Being a mega (literally) foodie myself, I naturally looked forward to savoring the plethora of street food Chinese cuisine has to offer, each a hallmark of the region of China it represents. So, expect to see quite a number of food pictures in my upcoming posts 🙂 Typical of Chinese street food found in Chinatown, many would be familiar with names such as 麻辣锅，饺子，小笼包，炸酱面，and etc. While I would love to try them all at once, the canteen (this is just one of the many canteens available in ZJU’s biggest campus) does not offer all these as part of their breakfast options (unsurprisingly though, you can find them all in said canteen during the lunch hour). Nonetheless, I managed to get myself some tasty 饺子 for my first meal in 杭州 Hangzhou.
The same afternoon, we went to visit The 2nd World Industrial Design Conference (WIDC) in 良渚 Liangzhu town, Hangzhou. The exhibition, which was really interesting, featured some of the coolest industrial design projects China has to offer. We were also shown some pretty advanced 3D printing technologies widely used in many of the industries and current industrial projects in China. After witnessing these, I personally feel that Singapore is still a newcomer in the global industrial scene of additive manufacturing.
But the coolest takeaway from this has to be interacting with 小米’s 小爱同学, an AI.
What’s a trip without a hike right? That is exactly we did as a project theme. Funny thing was we started initially with the aim to conquer the 12 km route from 灵隐寺 Lingyin Temple to 虎跑山 Hupao Mountain but somehow ended up at 六和塔 Liuhe Pagoda because we keyed in the wrong destination in our Amaps App. Nevertheless, it was a blessing in disguise as we bonded over the hike, got to know each other better, and enjoyed the breath-taking view the 30-minute trek up to Liuhe Pagoda offered. A hidden gem indeed.
Before I came to Hangzhou, I told myself that I should take this opportunity to travel around China since I would be in ZJU for 3 months. Thus, my first travel destination out of Hangzhou has to be 上海 Shanghai since it is the nearest major (province-level) city. It was my first time in Shanghai, and it’s literally my ancestor’s land since my grandfather is Shanghainese. Seeing these buildings really reminded me of the 老上海 I have often heard of/seen on TV – as if what was on TV came to life. It was almost love at first sight as I soak in the view of this cultural artifact, this relic that transports me back to the past. Almost.
Finally, the highlight of our Shanghai trip has to be the food here. Our trip consisted mostly of walking from one food destination to another; sampling a particular Shanghainese street food to another. The primary objective of this trip was the patronization of Canton 8, the world’s cheapest 2 Michelin star food; food that is of ‘excellent cooking, worth a detour’. However, we felt that the food, while good, did not stand up to the 2 Michelin star accolade it was conferred upon, because it gave us less of the ‘wow factor’ when compared to the 1 Michelin star street food I had eaten in Bangkok, especially not for the price I am paying as well (even though it is the world’s cheapest). That being said, however, you are allowed to be jealous and even salivate as you scroll through the pictures: