I was telling a friend about Louise and I venturing off to Longjing China to hike the tea plantations in a taxi, where we had an impermeable language barrier with the driver. She laughed and shook her head, and said, “I would probably go shopping or something!” I admitted that Louise and I did go shopping the following day ;). Hangzhou is also known for its silk market — a few miles of outdoor stalls selling countless variety of scarves, ties, pajamas…mostly scarves. Well, I can go just as crazy shopping for silk scarves as I can shopping for pearls in China. I came home from this trip with enough pearls and scarves to open a small shop. I had to assure the customs agent that I did not in fact plan to restock my retail shop! Oh yes, I have a few stories about passing through customs.
Anyway, I thought we shouldn’t leave Hangzhou without sharing our fantastic day of scarf shopping. Louise and I decided on this day that we were perfectly matched travelers, and that our husbands would not have gone along with a full day of shopping before it was time to catch the train back to Shanghai. This photo sets the scene.
I found many beautiful scarves that became wonderful gifts to family and friends when I returned home. They are so easy to pack: taking little room in the suitcase and of course non-breakable. As a gift, a beautiful scarf always gets “oohs and aahs,” and they are much easier to select for others than jewelry. Gee, talking about it makes we want to go back! Louise was also looking for a yellow and black scarf at a good price point to give to members of the cross country running team when she returned (Quaker Valley colors). In this photo, you can see that she finally found it — after hours of searching 😉
While shopping, I still kept my eye out for interesting scenes on the street. I am always attracted to the marketplace in my travels. In China, the marketplace is everywhere, thanks to street vendors. This one was selling fruit — pomelos perhaps?