Thursday, June 16, 1983:
We flew in from Guangzhou and arrived at Hangzhou airport in the mid-afternoon. A bus took us through flat country with numerous bicycles and pushcarts on the road, and dropped us at an old fashioned hotel close to West Lake. The enthousiastic local hostess allowed us to settle in (I now had to share a room with Lee), but urged us to be back by 16:30 for our scheduled bus-trip to the tea plantation in the mountains.
A brigade of some 300 families works the plantation.
We were welcomed in a room with fans, given a glass of tea and the latest, upward production statistics.
The local lady would rapidly say a brief sentence, then stop so the lady interpreter could expand it into a long English paragraph.
When we were urged to ask questions I was the default and asked about fertilizing the soil. Three times a year, organic.
We then walked through the teabushes and were taught how to pick leaves.
We saw their housing, in stark concrete houses with very little furniture, no TV, no running water, electricity from bare wires strung along and across.
In a creche, the children (right) sang for us, and the smallest wore split shorts for easier changing.
We were shown a redwood tree planted by Pres.Nixon. All of us noticed and enjoyed the people's obvious pride, hospitality and contentedness.
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by China Travel Service
2003 search, Google:
search term: "Hangzhou": 374,000 results: [Feb.2006:about 9,170,000!-Sep.2007:12,200,000]
5 million inhabitants
one half million foreign visitors/yr ,
21 million domestic tourists;
annual urban income Yuan 7,896
residential living space 9.3 m2