Anji is about 1.5 hour bus ride from Hangzhou. It is China’s biggest bamboo forest. The film Couching Tiger Hidden Draggon was shot there. Remember the beautiful martial art scenes taking place in a bamboo forest? It is there, in Anji. There are two bamboo-related spots in Anji. Don’t get confused. One is the forest itself. To visit, you pay 20 yuan for the entrance ticket. Another is a man-made bamboo museum, with performance, display, etc. The entrance ticket to this Zhu Bo Yuan (Bamboo Museum) costs about 75 yuan. I didn’t go to the museum – it looked too artificial and touristic for me. The forest (Da Zhu Hai) was my destination. Da Zhu Hai is not as great as I imagined. It was a good walk, though, in the shadow of bamboos, and listening to the wind wisphering to the trees. The authority is planning to have cable cars here and a hotel is being built in the forest area. I hope Anji bamboo forest won’t become a tourist trap too soon, like other tourist attractions in China. At the entrance to the forest, some locals sell ready-to-eat spicy bamboo shoots. 2 yuan for a cup. Very delicious! To go to Anji, take a bus from Hangzhou’s northern bus station. Buses depart every hour. The fare is 23 yuan. When you get to the Anj bus station after a 1.5 hour drive, take another bus at the same bus station to the bamboo forest. Fare is 4 yuan. The journey takes about 30 minutes. Don’t get surprised if you have to leave the bus and be picked up by a broken mini-bus half way. You don’t pay extra for the pickup, though. There are guesthouses and restaruants run by local farmers about five-minute walk from the entrance to the forest. The people living in the forest area and in the town of anji are among the friendliest people I’ve ever met in China! A local woman I met outside the entrace to the forest, invited me to her home, offering me “white tea”, a local variety of tea, and telling me stories of her family. I initially thought she wanted to sell me stuff. But it turned out that she was just being friendly and hospitable. My friend said, hey you are Chinese, how come you do’t know if the people are friendly or just want to cheat you? Well, the fact is I really cannot distinguish. Human nature is too complex for me to gauge.