A short break from Shanghai to Hangzhou is really recommended for you who have long spare time after finish your Shanghai trip, like me, Based on my experience, as I heard from my friend travel to Hangzhou would be great choice. With this 1 day Hangzhou day tour, we can explore Hangzhou more personalized. The itinerary included a short visit to West Lake, Ling Yin Temple, Six Harmonies Pagoda, Longjing Tea Plantation, and at the end it was all places that we did visit. We even experienced a lot more than we expected before, saw beautiful sceneries all along the way and enjoy the city peaceful atmosphere. So for you who travel in Shanghai, since Hangzhou also located nearby there is no better option than visit this peaceful town for while. You can have a short relaxing escape from vibrant city Shanghai to Hangzhou.
Classical Structure of Six Harmonies Pagoda
Of course West Lake is beautiful, like everyone says come to Hangzhou never missed West Lake. But it might because of the weather, we cannot enjoy all stunning sceneries of this Chinese classical garden. It such a pity, the weather was too cold, might located near the lake. Besides a visit to West Lake, we also could have the best look at Six Harmonies Pagoda, a best preserved Chinese architecture which was first built in AD 960. Visitors can climb the pagoda, while behind stretches a charming walk through terraces dotted with sculptures, bells, shrines and inscriptions. The sturdy structure of the pagoda itself is a masterpiece of ancient Chinese architecture, overlooking the Qiantang River.
Apart from West Lake, Hangzhou actually known as a hometown, birthplace of the most famous Chinese tea has its part to play in Hangzhou's excellent reputation, Longjing tea. While similar teas are grown elsewhere in China, true Longjing teas always come from the outskirts of Hangzhou's West Lake, one of the most storied places in Chinese history and mythology. With this tour, we had a happy walk through Longjing Tea Plantation. There are also people working in the fields and so we can walk into the tea terraces and get a close up of them picking the leaves and so on.
People Working in Longjing Tea Plantation
It is also possible to enjoy the atmosphere while tasting a remarkable, freshly-harvested green Longjing tea. For me who love Chinese tea, this tour is an ideal tour. Why I pick this Hangzhou tour, is also because of this short itinerary. At the end of the tour, it was such a blessed since we can look some excellent views of the countryside surroundings by tea terraces.
As my Shanghai trip end and we had lots of free time after that, then we decided to have a short excursion to Hangzhou, a calm city beside Shanghai. Since my friends live and stay in Shanghai, so I was great to travel Hangzhou with people who familiar with the transportation and Chinese. I reached Hangzhou from Shanghai by took high speed train. It is a 45-minute to 1 hours ride for about 82RMB (13USD) one way. Train runs every 30 minutes from Shanghai Hongqiao train station a high speed train in China.
West Lake in Hangzhou
Of course a visit to Hangzhou cannot be complete without a visit to Westlake or known as Xihu in Chinese. Surrounded by mountains and stunning foliage, and one of the newest UNESCO World Heritage Sites (it received the designation in 2011), the lake grounds are speckled with temples, pagodas and gardens renowned throughout the world. Visitors who come to West Lake should catch the best attractions, as well as other worthwhile discoveries that many guides and most visitors miss, one of them is Leifeng Pagoda.
Leifeng Pagoda in West Lake
Besides enjoy stunning views around the lake, gardens and other sightseeing in surroundings, visitors also could take a boat across the lake. As I did experience, this is the best way to capture the whole view of the lake. Come to West Lake would not complete without take a boat. Moreover, another highlight in West Lake is Leifeng Pagoda. Our first stop is the five-story, octagonal emblem of West Lake. Built in 975 of brick and wood, Leifeng Pagoda is known throughout China as the location of the folk tale of "The Legend of the White Snake", a love story about a snake who is transformed into a woman and then locked up beneath Leifeng Pagoda by a monk. Inside the pagoda is a recently excavated mausoleum, with treasures including Buddhist silk scriptures, hand-carved, wooden dioramas of an epic West Lake myth, and, of course, sweeping views of the lake. I did climb to the top of the pagoda and view the stunning and peaceful West Lake from above.
A full day we spent walked around West Lake scenic area. We did stay overnight in Hangzhou in a nice hotel with affordable price and nice environment. The accommodation in Hangzhou is cheaper than Shanghai. I got a memorable excursion from the modern Shanghai to admire iconic views of Hangzhou West Lake.