Hi! My name is Kenneth, and I will the first person of Theme 6 to be blogging about ALP.

As I arrived in Hangzhou, one thing was made abundantly clear, this was a city like no other.

Inside one of the branches of Bank of China

Within the first couple of days, we quickly settled in, unpacked in the hostel, created our phone numbers and most importantly our bank accounts. Within the initial period there were 2 things that stood out. Food was really cheap (and good), and contact-less payment has taken its full stride here.

My first proper meal in ZJU

After all the settling in, we decided to venture out and see what Hangzhou has to offer.

On Monday, we went to West Lake(西湖) to see the sights and life, quite honestly we were surprised to see the large number of people on a Monday afternoon.

The crowd at West Lake on a Monday (feat. Tan Mae-Sy)

Tuesday was spent singing the afternoon away at a nearby Karaoke place, of which the booth costs around 25sgd for 4 hours. Entirely worth the experience, will go again

Singing some Karaoke  (feat. Tan Mae-Sy and Jeremy Cheong)

We then ended the day with some amazing seafood at Meishijie(羙时洁) food street.

Meishijie food street

On Wednesday, the school organised a tour around the ZJU’s mini history museum and Hangzhou’s design museum. The former being introduced to ZJU’s rich lineage and history, while the latter to Hangzhou’s design background. What stood out to me the most was not the cool gadgets and devices that surrounded us. But how we have never noticed that so many consumer goods that are out in the market were designed right here in China, for instance the Hover Camera Passport.

ZJU Musuem

Design Museum

On Thursday, we took a hike up Beigaofeng (北高峰). It was a 1.5km vertical height of a climb, and turned my legs into jelly by the time we reached the top. The view we were rewarded with was nothing short of a spectacle.

Adventures at Beigaofeng

In the evening, the entirety of Theme 6 together with Theme 1 had our very first ZJU lesson! To be honest, it was a little daunting at first as my Chinese isn’t that great. However, with the help of my Theme buddies (thanks theme buddies), I was able to survive my first lesson conducted in Chinese in 4 years!

 Our very first lesson at ZJU

tl;dr from the lesson, we will be working together with the groups from ZJU to come up with a product based on Machine Learning. We will then have to present our project to a 300 people large audience. (I’m going to die)

On Friday, we were treated by our TA Xie dinner to mark the start of our ALP journey. Food was delicious(nothing new there), and we explored the local ‘In Time City’ Mall.


On Saturday, we had Buddy Day! We had a tour around ZJU in the morning, followed by a walk around Nansongyu street (南宋御街). It was cool to see the fusion between the old and the new, like a Starbucks being sandwiched between traditional shops. Not to mention delicious lunch and dinner in between.

The view at Nansongyu street

On Sunday, the only interesting thing that happened was the Buddy Day presentation in the evening. We pretty much just had a sharing session of what each individual group did on Saturday, nothing too fancy.

Well, that’s pretty much all there is for Week 1! I expect less of a holiday and more work in the coming weeks.


Signing off,

Kenneth Sim

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