At the intersection of Liuying and Jiangjun Road lies a place that holds secrets. It's a humble, artsy-looking little abode, not unlike the kind of place you'd like to call home - if you had about 2 million RMB to drop on the real estate - and it's on a corner of an otherwise busy and active part of Hangzhou that is home to some very popular spots. The owner's name is Ken, and his shop is called Sunmark Tanning Room. He's decided to open a studio in the middle of Hangzhou, the city famed for its annoying umbrellas and steady supply of imported facial masks that appease hordes of paranoid locals who are terrified of getting more than a moment's exposure to the searing rays of the sun. While other switched-on countries have long been home to happy sun-worshippers, there is still a lot of uncertainty amongst some people in our little pocket of the world that don't agree with the idea of tanning. Ken feels that his passion for tanning will spill over, and he assures us we will see more people giving it a try before too long. For the MORE team, this was a real stretch into the unknown, and while our host urged us to try the tanning machine for ourselves, only one person was selected for the mission. That one was yours truly, and I was quickly left alone in a daze with nothing but the menacing blue glow of beauty to keep me company. The Dutch-made unit is a Luxura V7 and it truly seemed more like a spaceship than a tanning bed. I was instantly transported to another place that had sun and sand, but no beer. Being inside was a strange experience. It sounds like a roaring jet engine and the gentle caress of sunlight on my skin provided me a highly sensory sensation as I tried to make sense of it all amidst the smells of new plastic and coconut oil. 60RMB for first time, 120RMB/single visit, 300RMB/3 times (if you bring your foreign student ID card), 900RMB/12 times, 1560RMB/24 times, 4790RMB/year, and a full range of skin care products are available for purchase, or as complimentary gifts with the purchase of memberships. Parking is street side, first-come, first-served.
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