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HANGZHOU – BAMBOO LINED PATH AT YUNQI

17 Feb

One of the most beautiful places I’ve seen – the “Bamboo Lined Path at Yunqi”. “Yunqi” means “clouds lingering”, because it is said that some colored clouds floated over from Color Clouds Hill and lingered there, hence the name.It’s essentially a bamboo forest, so absolutely serene and beautiful that we were captivated the moment we stepped in. It was actually quiet, which felt a bit weird as we’re now accustomed to the hustle and bustle of Shanghai. Here, it was so peaceful and still.

The forest is breathtaking. It really makes you realise how insignificant you are when you stand next to the bamboo trees towering way above you. We were surprised at how hard the bamboo actually was – no wonder Asian builders use it as scaffolding! The thing I really liked about the bamboo forest is the light – even though the forest was dense, it still seemed really light and crisp, because of the fact the bamboo’s all green (not like normal trees where the trunk is dark brown). It gives the forest a totally different vibe, hard to explain but it was just fascinating.

We wandered slowly along the path, just enjoying the peacefulness of it as well as each other’s presence. A very nice way to spend a Valentines Day afternoon :) We’ve decided we are definitely going back there again, it’s well worth the trip and a wonderfully refreshing change to the cityscape of Shanghai.

“Bamboo Lined Path at Yunqi”

Heading in

Quite literally, a bamboo lined path

Was quite impressed someone could carve their name into the bamboo

There were little pagodas as rest stops

It was quiet and serene. Such a far cry from Shanghai!

View towards the sky. Some of the trees there were over 1,000 years old

At a little wooden bridge winding through the bamboo

The sheer height of the bamboo is breathtaking

At a quiet little stone bridge, to the left is the “Mind Purifying Pond”

A very wobbly bridge – so fun to cross ;)

Well, the “toilet” sign DID point down to that spot….. ;)

In the middle of the bamboo forest…. we found a restaurant! Well, it was more like a little hut ;) They had charming little bamboo tables and chairs outside, under the trees. There were a few people relaxing there drinking tea, so we decided to sit down and have something to eat. THAT was a challenge, because the waitress spoke not one single word of English, and the menu was all in Chinese. Ack!! She rattled off the dishes, explaining them, and was met with our blank stares. *sighhhhh*……. Finally, we just left it to her to serve up some food, whatever she thought was good ;)

She chose well, because we were absolutely blown away by it. It was very very good, homecooked grub. Very simple, yet ticked off all the right boxes. The sticky fried rice in bamboo was such a novelty – rice stuffed into a bamboo cup. It was deliciously hot and had little tidbits of mushrooms, peas, etc inside. We also ended up with sweet and sour pork, though I swear it sounded way more exotic when she said it in Chinese! But really, it was like a China version of sweet and sour pork ;) The pork was deliciously meaty and tender, and the sauce was sticky and had a wonderful blend of flavours. Very very satisfying when eaten steaming hot when it’s cold outside, as we did. We also ended up with wok fried vermicelli with cabbage and egg, again, sounding way more exotic in Chinese ;) The charcoal smell of the wok was really strong in the vermicelli, and it was absolutely perfect comfort food. Loved loved it.

We also had their Dragon Well (Longjing) Tea, a famous variety of green tea in the region. You can select anything from 5元 to 80元 a cup. We chose the mid-range at 30元 (US$4.30) per cup. It’s exorbitantly expensive, considering you can get a full steak meal for the same price in China! But that’s just the price of this special tea, which is grown in the Longjing mountain area of Hangzhou, southwest of the West Lake. The waitress proudly told us that it was served with spring water from high the mountains, which is boiled then cooled to about 80 celsius before being used to brew the tea leaves. It does taste like green tea, but slightly different, with a distinctive fragrance.

Thorougly enjoyed ourselves eating in the middle of the forest, then sipping our hot tea in the winter cold. A magical experience.. I am so glad we went.

At Yunqi Teahouse, a little food joint in the middle of the bamboo forest

The famous Dragon Well (Longjing) Tea, at 30元 (US$4.30) per cup.
Most expensive tea we’ve had in China… and we only got the medium-grade one!

The sticky fried rice in bamboo. Heavenly.

Don’t know the name, but basically sweet and sour pork. LOVED it!

Some sort of wok fried vermicelli with cabbage and egg. OMG this was amazing..

Happily fed and heading back

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Posted by on 17 February 2009 (Tue) in Hangzhou, Holidays, Uncategorized, Valentines Day

 

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