Page:My life in China and America.djvu/97

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

FIRST TRIP TO THE TEA DISTRICTS

81

ing from the foot of the city wall to the foot of the mountains which appear in the distance in the rear, rising into the clouds like lofty bulwarks guarding the city on the north.

The Tsientang River, about two miles distant, flanks the city on the east. It takes its rise from the high mountain range of Hwui Chow in the southeast and follows a somewhat irregular course to the bay of the same name, and rushes down the rocky declivities like a foaming steed and empties itself into the bay about forty miles east of the city. This is one of the rivers that have periodical bores in which the tidal waters in their entrance to the bay create a noise like thunder, and the waves rise to the height of eight or ten feet.

Hangchau, aside from her historic fame as having been the seat of the government of the Sung Dynasty of the 12th and 13th centuries, has always maintained a wide reputation for fine buildings, public and private, such as temples, pagodas, mosques and bridges, which go to lend enchantment to the magnificent natural scenery with which she is singularly endowed. But latterly, age and the degeneration of the times have done their work of mischief. Her past glory is fast sinking into obscurity; she will never