China – Guilin, Hangzhou and Shanghai
This post is more travel than food, mostly because I failed to take photos! After a week exploring Beijing and Xi’an we headed to Guilin to cruise down the Li River to see the incredible gorges and limestone mountains. The scenery is stunningly beautiful and a lush green. We also visited the Reed Flute caves and walked around a small village.
The food we ate in Guilin wasn’t really worth mentioning, although the veg bento style lunchbox on the boat was pretty good.
From Guilin, we headed to Hangzhou and enjoyed walking through the peaceful gardens around the lake. We visited a tea plantation where we learned quite a lot about tea ceremonies and different types of tea, and then to the Lingyin Temple which is surrounded by hundreds of carvings into the nearby rocky gorge. The temple houses a vegetarian restaurant where we ate a variety of noodle soups.
Our final city in China was Shanghai.
First was a visit to Zhujiajiao watertown outside Shangahi, a bit like Venice in China, complete with gondolas. Really lovely. Lunch was some excellent dumplings and noodles in a tiny restaurant off the tourist beaten track in a side street off a side street, before we headed back to the city.
Shanghai is a combination of the stunningly modern and traditional, along with a fantastic collection of Art Deco buildings. We walked our feet off through the French Quarter, looked at the city from the 100th floor of a building, and went to the Shanghai Museum which has a stunning collection of ceramics.
The food was also excellent. We found a local restaurant that we enjoyed so much that we went back a couple of times. Our favourite waiter who spoke no English and we, who spoke no Mandarin, managed very well with the help of the Google translate app, a lot of patience on her part and a lot of laughter all round.
It was a whirlwind tour, a bit crazy at times, but a lot of fun. Shanghai was probably my favourite place, I’d happily go back there any time. The noodles in Xi’an were, hands down, the best food I’ve eaten, probably anywhere.