Day 53 of 111. Hangzhou, China
When we arrived in Hangzhou on the bullet train, we boarded a bus and drove to the West Lake. This lake is very popular with tourists and since it was Sunday, there were people everywhere. We boarded a moderate-sized boat for our 45-minute cruise with a tour guide telling us about the lake, the surrounding hills, the city, and about the differences among pagodas, towers, and temples. We could see a tower in the distance. We saw the Dragon Boat which is reserved for officials, but is used for tourists when it is not otherwise needed. We passed a man-made island (made from the silt that collects in the lake). There were trees filled with cormorants looking to fish in the lake. A side story told by our guide was about his daughter. Because of the law, she is an only child and spoiled. However, he is glad to have a girl because in order for a boy to get married, he must have a house and a car. These are often provided by his parents. Girls are less expensive. This tradition keeps a lot of people single.