The West Lake is one of the reasons why my parents decided to have their honeymoon in Hangzhou.


A stunning #sunset on the West Lake in #Hangzhou, #China. #travel

A photo posted by Monica Wong (@_monicawong) on

An hour and a half away from Shanghai is Hangzhou, a romantic getaway where my parents had their honeymoon. Now I know why. The sunset on the West Lake, the soothing sound of water, the breeze through the trees, the warm palette of colors – it was all so mesmerizing.

When the sun disappeared behind the horizon, I strolled along West Lake. It was a bad decision that left me lost, hungry and trekking for the next four hours. I recharged at a local mom-and-pop shop and had some chicken noodles with flies on the side.

It was such a relief to finally make it back to my hotel room. Even after the four-hour trek, the only thing I saw when I closed my eyes was that sunset. This was the beginning of my infatuation.

I tried to capture a sunset in every city I visited after Hangzhou, which was easier said than done given China’s infamous pollution problem.

Monica reflects on her travels by sharing her thoughts on A Cup of Moca. She writes about her journey as she experiences the destination to encourage others to marinate in the moment instead of just checking things off a bucket list.