Hangzhou is literally worlds away from Hong Kong in every aspect. Hong Kong is fast-paced, Hangzhou is mellow. Hong Kong’s a concrete jungle, and Hangzhou is blessed with lush green tea fields and beautiful West Lake. Hong Kong’s people are always rushing somewhere, while Hangzhou people are always stopping on their way to smell the flowers and enjoy the crisp early summer air. No wonder Hangzhou is coined China’s Capital of Leisure.
At night, the people come out and congregate in public squares, where local artists, talent shows, promotional events, and night market stalls vie for their attention. Music is blasted, and strangers come together to dance and have a good time. Teenagers speed by on rollerblades, and little kids band together to frolick with a new toy.
The more I return to this foreign ‘hometown’, the more I fall in love with its charm.