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Today I decided to walk an entirely different way, so I headed away from west lake toward the (massive) Qiantang river (see map). This is a good 5k away from my hotel. Along the way there are several public spaces, rivers and viaducts, along with the remnants of an old wall. There’s a huge amount of development, ginormous skyscrapers going up everywhere you look. There also seems to be a great multitude of apartment blocks. “Angry birds” has obviously made a mark here, apart from every second market item being devoted to them, I noticed quite a few junction boxes had angry bird murals on them.

Before the river I found a relatively large modern shopping mall (“MIXC”). It only had upmarket designer fashion shops eg Versace, and top end consumer electronics eg Bose. I thought things were reasonably cheap in China but not here – I could probably only afford some socks. Hmm.. better make that one sock.  Actually, maybe one dirty sock… with holes… that’s already been used as a rag on the Tag Heur shopfront window.  I doubt most locals could shop here either but there must be enough rich locals (and I mean rich) to sustain the place. With > 4 million (?) people in the city there’s probably enough of the rich to keep the place in business.

The saving grace of the mall (it even has an ice skating rink – see pic!), was that it contained a IMAX theatre and I was just in time for a showing of Tintin in 3D IMAX.
I loved every second of it. I loved reading the Tintin books from my local library as a child and .. ahem.. I collected them as an adult. The film won’t disappoint. Without over hyping it too much.. it was brilliant. Look out for the hawk chase scene…

Continuing along the road I was following to get to the river.. it just ended. This also happened following another road on the way back. This one turned into a tunnel with no pedestrian access, so the only way forward was suddenly a muddy track leading into what seemed like a war zone. Think 6 lane highway disappearing. I was now in a major, major development area, row after row of new, and 1/2 complete empty apartment block buildings. Finally after much uncertainty, I reached a normal road again and finally got to the “civic” area. Think municipal offices on an extremely grand scale. One building looks like something out of the film Contact – (the accelerator machine), or a spaceship out of Stargate. The big gold ball building in the pictures is the Intercontinental hotel and convention centre. Another building is Hangzhou Grand Theatre.

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