Winter X’Mas Vacay: Hangzhao - Mount Damingshan -> the calmness before the outbreak πŸŽ„πŸ―πŸ—ΌπŸŽΏ

 


We usually tend to spend X’mas out of Malaysia just to experience the different cultures and how they celebrate X’mas. While it’s going to be a couple of years before it’s really safe or comfortable to be going out of the country, I’m glad that we were all ok and got back home by the end Dec 2019 just before the widespread of the outbreak (I know, unfortunate and unforeseen things just keep popping up at places that I visit for some strange reasons) 

There’s a lot of paperwork as you will require a Visa for travels to China. We went with a travel agency to help guide and send our visa applications and that’s 50% of the work being done as we were rushing for time (I actually forgot about the whole visa requirements)

 

 Itinerary & Package:



Travelling with a 3 year old, I tend to opt for a private tour as 3 year olds will usually get tired/lazy if there’s too much walking. Also, it’s one less headache to worry in terms of the interchanging of public transportation and of course the language gap (it’s my 2nd visit to China and it is a little hard if you don’t know any mandarin)

We decided to go for China Highlights for our private tour-guides. Their proposed tour is a very flexible private tour. we were able to explore China's best at your own pace, accompanied by our personal driver and a professional English-speaking tour guide. We could also make minor changes with our guide at the last minute and make stops at places of interest that are not in our original itinerary or spend more time at places than what has been scheduled.

Total payment required for a group of 3 people is CNY5555 (US$797). We then added a day-trip to Daming Mountain(Skiing) which costs CNY3500 (US$532) for 3 people. The package includes lunch but excludes accommodation. 

Probably their quotation appears a little bit expensive but they informed that sometimes, there is a price difference between them and other competitors and the reason for the price difference is the different service standard and the salary being paid to their guides & drivers in each city and the main reason that our customers selected them was because they provide Absolutely non-shopping, Highly flexible detours during the trip, and Money back if there are dissatisfactions. 

 

Day 1:

 

KLIA:

It was X’mas day and prior to take off, we had Breakfast at The Living Room Bar & Kitchen KLIA. 












Tianducheng, China’s Parisian

 

Tianducheng also called Sky City, is a housing estate in the suburbs of Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, China. Its central feature is 108-metre-tall (354-foot) replica of the Eiffel Tower and 31 km2 (12 sq mi) of Parisian style architecture, fountains and landscaping. It was nice and cool (16’c) for an evening walk around the area which was not crowded. 





















Milan Garden, Hangzhao Hotel:

 

Before heading back to the hotel, we stop by a bakery to get some snacks and drinks. The Starbucks and fast food stalls design are quite classic as well. 

 







The hotel’s design follows the architecture and feel of the hotels in Milan, Italy and gives that cozy feeling. They also have a jacuzzi in the room. 











After taking a short break, we headed out to the subway which right in front of the hotel. There are many marts and food stalls in the subway that also links to the shopping malls opposite our hotel. 




















Day 2:


West Lake

























After a delicious dim sum and noodles breakfast, we had a stroll along the shores of West Lake. The lake's appeal varies between the seasons: the willows sway and the flowers bloom in the springtime, the ponds are full of lotus flowers during summer, the full moon reflects on the lake during autumn, and the lakeside pagodas can be covered in snow in winter. No matter what time of year you go there, the scenery always seems to be at its best. We also had a boat ride across the whole lake. 










Hangzhou is home to Alibaba Group Holding Limited founder, Jack Ma, a Chinese multinational conglomerate specializing in e-commerce, mobile payments, retail, internet, Artificial Intelligence and technology. Founded in 1999, the company provides consumer-to-consumer, business-to-consumer and business-to-business sales services via web portals, as well as electronic payment services, shopping search engines and cloud computing services.

It owns and operates a diverse array of businesses around the world in numerous sectors.







In one of the restaurants in the hotel that we went (Fly Zoo Hotel) called “intelligence restaurant,” you neither need to see a waiter, chef, nor anything like that to get served.

The brightly coloured, beautifully furnished restaurant has codes stuck over its different tables. It is these that the customers scan using their mobile phones and they can access the menu, make orders and get served

The supermarket near AliBaba Campus has high tech in place where items can be pre-ordered and also payment is done via apps such as AliPay, WeChat during check out via their self-checkout kiosks. I had to also download the WeChat app

 

Lingyen Temple:


Our next stop is to visit the tranquil hideout of Lingyin Temple, also known as the Temple of the Soul's Retreat.

 

Lingyin Temple or Temple of the Soul's Retreat is one of the largest and most visited Buddhist temples in China, which holds the largest statue of the Buddha Sakyamuni in the lotus position. It was built in 328 AD by Indian Monk Huili. The temple is now very popular among tourists and pilgrims as thousands visit it per day during peak season. The Temple got its name because of its tranquil surroundings. Sheltered by forested hills from three sides, the temple is a quiet and serene sanctuary (when it is not thronged with visitors). Over history, the temple has been damaged and undergone renovation several times. It has recently been rebuilt in its original style.
















The temple consists of the Hall of the Heavenly King, Hall of the Great Hero, Hall of the Buddha of Medicine, East and West Winding Corridors and several other buildings. 

In the center of the Hall of the Heavenly King sits a statue of Maitreya, the fat, bare and bellied Buddha with a smiling face – the laughing Buddha.

As an important Buddhist temple in the region, Lingyin Temple also contains a large collection of Buddhist treasures and relics, which are significant for the development of Buddhism in the region.


Six Harmonies Pagoda:


Six Harmonies Pagoda is a representative ancient pavilion-style tower in China, located on Yuelun Mountain to the south of the West Lake and facing Qiantang River. It is one of the three renowned pagodas in Hangzhou, together with another two around the West Lake, Baochu Pagoda and Leifeng Pagoda. It did remind me of our Pagoda peanuts πŸ₯œ 










Day 3:


Mount. Damingshan


Damingshan Ski Resort is located on the shore of Daming Lake at an altitude of over 1,200 meters. It currently features a 5,000 square meter snow entertainment area and a 50,000 square meter ski area.

The slopes are long with a large drop in elevation, and specialist equipment such as snowmaking and snow grooming equipment, as well as skis and ski wear, are all imported from abroad.

























We took a 2 hours drive from the hotel, walked for 15mins uphill to the cable car station where we had another 15mins ride to the top. And it’s not the end. We had to take a bus ride through several sharp corners to the top and yeah, it gave me good bumps. After 10mins, we finally reached the top. 

It was a cool experience as it’s the 1st time we get to ski and Alannah’s 1st time playing with snow and building her own Snowman️ and SnowAngel.



















Before heading back, we had some good hot noodles and hot drinks to warm our selves as the weather gets colder around 8’c. 

 

Day 4:

 

We spent the last day shopping at the Christmas Village for souvenirs before heading back to the airport. 















I would want to take this opportunity to shout out A big thx to Carol who despite being away on leave and holiday to also process our requests and last-minute changes. Special compliments to our tour guide Miss Candice who has a good command of English which made communication for us at ease & Mr. Ching who took us around safely whilst accommodating our plans, halal food & ever-changing schedules. Appreciate it @chinahighlights πŸ‡¨πŸ‡³ and take care China and stay safe. 












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