My Photographs: Top 5 Xi Dong Bridge – Taishun County, China.

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Xi Dong Bridge, November 2017. Many of Taishun County’s ancient, wooden bridges are located in deep, rural countryside. In most cases you’ll need a car to get anywhere near them, but happily Xi Dong Bridge lies right in the heart of Sixi Town. Just walk down the old shopping street by the lake and you literally can’t miss Xi Dong, right next to the Waterside Palace.

Xi Dong Bridge, November 2017. Built in 1570, refurbished in 1745 and remodeled to its current form in 1827, Xi Dong Bridge towers dramatically over the town stream. Once you’ve got your exterior shots, take a stroll through its curved walkway and get a few of those old floorboards creaking.

Xi Dong Bridge, November 2017. The interior boasts some evocative albeit faded paintings, such as these fearsome creatures with the body of a horse/unicorn and the head of a dragon.

Xi Dong Bridge, November 2017. Lean over one of Xi Dong’s window arches for gorgeous stream views.

Xi Dong Bridge, November 2017. Xi Dong Bridge is one of two bridges in Sixi Town. Visitors should probably check out Xi Dong first, as its sister bridge Beijian is considered by many to be the most beautiful bridge in all of Taishun County. It lies just five hundred meters away from Xi Dong upstream.

My Photographs: Top 5 Sixi Town – Taishun County, China.

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Sixi Town, November 2017. I’m a huge fan of the Robert James Waller novel The Bridges of Madison County, not to mention the brilliant movie adaptation starring Clint Eastwood and Meryl Streep. Some years ago I was lucky enough to spend a memorable day touring the actual bridges during my stay in Iowa, USA. So when I heard about a county in southeast China that was also home to hundreds of ancient, covered wooden bridges, I naturally jumped at the chance to check them out. My Tai Shun base was Sixi Town, a sleepy lakeside community with traditional architecture and crowing roosters, framed by a dramatic backdrop of rolling mountains.

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My Photographs: Top 5 The Shangri-La Hotel – Hangzhou, China,

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Shangri-La Hotel October 2017. Captain Wonderboy and I had just finished tackling the unbridled chaos of West Lake’s Su Causeway and were in desperate need of a well-deserved time out. “Check out that fancy hotel!” I exclaimed. So we did, crossing the insanely busy road and walking up the driveway of the opulent Shangri-La Hotel. We’d been walking the entire day, so as soon as we saw this quiet leafy café terrace I instinctively knew it was time to collapse for a bit over some overpriced drinks.

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My Photographs: Top 5 Hefang Market Street – Hangzhou, China.

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Hefang Market Street, October 2017. Wonderboy and I were making our way back down Wushan Hill after a peaceful morning exploring City of God Pavilion when we stumbled upon the chaos of Hangzhou’s most frenetic market street. It’s also the city’s most ancient trading street, with an eight hundred year history.  

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My Photographs: Top 5 Su Causeway – Hangzhou, China.

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Su Causeway, October 2017. This 2.6 km walkway through West Lake was constructed in 1086 by the famous poet and Hangzhou governor Su Shi. It was a time of great poverty and drought, so Su ordered the dredging of the lake and used the resulting mud to build a new causeway. Later on six bridges were added and willow trees planted on each side. This photo is an aerial view of the causeway taken from the top floor of Leifeng Pagoda.

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My Photographs: Top 5 Shuangto Bridge – Hangzhou, China.

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Shuangtou Bridge, October 2017. I must have covered every inch of West Lake’s gorgeous parkland during my five days in Hangzhou. This beautiful little bridge, located in Changqiao Park near Tangyun Art Gallery, is probably my favorite West Lake spot.  

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My Photographs: Top 5 Leifeng Pagoda – Hangzhou, China.

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Leifeng Pagoda, October 2017. Wherever you happen to be on West Lake, you can’t miss the mystical form of Leifeng Pagoda jutting dramatically out of the greenery. Dating as far back as 975 AD, this is the oldest colorful bronze pagoda in China and attacks droves of visitors every day of the year.

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