Knowing I have less than one week left in this amazing country leaves me with a whirlwind of emotions. Amongst the many things I will miss about China are the little trips that lead you to briefly into another world. Saturday's was no exception, as my friends and I spent part of our last full weekend here traveling to Hangzhou's famous West Lake in Zhejian Province.
If you've been following along on my travels, you might notice some repetition between my destinations in terms of scenic bodies of water and typical Chinese architecture. Believe me, I have seen my fair share of water towns over the past few months. What sets Hangzhou apart are its areas of pure serenity, even as a popular day trip destination. Within every surrounding temple or garden we found ourselves isolated at some point, whether it be on a hidden hiking trail or at a random opening with stunning views of the lake. It was a lovely contrast to Shanghai's urban landscape and just what I needed to conclude my semester abroad.