China is very interesting.
First of all, I found it fascinating that I could leave my room with just my phone. Before visiting China, I already knew that they had adopted the cashless payment system but imagined the situation to be similar to that of Singapore, where majority of stores do accept cashless payment but there would still be a substential few that only accept cash. So imagine my surprise when I realised that regardless of age, few use cash to pay for things in China. Before we applied for a chinese bank account, we were treated as oddities when we used 100 dolar bills to pay for our meals and some stores even struggle to find change for our large bills. I am pretty impressed with the convenience of this cashless system and how seamlessly China has managed to integrate this system into the daily lives of their citizens. There is much that we can learn and adopt from their system and I do hope that cashless payment do become more prevalent in Singapore.
The campus is huge beyond compare. I think they have a park within campus bigger than our entire SUTD compound. The main form of transport within campus is either by electric bikes or cycling and all vehicles (bikes and cars alike) share the same road. For someone with sub-par psycho motor skills, it can be daunting to cycle on the roads and I am very surprised that I have not gotton into any road accidents. Did I mention that there are no traffic lights within campus?
It was interesting to learn more about the few prominent industries in China and hear them talk about their products. However, it was a little difficult to keep up with the technical terms spoken in chinese.
We visited XiHu, a famed tourist spot in HangZhou, boasting scenic sights and ancient architecture.
Our first stop was the LeiFeng Pagoda, where we climbed to the top and attempted to recite chinese poems.
Next, we crossed the Su Causeway, a 2.8km walk spanning across XiHu.
However, a note of caution: toilets along the causeway are a far cry from those found in Singapore’s parks and I quote, “was the filthiest toilet I have ever been in my entire life”. I would suggest using the toilets before crossing the causeway. Furthermore, food found along the causeway are rather pricey hence it would be wiser to take your meals before/after the walk across(unless you fancy expensive sub-par food).
We were led by a few of ZJU students to the downtown area of ZheJiang, where we visited the Jing-Hang Grand Canal, a huge man-made canal connecting HangZhou and BeiJing. Next, we visited WuLin Square, the ZheJiang equivalent of Orchard Road, a shopping district full of food and familiar brands. We ate hotpot for lunch and had the full chinese experience, ordering everything we hadn’t eaten before.
Sunday Funday, we visted the LongJing Village, famous for their LongJing tea. There we climbed so many flight of stairs I lost count after 600. Despite all, the view at the top was worth it.
All in all, I am looking forward to exploring more of China and hopefully in the process, my chinese improves.