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Hike Your Way Off-the-Beaten-Track 2019-06-10

In such a heavenly city as Hangzhou there are plenty of wonderful areas to hike, there are those with picturesque views and there are others with rustic and historical charm. Well-known places include ‘Nine Creeks Meandering Through a Misty Forest’ and ‘Bamboo-lined Path at Yunqi’, all of which are now famous destinations that are known for alluring the crowds and will continue to do so in years to come.

If you prefer places with fewer people, however, then hike your way off the beaten track with the following recommendations.

Jiu Li Song (九里松)


Jiu Li Song literally means Nine Li of Pines in Chinese (Li is a unit of length widely used in ancient China, 1 li = 500 meters.) It is a tourist road of roughly 4,500 meters all of which is flanked by verdant pine trees, hence the name. The tourist road stretches from Hongchun Bridge (洪春桥) to Lingyin (灵隐) and Tianzhu (天竺) and with lingering clouds from Ling Hill (灵山) the place is also known as Jiu Li Yun Song (Nine Li of Cloudy Pines), which was one of the ‘Top Ten Views of Qiantang (the present West Lake)’ in the Yuan Dynasty (1271—1368).



Ciyun Ling (慈云岭)


Located among three mountains around the West Lake (Jade Emperor Mountain, Jiangtai Mountain and Phoenix Mountain), Ciyun Peak is an ancient mountain path. It stretches northwards to the West Lake and southwards to the Qiantang River and all year round offers visitors marvelous mountain views as well as picturesque views of the lake and river. Ciyun Peak also has several famous relics such as the cliff inscriptions, the Platform for the King of Wuyue Offering Sacrifices to the Gods and Buddhist Grottoes.



Fenghuang Peak (风篁岭)


Fenghuang Peak, connecting with Longjing Road, starts from Jilong Hill (鸡笼山) and ascends upwards in a series of zigzags. Surrounded by one of the production areas of Longjing Green Tea Fenghuang Peak is an ideal way to immerse oneself in mountains of luscious green tea bushes. Further along Fenghuang Peak is ‘Inquiring about Tea at Dragon Well (Longjing)’ which is one of the ‘New Top Ten Views of West Lake’.



Langdang Peak (琅珰岭)


Langdang Peak is the highest and longest mountain path among mountains around West Lake. Since ancient times, Langdang Peak has been known for its steepness and it’s said that only strong young man can conquer it.


Walking along Langdang Peak, you can enjoy different views: hearing birds singing in dense forest, watching bees and butterflies busy working among wild flowers and enjoying the view of Meijiawu Village and Longjing Village (two renowned producing areas of Longjing Green Tea) on cliffs.



Taoguang Path (韬光道)


Hidden in the valley behind Lingyin Temple is the tranquil Taoguang Path, a mountain path composed of winding stone steps. Along every step of the way you are greeted with breath-taking scenery like that of a landscape painting and by the side of the path is Taoguang Spring which highlights the serenity of Taoguang Path even more. Further on you will see a pavilion where you can appreciate the Qiangtang River’s panoramic views.

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