Hiking in the Golden Season

Albeit short, Hangzhou in autumn is both beautiful and pleasant. So, go and breathe in some fresh air and enjoy the season’s golden views while they are still here.

Route One: Wushan Hill ->Ziyang Mountain ->Yunju Mountain->Fenghuang Mountain

Transportation: get off at the bus stop of Wushan Square (吴山广场: wu shan guang chang)
Wushan Mountain

Hiking from Wushan Square: Wushan Hill is a great place for enjoying a panoramic view of Hangzhou’s Qiantang River, surrounding mountains, lake and city. After passing Ziyang Mountain (紫阳山) to Yunju Mountain (云居山), you then get to Fenghuang Mountain (凤凰山) by way of Wansongling Peak (万松岭).

During the time of Sui Dynasty, Tang Dynasty, Wuyue and Southern Song Dynasty, the foot of Fenghuang Mountain served as an administration center and when Hangzhou served as the capital of the Southern Song Dynasty, its imperial palaces were constructed in the mountain, leaving behind a wealth of historical relics. The Wansong Academy at the northern foot of Fenghuang Mountain, on the other hand, is the place where Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai, the hero and heroine from the folklore Butterfly Lovers, studied and fell in love.

Route Two: Precious Stone Hill -> Geling Peak -> Ziyun Cave ->Guapai Mountain->Wushi Peak -> Breeze-ruffled Lotus at Quyuan Garden
Transportation: get off at the bus stop of Children’s Palace (少年宫: shao nian gong)
Precius Stone Hill

Featuring scenic views and near Hangzhou downtown, the route is fit for excursions. The starting point, Precious Stone Hill (宝石山) is located right next to the West Lake and is known for its strong cultural connotations. Hike upwards and along Precious Stone Hill No. 1 Lower Lane (宝石山下一弄: bao shi shan xia yi long) and one will see the Jianpao Villa (坚匏别墅), an over-one-hundred-forty-year-old late Qing Dynasty and early republic period of China era villa.

From Precious Stone Hill, one will be able to view the entirety of the West Lake. The hill is made of igneous rock and is red in color and when the sun shines on the hill, a red glow is reflected on the clouds flying above the hill. Seen from afar, the hill is like it is floating in rosy clouds, hence the name of the view, Precious Stone Floating in Rosy Clouds. Heading westwards from Precious Stone Hill, one will pass Chuyang (Sunrise) Terrace (初阳台) on Geling Peak (the place where Gong Hong, the famous alchemist, absorbed the essence of the sky and earth to make elixir), Ziyun Cave (紫云洞), Qixia Cave (栖霞洞) and the tomb of Niu Gao (牛皋墓).

From Ziyun Cave downwards, there is an off-the-beaten-track path leading to Wushi Peak (乌石峰: Black Stone Peak). The path is full of wild fun. The giant rock in Wushi Peak is a vantage point to view the scenery of the West Lake.

Route Three: Long Bridge -> Nanping Mountain -> Huiri Peak -> Jiuyao Mountain->Siyanjing Well

Transportation: get off at the bus stop of Long Bridge (长桥: chang qiao)
Nanping Mountain

The route starts off rough but then continues smoothly. Jingci Temple, the location of Evening Bell Ringing at Nanping Hill, one of “Top Ten Views of West Lake”, is located right at the foot of Nanping Mountain (南屏山). Follow the route and one will climb up the highest peak around the West Lake, the 198-meter-high Jiuyao Mountain (九曜山), a favorite spot for shutterbugs to capture the panoramic view of the West Lake.

At the section between Huiri Peak (慧日峰) and Jiuyao Peak (九曜山), one will be able to see the glacial rock rarely seen in Hangzhou’s mountains.

Route Four: Inquiring Tea at Longjing Village -> Qipan Mountain->Tianma Mountain->Jiqin Mountain->China Tea Culture Museum
Transportation: get off at the bus stop of Longjing Village (龙井村: long jing cun)
Longjing Village

The route is relatively smooth and doesn’t require much effort. Walking along the path, one’s eyes will be peeled with the lush green tea gardens, and the well-proportioned Longjing Village lies just at the foot of the mountain. The ending point of the route is China National Tea Museum, which is more than just a museum, but a tea culture experience park, where streams gurgle and small paths lead to an idyllic setting featuring simplicity and freshness.

Route Five: Jiuxi Linhai Pavilion->Xiao Kang Wu->Guiren Pavilion at Hupao Hou Shan->Baihe Peak->Yangmei Peak->Wengjia Mountain->Longjing
Transportation: get off at the bus stop of Nine Creeks (九溪: jiu xi)

The route is basically a stretch of mountain road with slopes. It is relatively tough, but more fun than just walking a simple road. Guiren Pavilion (贵人阁) is an ideal place for sightseeing. From here, one can either overlook the West Lake, or enjoy the majesty of the Qiantang River. Hiking from Guiren Pavilion to Baihe Peak (白鹤峰), one can visit Yangmei Peak (杨梅岭), Wengjia Mountain (翁家山) and when arriving in the Longjing area, one can also enjoy a cup of Longjing Tea in the village.