No "Xiao Jie"s! Say "Gu Niang" instead.
Contrary to what we are used to in Singapore, the ladies in the Jiangnan region (eg. Hangzhou, Suzhou, Wuxi etc) do not like to be referred to as "xiao jie"...they prefer to be called "gu niang". The reason behind this is because in Jiangnan, the term "xiao jie" is commonly used to refer to women who work as hostesses in karaoke lounges, bars, etc. So, do not use this term, and say "gu niang" instead!
Tranquility and beauty of Westlake
"Ripping water shimmering on sunny day,
Misty mountains shrouded the rain;
Plain or gaily decked out like Xizi;
West Lake is always alluring."
These are the words composed by the famous Song Dynasty poet Su Dongpo (960-1127) when he compared the West Lake to Xi Zi, the most beautiful woman in ancient China. These poetic sentiments leave one in no doubt of the glory of the scenery that inspired him. The Westlake came from a shallow bay in ancient times where the Qiantang River ran into the sea. It covers an area of 6.38 sq km with an average depth of 2.27m. It has mountains on 3 sides and the city of Hangzhou on the eastern side. Centered around the Westlake is the Westlake scenic area, a national park with a total area of 59 sq km, over 60 cultural relic sites and over 100 scenic spots. Some of these scenic spots have highly descriptive names when translated from Chinese eg. Autumn Moon over Calm Lake, Lingering Snow over Broken Bridge, Orioles Singing in the Willows, Three Pools Mirroring the Moon etc.
HANGZHOU (Zhejiang Province)
The capital of Zhejiang Province, 117 miles south of Shanghai at the southern end of the Grand Canal. Marco Polo readily agreed with the popular Chinese saying, "Above there is heaven; below, Hangzhou and Suzhou."
The city is best known for its natural beauty and historical attractions. Many sections of the city are said to have unchanged for centuries. The city remains one of the most popular tourist destinations in China because of it scenic surroundings.
The famous West Lake region enjoys the reputation as one of the most beautiful spots in China, with landscaped gardens on its banks, tree-shaded walks, and in the nearby hills, temples, pagodas, and monasteries.
"Soul's Retreat Temple"