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February 15, 2013

Silk Screen

by gordonmichaelsutton

DSCI0018Forget Katie Melua and the bicycles of Beijing. This is hazy Hangzhou – a city of nearly 8 millions souls sitting on the indecently beautiful shores of China’s renowned West Lake. And that view above shows Qinghefang Street, home to a parade of shops selling Hangzhou’s famous silk. It had a languid feel when I visited in the warm October sunshine in spite of the bikes and bicycles.

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No more languid than here at the end of the street. Even the cops are chilled and have time to read the papers.

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It is kind of surreal though. Mannequins that look like they’re reprising the role of Joanna Lumley’s Patsy from Absolutely Fabulous are everywhere.

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And amid the traditional silks the younger generation of Chinese eagerly display their taste for western fashions and kit.

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Don’t be fooled, though. For every Mercedes and BMW you’ll see sights like these even in the busiest of thoroughfares. But for how much longer?

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If this has whetted your appetite you might want to take a look at this site – http://www.travelchinaguide.com/cityguides/zhejiang/hangzhou/shopping.htm

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