Always a good accompaniment to scenes of nature, a body of water nestled in much welcome shade provided by dense forests is especially refreshing in summer months. Sailing in boats that pass under rows and rows of foliage no doubt makes for a wonderful daytime activity, and with a place less than forty kilometers away from Hangzhou, one’s wish to indulge in such summertime leisure doesn’t have to go unfulfilled.
Qingshan Lake is a man-made lake built in Lin’an in the year 1964. The lake covers an area approximately ten times as large as that of the West Lake, but compared to the latter’s maddeningly thick crowds and bustling commercial streets, the lake scenic area offers a picturesque yet serene environment without people constantly stepping in and out of your camera frame. Surrounded on all sides by lush green mountains, the lake and the scenic area are fortunately blessed with a stable and vibrant ecosystem – a veritable Shangrila to wild animals. Currently, the region is home to over 240 species of fauna, including some endangered and protected species of China such as Elliot's pheasant, white stork, and black stork etc.
To the north of the lake lies the biggest draw– the one million sq m ‘Water Forest’. Resembling a jade stone embedded in a setting of luscious green this ‘Water Forest’ is known for its peculiar trees - halfway submerged in water yet still alive and growing, it is a rare sight in China, if not the world. With the resplendent forest shrouded in mist, an azure sky adorned by ever changing white clouds, lofty trees standing erect in water with their reflections dancing on shimmering ripples, ‘Water Forest’ is heaven for shutterbugs.
Not far from ‘Water Forest’, there is an amusement park where visitors can engage themselves in a number of activities such as rock climbing, rope bridge races over water, etc. In addition, the ‘Water Platform’ at the center of the lake is also a nice place worthy of your time offering entertainment facilities like self-drive motor boats and paragliding etc.
How to Tour Qingshan Lake
There is really no better way to tour around Qingshan Lake than to take leisure boats, available at both Qinshan Wharf (琴山码头) and Shenghe Wharf (圣鹤码头) at the south part of the lake. By taking a leisure boat, one can feast on the heavenly view of the lake and can step out the boat to explore the main attractions along the route such as ‘Water Forest’ and ‘Water Platform’ etc. The time to tour these attractions is not restricted and the facility of the leisure boats can be availed by simply showing the purchased ticket. Two kinds of leisure boats are offered to give different cruising experiences: one is classic painted boat available at the price of 140RMB per person and at a minimum of 16 people, and the other is speedboat at the price of 150 RMB per person and at a minimum of 5 people.
In Jiande, there is an ancient town that has experienced thousands of years of wind and rain. It has a beautiful name called Meicheng (Plum Blossom Town). Meicheng was the state town of the then Yanzhou and is now the county town of Jiande. It has a history of 1700 years.