Hello everyone! Today is the last official entry for the DATE program for the TFi duties. I’m very thankful for this chance to receive this award and a protected time for me every week to recount the events that happen over the course of the week.

Cycling around Qiandaohu

This final week of classes can be summarized with one word which is the hustle. We all utilize our remaining time to ensure that the product that we were showcasing at the end of the week was the best that we could produce. My theme focused on cleaning up the contents of the code and rushing out the poster, video and presentation slide. Most of the SUTD students all coalesce into one building which is called Yueya Building which was where the international design institute and our working space was located. Over the course of a month, the different themes have been utilizing this work space to complete the task at hand and interact with one another. I’m very thankful for this work space where have a protected area to complete our work, but also socialize with the other SUTD students at DATE.

 

The DATE finale showcase was held on Friday and every theme went up with a presentation, demonstrations and video to explain to the audience what they have done for the theme project. I was impressed by many themes project, with a well-rounded showcase where the presentation, product and video conveyed the central goal of their theme project.

Exhibition for Theme Project

After the DATE finale showcase, my friends and I decided to visit 千岛湖. We took a high speed train from Hangzhou to 千岛湖 area. The lake was formed after the Chinese government flooded this area to create an artificial lake for a hydroelectric project. On the first day, we cycled around one of the many cycling paths that encircle the lake. The bike rentals around the island were a little pricy but they were the best way to travel around explore the lake surrounding area. We cycled for 6h around the town and lake area where we were able to see the sunset from a bridge which had an obstructed view of the lake and the sunset!

View of Qiandaohu

On the second day, we decided to go for water sports on the lake itself. There was a water sports recreation center on the shores of the lake, and we paid a one-time entrance fee for access to multiple facilities within the recreation center. We kayaked around the lake and got to see the different islands which the lake was renowned for. Afterwards, we took a relaxing ride through the lake in an electric boat which we could ride by ourselves. The relaxing boat ride was a good break from the physical demands needed for the kayaking journey. There was an inflatable bouncy castle obstacle course which I would say was the main highlight of the entire water recreation center. It was akin to the TV show wipeout where we needed to clear water-based obstacle course.

At the water theme park

 

Kayak

On the third day, we visited a forested nature reserve located along the fringes of qiandaohu. The forested area trail was along many natural streams and miniature waterfalls which snaked upwards to the summit of the hill. At the top of the hill, there was an artificial grass sled where we could ride down to a lower section of the hill. The grass sled was a single path with wooden barriers as guide for the sled. We were all shocked by how fast the sled accelerated to and made the ride very enjoyable.

Forest Sled

Overall, Qiandaohu is a definite must visit when in the Hangzhou area and should be on the top of the travel itinerary list. The combination of untouched flora and a plethora of activities make this an excellent weekend getaway.

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