lifestyle . Travel

Best Travel Adventure: A Trip To Eastern China


My best and most recent travel adventure was to eastern part of China early this year. Shanghai being my first stop was the largest city in China. In my opinion, it was China's most cosmopolitan city-state, offering visitors a chance to experience the past, present, and future all at one go. Shanghai was a cool, confident face of modern China, and its energy is really infectious. During my stay in Shanghai, I went to the Bund to watch ships on the river and marveled at the huge variety of architectural styles on display. I saw large crowds of shoppers in the People’s Square and huge masses of people making beelines at the Fabric Market and I learnt to bargain on prices in these two shopping hotspots. At night, it felt so great to explore all manner of fashionable restaurants, bars and nightclubs and strolling through the city, enjoying the spectacular neon lights was a must-do.

My second travel stop was Hangzhou. It was the capital of Zhejiang (East) Province and it was one of the seven ancient capitals of China too. The West Lake scenic area contained over 60 cultural relic sites and numerous attractions of natural beauty. As It housed a tea plantation, I had a fulfill trip by buying some freshly harvested, Hangzhou's famous aromatic green tea. Taking a cruise on the lake was a good option to view its several sites and I was happy I did.

Chinese people say that unless you visit the Great Wall, then you are not considered having been to China. And for any visit to south of the Yangtze River, one place one should not miss is the town of Wuzhen. Therefore, Wuzhen was obviously a part of my itinerary. Wuzhen was located in the centre of the six ancient towns south of the Yangtze River. The Water Town, another name for Wuzhen, displayed its two-thousand-year history in its ancient stone bridges floating on mild water, its stone pathways between the mottled walls and its delicate wood carvings. 

When I wandered along the east-west-east circuit created by these six districts, I immersed myself in the atmosphere of the traditional cultures and the original ancient features of the town that have been preserved intact. Wuzhen had got some nice shops for food and snack items on clean streets. So besides eating good food, I tried the boat ride on the river and went under the many bridges which I truly believed was a very nice place to take photo.

Nanjing was one of my travel stops. It was literally the 'Southern Capital' of China. Nanjing was lying on the lower stretches of the Yangzi River, boasting a surprisingly rich, impressive and extensive historical heritage. Some major attractions include the echoes of the city’s brief, former glory as the nation’s capital during its Ming-dynasty apogee and then as the capital of the Republic of China in the early years of the 20th century. A magnificent city wall still enclosed most of the city while elegant republican-era buildings doted the centre. The atmosphere of Nanjing was both cultured and relaxed.

Last but not least, Suzhou was the last stop of my vacation trip in China. The beautifully landscaped city of Suzhou was located in the center of the Yangtze Delta region, and was renowned for its classic gardens, traditional waterside architecture, and traditional operas. When I arrived in Suzhou, I took a stroll around the city to experience the local life, had a cup of tea and some local snacks in a tea house, followed by exploring the best representatives of Chinese gardens -Humble Administrator's Garden and Lingering Garden. I took a motorboat cruise on the Grand Canal plus a ride on a rickshaw to visit the old streets and hutongs in the old city area. I visited Zhouzhuang Water Town to experience the traditional culture, appreciate the well-preserved ancient architecture, and enjoy the beautiful scenery along the waterways. After this 18 days holiday, I had a deepened understanding and appreciation of Chinese culture.

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Contest runs from 7th August to 7th September, 2015