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Best Places to View Mei (Plum Blossom) in Hangzhou 2017-03-20

For its special quality of blooming most vibrantly amidst the coldest weather, mei (plum blossom) is regarded as one of "Three Friends of winter” along with pine and bamboo in Chinese culture. Its bright color decorates the cold and wet days in Hangzhou and it has become a part of the life of Hangzhounese to view mei in late winter and early spring. Here are some famous resorts for enjoying mei in Hangzhou.

 

Solitary Hill
The Solitary Hill is actually an islet located in West Lake and surrounded by water on four sides. Since ancient times, it has been regarded as the best resort (not one of) to enjoy mei in Hangzhou. Mei in the Solitary Hill gained fame as early as the Tang Dynasty (618-907). Since then, the beauty of mei in the Solitary Hill has been praised in numerous poems by many famous poets, for example, Bai Juyi.

 

 

How to get there:
Take No.27, 118, K27, K850, Y1, Y2, Y3, Holiday 4 and Y10 bus to the stop of Yue Fei Mausoleum, then walk or take a boat to Zhongshan Park. 
 

 

Lingfeng

The name of Lingfeng originated from Lingfeng Temple built during Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms (907-960/979) and gained popularity for the famous Northern Song Poet Su Dongpo. For Lingfeng’s advantageous location in a valley, mei in Lingfeng blooms earlier and withers later than those in other places. Hence, it is renowned as top three resorts to enjoy mei in Hangzhou along with the Solitary Hill and Xixi. In addition, antique constructions were built in the old site of Lingfeng Temple to improve the poetic image of mei.

 

 

How to get there:
Take No.15, 27, 28, 82, 807, K25, K27, K28, K807, K82, Y1, Y4, Y6 and Y3 bus to the stop of Jade Spring.

 

Chaoshan

Mei in Chaoshan is noted for its old history, wide variety and unique qualities. Every February, mei in Chaoshan blooms vibrantly, with white flowers decorating every corner and fragrance permeating the air. From a distance, Chaoshan is just like a sea of fragrant snow. In China, there are five kinds of ancient mei: mei from the Jin Dynasty (265-420), mei from the Sui Dynasty (581-618), mei from the Tang Dynasty (618-907), mei from the Song Dynasty (960–1279) and mei from the Yuan Dynasty (1271–1368). And Chaoshan owns two kinds of them: mei from the Tang Dynasty and mei from the Song Dynasty. What’s even rare is that mei in Chaoshan has six petals rather than five.

 

Mei from the Song Dynasty 

 

How to get there:
Take No.319 and 786 bus to the stop of Chanshan

 

Xixi

Back in the Qing Dynasty (1644–1912), Visiting Xixi for Mume Blossom was one of “Eighteen Views of Qiantang (now West Lake)”. Xixi mostly planted Lv’e Mei, which was then known as Xixi Mei in the Ming and Qing Dynasties (1368–1912) and is the best kind of mei varieties. In Xixi which is crisscrossed by six creeks, you can take a boat trip along the creeks to enjoy mei from a different angle, which of course is a whole different experience.

 

 

How to get there:
Take No.193, 310, 356, 506, K310 and Y13 bus to the stop of Zhoujia Village.

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