Finding peace in Hangzhou

5 Sep
View from my balcony

View from my balcony

This is the third week in a row I have had a long road trip to a second tier city for work.  Two weeks ago it was Yangzhou, last week Changshu and this week Hangzhou.    Hangzhou was an overnight stay and to tell you the truth, not something I was really looking forward to.

Shame on me!  It was an incredible experience and just what I needed to get out of my funk.

The hotel and conference center was enormous in the Qixi wetland park resort.  Each room had a balcony overlooking water and bamboo.  There was even a comfortable sofa outside with a place to put up my feet.

Cleverly the conference organizers allocated enough time at lunch to go back to my room and rest.  I curled up on the sofa and let the peacefulness wash over me.  Nothing disturbed the quiet save an occasional bird.  It was wonderful.

At peace

At peace

I think that is the amazing part of China – even a business trip can turn into a mini-respite as long as I have eyes to see.

Before we left the hotel gave each guest a box of moon cakes.  I haven’t opened mine yet, but it seems an appropriate gift.  I could see myself returning to take a walk under the full moon and enjoy the autumn weather.

How do you celebrate fall?  Where is your escape?  Have you ever found peace in an unexpected place?


10 Responses to “Finding peace in Hangzhou”

  1. expatlingo September 5, 2013 at 11:56 am #

    Glad to hear you had a restful time. I love that the Chinese make allowances for napping. You look very peaceful in the photo! Hangzhou is lovely.

    • gkm2011 September 5, 2013 at 6:07 pm #

      It was a first actually and quite unexpected, just got home from the trip!

  2. Eileen黃愛玲 September 6, 2013 at 3:00 pm #

    I feel Hangzhou is a great place to escape from Shanghai. I have been there twice. Hangzhou is quite beautiful, indeed.

    • gkm2011 September 6, 2013 at 9:26 pm #

      I had been there twice before this trip, but for some reason that short break outside my hotel room really resulted in a big change in attitude. I mellowed… That is a great way to think of Hangzhou – mountains, tea and mellow.

  3. Naomi Baltuck September 7, 2013 at 2:13 pm #

    Hi Greta,
    Sounds wonderful! More than anything, I love the colors and crispness of fall, and the flavors, like hot apple cider or biting into a MacIntosh apple right off the tree. The smell of a wood fire, or a candle burning inside a pumpkin. I think it is probably my favorite season, although I love the springtime too.

    • gkm2011 September 7, 2013 at 2:38 pm #

      Autumn in China has some of those elements – apples and long walks. Hangzhou was more like Indian summer, a comfortable temperature and a lovely nap!

  4. loganmurphy1984 September 8, 2013 at 10:13 pm #

    Moon cakes! Yum! It’s almost Mid Autumn Festival (中秋節) and I am really looking forward to eating my share!

    • gkm2011 September 9, 2013 at 7:39 am #

      What is your favorite flavor? I like the egg yolk/custard ones and the five flavor ones. Not a big fan of red bean.

      • loganmurphy1984 September 9, 2013 at 10:22 am #

        I’m not picky, I like them all!

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