Monday, June 30

Hangzhou Bay Wetlands

While in China recently I stayed overnight with a friend at a city called Cixi (with a population of over 2 million).  My host was a student at the University where I taught and has come to Australia twice to visit.  Her family run a coat factory in Cixi - and I was fortunate to see both the city and the factory.

Their home is midst one of their factories though I didn't venture too far into the factory.  They have oevr 100 staff (60 of them live within the factory grounds).  It was quite interesting.

I was taken to the city in the evening to see a Stone Market - stalls of people selling all manner of stones - many stone carvings, jewelry and various items made from stone.  On stone that really fascinated me was "bacon stone".  I don't recall every having heard of it before.  There's not much about it on the internet but there is probably another name that I don't know.

The stone looks just like it has been carved from a pig!!!  And clever stone artists make things that resemble parts of a pig too.



The next day I was taken to the bome of my friend's boyfriend, and we left her car there and ventured to the Hangzhou Bay Wetlands in his car.

The wetlands are pretty new - a few years old probably..  Don't be confused between the Xixi Wetlands in Hangzhou, and the Cixi Wetlands of Hangzhou Bay which is near Cixi.  Cixi was named after Empress Dowager Cixi and is south of Shanghai in  Zhejiang Province - not far from Shaoxing where I stay.


There was an impressive path with bamboo railings on entrance to the wetlands - and water, water everywhere.  The building towards the centre of the photo above was part of the set of a movie made there.  See photos below.  




My firned asked me about the relevance of a bed in a romance movie.  Mmm...   I did explain, to her horror, that it might have been used by the lovers!!!  Did I have to tell her about sex?   No!!! Thank goodness.

It is a huge park with acreas of water filled with all sorts of lotus flowers.  The little girl above wanted a photo with a foriegner - and I agreed, as long as I could take one of her!!!


The park is extensive - and really worthy of more than one visit as there is a lot of walking and a lot to see.  There are boat rides also on the waterways, bicycles to hire and a grand Discovery Centre as well.



There are 20 Elk - an endangered species being cared for here.

In the Discovery Centre.
It certainly is well worth a visit!

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