After a damp and dull winter comes sensational spring – a season where everything flourishes, from sprouting green tea leaves in the West Lake’s surrounding mountains to an abundance of colourful flowers emerging along the city’s verdant paths.
Running, flying and cycling are just a few of the ways you can witness nature at its best and if it’s cycling you are in to then, besides some of the classic and well known street routes, you should also try out the new ‘Three Rivers’ greenway which has been custom made for cycling enthusiasts.
After four years of construction the greenway, 716 kilometers in length, is now complete and runs along three rivers, Qiantang River, Fuchun River and Xin’an River, starting from the east of Qiantang River in Hangzhou downtown and stretching westward towards Thousand-islet Lake. Keeping a flow with nature, the greenway also soaks up a wealth of attractions in Hangzhou downtown, Fuyang District, Tonglu County and Jiangde City and along the route cyclists are able to appreciate unrivalled scenery in crystal-clear rivers and luscious mountains as well as sample a number of local flavours along the way. The following are some of the recommended routes along the ‘Three Rivers’ greenway:
Route One: Watching Tidal Bores in Xiasha Economic Development Zone
Jiangdong Bridge (江东大桥) → Xiasha Bridge (下沙大桥) → Jiubao Bridge (九堡大桥) → Pengbu Bridge (彭埠大桥)
Distance: 25.9 km
Info: The highlights of this route are the various types of Qiantang River Tidal Bores such as the returning tidal bore (回头潮), crisscrossed tidal bore (交叉潮) and one-line tidal bore (一线潮). If you like a challenge, then why not compete against the current and race at speed alongside the famous tidal bore. This section of the greenway also borders Hangzhou Xiasha Economic Development Zone on the north, home to a number of universities and science & technology businesses. So taking a ride with the waves can be educational too.
Route Two: Watching the City from afar
Pengbu Bridge (彭埠大桥) →Hanghai Road (杭海路) → Qianjiang New City (钱江新城) → Zhijiang Road (之江路) → Fuxing Bridge (复兴大桥) → Qiantang River Bridge (钱塘江大桥) → Zhipu Road (之浦路)
Distance: 17.7 km
Info: This is the only section of ‘Three Rivers’ greenway that is located in Hangzhou downtown. Erected at the banks of the Qiantang River is the prosperous Qianjiang New City, full of high-rise buildings in the north, and the modern, grand Olympic Sports Expo Center in the south. Crossing bridges and glimpsing views of the city and witnessing the sometimes calm and sometimes furious Qiantang River is one way of watching the city from afar and views are exceptionally beautiful at night when the city is illuminated by neon lights.
Route Three: Leisurely Qiantang River
Zhipu Road (之浦路) → Qiantang Road (钱塘路) → Zhijiang Bridge (之江大桥) → Dongjiazui (东江嘴) → Yuanpu Bridge (袁浦大桥) → Xinpuyan (新浦沿) → Yuanfu Road (袁富公路)
Distance: 25.5 km
Info: This section starts at Shuangpu Town (双浦镇) in Xihu District where the greenway forms a giant ‘W’ and stretches westward towards Fuyang. Surrounded by green mountains and stopping by a fishing village in the riverside leisure zone enables cyclists to rest, catch and sample delicacies from the river below.
Route Four: Vigorous Fuyang
Info: Since ancient times Fuchun River has been renowned as the best and the route that winds along the Fuchun River passing Dongwu Culture Park and Wangzhou Characteristic Town highlights this fact and in doing so witnesses the beauty of Fuyang as both a mountain and riverside city.
Route Five: Charming Tonglu
Info: This section immersed in a sea of flowers is also full of hot attractions and fun things to do such as touring around the ancient town, experiencing the life of a fisherman, answering to the call of the wild, watching ‘Impression Fuchun River’ and drifting along on a bamboo raft.
Route Six: Reminiscing History in Meiling Ancient Town
Distance: 45.8 km
Info: The water in Xin'an River is crystal-clear and shines like a mirror in the spring sunshine and cycling around winding mountain paths flanked by green trees or standing on the dam of Xin'an River and soaking up its crystal-clear waters, cool wind and odd mist, will breeze you gently through some of life’s natural wonders.
Route Seven: Thousand-islet Lake
Info: There are three routes to see the 1078 luscious green islets resting in crystal-clear waters and whichever route you take cycling around the Thousand-islet Lake, you will never forget the true beauty and breathtaking scenery that it beholds.