickens

 
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Looks something like the local country fair here.

 
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Ooodles of noodles plus more.

 
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Shopping must be a delight in such an extensive market

 
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More fish to suit every taste.

 
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More fish to suit every taste.

 
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More fish to suit every taste.

 
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Preparing goods for sale.

 
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The vegetables are just as exotic and the fish.

 
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The vegetables are just as exotic and the fish.

 
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The vegetables are just as exotic and the fish.

 
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Melons and pinapples plus ??

 
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Fruit to add to the Dept of Agriculture food pyramid

 
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View of a larger section of the produce market

 
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Some kind of vegtable.

 
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View of apartments along a back street - note the air conditioners.

 
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Modern hotel building

 
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More modern buildings.

 
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School children stopping for a snack on the way home at small shop across from hotel.

 
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School children stopping for a snack on the way home at small shop across from hotel.

 
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Yes, we're loving it too - One of the Hangzhou McDonald locations.

 
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But Starbucks and Haagen-Dazs are not to be slighted either.

 
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Local traffic is heavy in downtown Hangzhou.

 
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View of West Lake across apartment buildings - from hotel window.

 
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View from hotel window toward the mountains and tea country.

 
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View from hotel window in opposite direction

 
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Decoration in lobby of the hotel.

 
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Swimming pool on top floor of the Radisson Plaza hotel

 
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Radisson Plaza hotel and adjacent buildings in Hangzhou

 
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Entrance arch to Heafang Jie shopping street in Hangzhou

 
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Walking down a Heafang Jie shopping street in Hangzhou

 
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Ruth enjoying a joke with the laughing Buddha

 
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Laughing Buddha and many tiny helpers.

 
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Colorful shops in Hangzhou on Heafang Jie street

 
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Colorful shops in Hangzhou

 
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Sedan chair from ancient China on display along with model of horse.

 
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Tang Dynasty body armor - part of a display for tourists' use.

 
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Another colorful shop in Hangzhou

 
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Lecture at the Hu Qing Yu Tang Traditional Chinese Pharmacy museum

 
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Lecture at the Hu Qing Yu Tang Traditional Chinese Pharmacy museum

 
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Lecture at the Hu Qing Yu Tang Traditional Chinese Pharmacy museum

 
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Lanterns in Hu Qing Yu Tang Traditional Chinese Pharmacy museum

 
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Statue of the medieval Chinese herbologist who catalogued thousands of medicinal remedies.

 
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Herb garden at the Huqingyu Tang Medicine Museum

 
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Memorial display about the founder of Chinese herbology

 
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Balcony in the courtyard of the Huqingyu Tang museum of Chinese medicine

 
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Balcony in the courtyard of the Huqingyu Tang museum of Chinese medicine

 
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Display of carved wood art work on Hefang Jie street

 
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Adniring the shops on Hefang Jie street

 
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Young tea waiters practicing their routines.

 
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Young tea waiters practicing their routines.

 
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Young tea waiters practicing their routines.

 
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Side alley off Hfang Jie street

 
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Elaborate swords for sale in a speciality store.

 
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Display of more swords and daggers of various sizes and styles.

 
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Reproduction of Tang Dynasty body armor

 
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Display of reproductions of Tang Dynasty helmets, swords and other gear.

 
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A noted world travelers wearing Tang Dynasty full armor

 
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Tang Dynasty warrior with sedan chair

 
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Tang Dynasty warrior relaxing after battle.

 
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Tang Dynasty cavalryman with his trusty steed.

 
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Tang Dynasty cavalryman with his trusty steed.

 
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Tang Dynasty warrior with Chinese pole ax

 
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Tang Dynasty warrior with Chinese pole ax

 
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Tang Dynasty warrior with Chinese pole ax

 
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More stores on Hefang Jie street

 
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More new buildings in Hangzhou - note the construction methods

 
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Another modern building in Hangzhou

 
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Another modern building in Hangzhou - the train station

 

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