Hangzhou was the last stop before heading to Shanghai for our last stop on our tour abroad. I feel Hangzhou was very different compared to the other cities we visited. Our tour guide explained that Hangzhou was a richer city that enjoyed their leisure time. People from Hangzhou enjoy visiting Shanghai on the weekends as Shanghai becomes less busy on the weekends. Like Wuxi and Suzhou the traffic here was much less chaotic then Beijing or Tianjin. We I thought distinguished Hangzhou the most was its quality of air. The air pollution was much much lower than any of the other cities we visited. I also think it was the most beautiful city. The Lion Garden and the Bamboo forest were absolutely amazing and breath taking. The waterways, vegetation, Chinese architecture, and rock formations all combined was incredible. Our group noticed that the bridges at the Lion garden zig-zaged which was strange to us. Our tour guide Joe explained this was to allow the women to enjoy the scenery. In ancient China, Chinese princesses were always supposed to look straight and not turn their heads. The zig-zaged bridge allowed the women to enjoy the scenery as it forced them to look around and enjoy the scenery. I can't imagine how tempting it would be not to turn your head to see more of this amazing garden. The Lion Garden also had a bonsai garden that I really liked. I had a bonsai tree when I was growing up, but I didn't take care of it nearly as much as I should have. The bonsai trees in this garden were amazing and so interesting to look at.
Another beautiful place we visited was the bamboo forest. This location had the cleanest air in China and it was very refreshing. At this destination I let the group get ahead of me because I wanted to be by myself in this forest. It was so peaceful, calm, and beautiful walking around listening to the silence. I found it extremely relaxing and very different compared to all the busy cities we had been to in China.