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The West Lake, Hangzhou
"Each moment of the year has its own beauty." -Ralph Waldo Emerson
What an amazing visit it must have been when a great emperor was so impressed with the surrounding landscape and its beautiful geography that it inspired him to build one of the most famous palaces! Despite the humid summer temperature, I had to experience the beauty of the Hangzhou region, West Lake. I was told that the region is almost perfectly situated within the standards of Fung Shui, and that the culture is rich, men are intelligent, and women are known for their beauty.
I simply strolled to experience the paths and nearby landscapes. The paths are pretty and have being there for centuries for visitors to enjoy. I imagine that the lake must have inspired many great landscape architects, such as Fredrick Olmstead and his masterpiece of Central Park in New York.
Edges of the lake are curvy and romantically nestled, like frail edges of embroideries. There are tons of large lotus fields, neighbored by the healthy feathers of willow trees and charming passenger boats. With gently rippling water synchronized with the sounds of tree leaves brushing, even a bride and groom forget they are getting married on one of the hottest days in Hangzhou. The tranquility of the lake must help forget people what's going on in the current moment. One can put the area's beauty in perspective when he knows that the experience of seeing it so impressed an emperor that it led him to build the Summer Palace in Beijing.
While we travel, it's important to take a break from the routines of typical tourists and join in and do what the locals do: stay away from the air conditioned hotels and retail stores to enjoy the seasonal weather back dropped with regional sensations. I also took a step further by imitating what the locals were doing: fanning themselves with beautiful summer fans and guarding themselves with parasols. After my stroll, I found pleasure by sipping on a regional libation: room temperature milky and smooth yellow corn juice.