Well, it had to come to this (it is apparently completely normal to fall ill at least once during the trip) and I was in bed all day except for classes which I survived with one or two painkillers and lots of water.
On Tuesday, I was not sure if I would come along to the all-day excursion to Wuzhen, but went for it. I was still feeling not well, but I forced my way through it. Wuzhen is an old Chinese town (related to the colour black or something, I did not get that). It is more like a Chinese Venice with some pseudo artefacts of Chinese history. Apparently, this is also the town where the Chinese government decide to put its “we are the best at the Internet (better than the west)” conference, though I cannot set how that is an adequate location for a conference. It was interesting, but overrun by tourists — by Chinese tourist. This is an observation which I was surprised by again and again. Chinese tourist attractions are visited 95% by Chinese people themselves. If you go to Venice, you see maybe Italien locals, but no Italien tourists. If you go to Wuzhen, as a non Chinese person, you are a definite minority and Chinese people will take lots of pictures with you (because they have never seen someone from the west?; I never understood that).
On Wednesday, we were invited to present in front of a (random?) crowd of Chinese (business, government?) people from the Zhejiang area at the local science museum. There was a significant information mismatch and we did not know what to expect neither seemed the Chinese people. During the break, at least of them left, so it was some kind of weird overblown event with lots of cameras and press, but no real content. China.
On Thursday, we went to the Song Dynasty Town (reconstruction) which is a freak Theme park of Chinese history with a massive high tech theatre in the middle. We attend a one hour show on (four?) famous Chinese stories with at least 1900 other Chinese people. There we’re horses, cannons and waterfalls on stage and great action and dancing and music. Not sure if there are many musical productions that compete with this globallyy! It was definitely worth going!
On Friday, two Kong Fu/Tai Chi (?!?) teachers came by and taught us for one hour. It was so much fun, but also a quite hot day. For the rest of the day I visited the other campus again with Nicolae and our Chinese teacher.
This weekend was special as it was the weekend of the Qing Ming festival, i.e. “tomb sweeping” for Chinese. Initially, I had planned to go to Beijing for three days (the festival was Friday to Monday), but ticket prices were high. Many deviated to yellow mountains (环山 ？）and had a great time there. I personally think, I maxed out this weekend by more than 100%.
On Saturday we took a bus at 6:30 in the morning to the bottom of the hill which was 4 hours to the west of Zhejiang. We arrived at 10:30 at the hotel and decide to do the nine dragon waterfall hike. Indeed, there nine waterfalls and the views were magnificent. At about 3pm we came back and there were rumours that there was a hot spring or something. Well, it turns out, there were thirty of them in a spa pool thingy. And because everyone had the same idea, about 35 of us went there independently and all met at the hot springs. We stayed there for at least six hours and time passed so fast. It was incredibly relaxing. 10 out of 10, would do it again! We arrived back in the hotel at about 10pm and had dinner.
On Sunday, it was raining quite a lot in the morning, but we still decided to climb the actual mountain, yellow mountain. We took a bus to the foot of the hill and made our way up. I arrived after about three hours and the views were so nice. But after 15 minutes it started raining and would not stop until we went back to campus in the late afternoon. We were soaking wet and had been trying to find a way back to the busses for about 2 hours. On the 4 hour bus ride back home, I kind of warmed up, but only a hot shower later then did the job. But the weekend was not done, yet!
On Monday, Josh, Oliver and I decided to climb the hill line of Laohe Shan which went all around campus and down to West Lake. We did 33 kilometres in 12 hours and it was so, so nice. We did not have a set path, so we just went by rough directions towards a temple on the last hill. We see tea plantations with people plucking tea, empty houses (I guess for the press during the G20 in September, it looked like a press town), LOTS of Chinese people enjoying their Qing Ming festival next to tomb stones in the woods (even though fire was prohibited they brought candles!) and the whole of West Lake.