Manufacturing nature

(Kylin Peninsula of Qiandao Lake) From the relative green of Hangzhou, once again we journeyed a few hours to the One Thousand Island Lake – an even greener creation. On our way we were greeted with rolling hills, rice paddies, tea bushes and bamboo forests.

On the bus-ride Fang Fang even gave me a Chinese name. So for the record, from now on I may be called An Lu Shan!

If it weren’t for the odd pagoda here and there, a boat-ride meandering on One Thousand Island Lake could just as well be in any idyllic natural hotspot. In a way it is, but it’s a little bit of an exaggeration to say that it is a natural resort because the vast expanse is nothing but a vast cultivated landscape. In China, you can manufacture nature!

The One Thousand Island Lake, known as Qingxi Lake, was created at the construction of the Xinanjing Reservoir in 1959. Fang Fang’s grandparents, for instance, lived on this land and were ‘moved’ – much as the case of the more contemporary project on the Yangtze River, the Three Gorge Dam project. Villagers from the area were moved to another village before the construction of this massive lake which is now a resort with hotels the likes of Hilton or Sofitel. I imagine this is where one would go to get away from the city-life of Shanghai.

Where I’m staying:

New Century Resort Qiandao Lake Hangzhou
Kylin Peninsula, Qiandao Lake
Chun’an Hangzhou, China
Phone: [86] 571 650 18 888
http://www.ncihotel.com/english/default.aspx
Cultural Navigator rating: 8.7/10

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