Xianghu Lake Scenic Area — the Cradle of Zhejiang Civilization
Reputed to be the sister of West Lake, Xianghu Lake is well-known for its picturesque scenery and age-old history. Xianghu Lake Scenic Area is situated in the west of Xiaoshan District, about 20 kilometers away from downtown Hangzhou. It’s the cradle of Zhejiang Civilization: the discovery of Kuahuqiao Historical Site (跨湖桥文化遗址) in 1990 has proved that the history of Zhejiang civilization began about 8,000 years ago. The 8000-year-old canoe unearthed in Kuahuqiao Historical Site is believed to be the first canoe ever built in human history. In addition, it’s also the battle field of the state of Wu and Yue — two states located in the coastal area of southeast China during Spring and Autumn Period (771 BC — 476 BC).
Kuahhuqiao Bridge (跨湖桥)
Kuahuqiao Bridge was originally built in the 33rd year of Jiajing reign of the Ming Dynasty (1554). “Kuahuqiao” in Chinese means a bridge spanning Xianghu Lake, which divides Xianghu Lake into "upper" and "lower" lakes. Not far from the bridge was discovered Kuahuqiao Historical Site dating back to the Neolithic Age, or New Stone Age. Archeaological findings in Kuahuqiao Cultural Site include pottery, wood, bone and stone artifacts etc. It’s the best place to understand the history of Hangzhou and Zhejiang. Kuahuqiao Bridge is also an excellent place to view the moon.
Chengshan Hill (城山)
In late Spring and Autumn Period, Chengshan Hill was chosen by King Goujian of Yue (越王勾践) to be the garrison. There, they had beaten King Fuchai of Wu and got their homeland back. At the top of Chengshan Hill remain some historical sites like the Castle of King of Yue (越王城) and Roll Call Platform (点将台) — the place where generals are entitled to lead troops into the battle.
Watching Fish in Xiangpu (湘浦观鱼)
The attraction is located in the southeastern bank of Xianghu Lake, covering an area of over 13,333 square meters. It features Jiangnan garden style, with four waterside pavilions connected by bridges separating the area into five fish-watching zones. Different fish-watching zones boast different fishes. For example, in the east zone is kept Tubu Fish (土步鱼), a native fish of Xianghu Lake.
The Ancient Towpath (湘湖古纤道)
A towpath is a road at the bank of a river or a lake allowing human pullers to tow a boat. It’s usually the combination of stretches of roads and bridges, which is a common scene in Xianghu Lake Scenic Area. Together with Xiang Causeway, Yue Causeway and bridges over Xianghu Lake, Xianghu Ancient Towpath vividly demonstrates the bridge culture of water town. Situated in Xianghu Lake, it’s like a white ribbon flying over the blue milk way, enhancing the charm of Xianghu Lake.
Hangzhou Polar Ocean World (杭州极地海洋公园)
Hangzhou Polar Ocean World is an ocean-themed park combining polar animal exhibitions and landscape experience. In the park, you can make intimate contact with polar bear, polar wolf, southern sea lion, northern sea lion, arctic fox, dolphin etc. At the same time, you can also experience the landscape of the marvelous rainforest and beautiful Antarctic continent. In addition, the park has the largest ocean theater in the world where you can enjoy the splendid show of dolphins.
Kuahuqiao Museum (跨湖桥博物馆)
Kuahuqiao Museum is a Kuahuqiao culture-themed museum which comprehensively displays the archeological findings in Kuahuqiao Historical Site and research achievements. The museum mainly consists of Exhibition Hall and Historical Relics Hall. Modern displaying methods and high-end displaying equipment are applied to present the 8000-year-old Kuahuqiao Culture. Besides the first canoe in the world, on display are also other precious relics like the oldest lacquer bow in the world and the oldest herb jar in China etc.
Xiasun Cultural Village (下孙文化村)
Xiasun was a tribe which used to be located in the northern bank of Xianghu Lake. Covering a total area of 7,000 square meters, the present Xiasun Cultural Village mainly consists of Exhibition Hall of Xianghu Lake Culture, Ancestral Hall of Sun, Xianghu Art Gallery and Antique Street. The Ancestral Hall of Sun, soul of Xiasun Cultural Village, was originally built in Jiajing Reign of the Ming Dynasty by the same builder of Kuahuqiao Bridge.
Spring is here and so is the 2017 “Intoxicating Springtime” – Hangzhou Outdoor Leisure Season which, in the following three months, will provide the city with over 50 springtime outdoor experiences and tour itineraries. With six themes to choose from such as child-parent, flower viewing, games and sports, spring couldn’t be livelier.
The annual time for picking Longjing green tea leaves, one of the top ten renowned teas of China, has begun in Hangzhou and everywhere tea farmers are now busy picking and hand frying the famous leaves. If you wanted to take a sneak peek at how the farmers meticulously pick their verdant leaves from bushes nestled in undulating hills, or if you wanted to sample, at first hand, this year’s Longjing variety, then head to the following three tea villages which are known for their tea, tea culture and tea-related tourist attractions.