Six foreigners from four countries joined in a joyful trip to the Xiaoshan district of Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, on Sunday, to see the city's latest achievements in the digital economy.
The foreigners, hailing from Bangladesh, Indonesia, Germany and Italy — most of them longtime residents of China — said they were astonished by Hangzhou's digitalization.
The itinerary included Hangzhou Olympic Sports Center, China Musical Techno Base, Xianghu Lake, Kuahu Bridge Relic Site Museum and Xiaoshan Hipark Town.
Maximilian Von Hulewicz, who works for a financial company, said, "The Olympic Center is very impressive and it's super modern. It's very nice and the swimming pool here is very impressive as well. Unfortunately, the Asian Games cannot start this year, but I'm looking forward to them starting next year."
Hangzhou Olympic Sports Center is the main site of the 19th Asian Games Hangzhou 2022, which was postponed to the fall of 2023. It features a stunning butterfly-shaped venue that incorporates a natatorium and a gymnasium to host swimming, diving and basketball events.
The China Musical Techno Base, the fifth national music industry base in China, has attracted around 20 music companies, including Cloud Village, the music arm of Chinese internet and online game giant NetEase, over the past three years.
Uddin Md Farrukh, chairman of Hangzhou Haifu Technology Co, said he was amazed by the facilities at the base. "It's really interesting here. I have been in Hangzhou around five years, but I never came to this place.
"Before today, I had a different impression of Chinese music. I was thinking it maybe traditional or all ancient music. But after coming here, I see every modern influence, including a DJ machine and recording studio. The equipment is all modern."
Xianghu Lake, known as the sister of West Lake and one of the birthplaces of Chinese civilization, is well-known for its picturesque landscapes, cultural heritage and ancient history.
During their exploration of the lake and the Kuahu Bridge Relic Site Museum, they were introduced to the ancient lives of ancestors dating back 8,000 years to the Neolithic period.
"I found some similarity between the Kuahu Bridge culture — especially the ancient house — and the ancient Dayak house in Indonesia," said Tika Agustina Ikayani, who works for Microsoft 365.
"Those houses leave some space between the ground and the house itself. They're not built directly on the ground, so a ladder is needed to climb in. It is said that it's necessary for wild animal attack prevention and also keeping the house safe from floods," Tika said.