Speaking of the best ways to tour around West Lake we mustn’t forget the public bicycles which are a free and easy way of seeing Hangzhou and its stunning West Lake.
For renting a bicycle all you need to do is apply for a transportation smart card (Z Card) which is available in Smart Card Centers. The closest one to the West Lake islocated at No. 20 Longxiang Bridge (龙翔桥) and the opening hours arefrom 08:00 to 17:00 on normal days and from 07:30 to 17:30 in the last five days of a month. For the application you will need your ID card and an initial RMB300 deposit, 200 of which is for security purposes and will be fully returned after you cancel the card and 100 of which is for your use of the bicycle and after deducting your fare the remainder will be returned to you.
After getting a smart card you can rent and return a bicycle at any public bicycle station and there are plenty of them around and most importantly there is no need for you to return the bicycle to its original station.
To rent a bicycle you simply need to put your card on the reader unit and after the light turns green and the buzzer beeps a bicycle is unlocked and is yours. To return a bicycle all you need to do is to put the bicycle in an open slot and place your smart card on the machine, after you make sure the bicycle is locked the rental period will be over. You can check at the self-service machine to see any rental charges.
The bicycle-renting service is free during the first hour and costs 1 Yuan / hr (0.16/hr) during the next two hours. More than three hours, any additional hours cost 3 Yuan / hr (0.48/hr). However, during the day, you can check in and out as many times as you like, so it is possible for you to ride around the entire city for free.
The following are the list of Public Bicycle Stations around the West Lake:
Children's Palace, YueFei Temple, Autumn Moon Over the Calm Lake, North of Breeze-ruffled Lotus at Quyuan Garden, Hangzhou Flower Nursery, Huaguang Park (Flower Pond), South Entrance of Su Causeway, Long Bridge Park, Orioles Singing in the Willows,No.1 Lakeside Park.
According to foreign talents, Hangzhou’s charm grows day by day. Recently, the list of “2016 Charming China – The Most Attractive Chinese Cities for Foreigners” has been unveiled and Hangzhou has been included for the seventh time, ranking third after the famous financial center in the world, Shanghai and the capital, Beijing.