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The Best Things in Life Are Free… 2019-07-16
This January Hangzhou welcomes another four scenic areas to be added to its current list of 54 - in China a five category rating system ranging from A, 2A, 3A, 4A, 5A has been used to determine the quality of the attractions, with 5A being the highest.

These new additions are the 4A-rated Gaoting Mountain Scenic Area (杭州皋亭山景区), 3A-rated Jiangnan Slow Village Scenic Area (杭州·江南慢村景区), 3A-rated Xianrengu Rafting Scenic Area (仙人谷漂流景区) and 3A-rated Xiajiangcun Village Scenic Area (下姜村景区).

Among the 58 scenic areas some require no admission fee, such as the renowned West Lake and Beijing–Hangzhou Grand Canal Scenic Areas.

As the saying goes ‘the best things in life are free’ and visiting the following scenic areas will certainly prove this to be true.

West Lake Scenic Area (5A - rated)

The West Lake Scenic Area features a tranquil stretch of water surrounded by mountains on three of its sides. The scenic area covers an area of roughly 60 sq km with the water covering 6.5 sq km. Renowned for its touching tales and folklores it perfectly infuses picture-postcard scenery with relics of historic significance.

Here you can appreciate the breathtaking views, reminisce the history and sample a number of authentic and palatable Hangzhounese dishes.

Traffic: Take Subway No. 1 to the stop of Long Xiang Qiao (龙翔桥)

Qinghefang Historic Block (4A-rated)

Qinghefang is, since olden times, a most prosperous block in the city of Hangzhou - blessed with myriads of historical and cultural heritages. As the only well-preserved block of the old Hangzhou city, Qinghefang serves as the epitome of old Hangzhou and is viewed as the best place to know all about this remarkable city.

Moreover, Qinghefang is the perfect place for purchasing memorable souvenirs and for tasting local snacks in food stands or delicious dishes in the nearby fancy restaurants.

Traffic: Take Subway No. 1 to the stop of Ding’an Road (定安路)

Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal Scenic Area (4A-rated)

Besides being one of the three wonders of China, the route to reminiscing the past and exploring water town life style as well as the water gateway to savoring Hangzhou delicacies in riverside food streets, the Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal Scenic Area has a lot, lot more to offer.

The scenic area retains a Jiangnan Water Town style and through the antique building complex visitors can explore the past. The largest museum complex in China – Hangzhou Arts and Crafts Museum consisting of China Knife, Scissors and Sword Museum, China Hangzhou Fan Museum and China Umbrella Museum all reside here and are the perfect foundations for a brighter future.

Traffic: Take bus No. 79, 98 and 129 to the Stop of West Gongchen Bridge (拱宸桥西站) or take water bus No. 1 in Wulinmen Wharf to the stop of Gongchen Bridge.

Gaoting Mountain Scenic Area (4A-rated)

The Gaoting Mountain range stretches to the northern part of Hangzhou city with Gaoting Mountain, at 361 meters high, being the tallest.

Gaoting Mountain Scenic Area origins from the Qin Dynasty (221BC - 207BC), rises in the Tang Dynasty (618AD - 907Ad) and reaches its heyday in the Song Dynasty (960AD-1279AD). It is here that the first Emperor of Qin, the founder of the Kingdom of Wuyue, Su Dongpo and Bai Juyi etc. all left behind a countless number of historical heritages.

The scenic area is also famous for its peach blossom culture with the Thousand Peach Blossoms Garden being one of the best picks. In spring the area is a sea of peach blossom and whether on foot or by bicycle either way the path flanked by pinky peach blossoms is a journey not to be missed.

Xianghu Lake Scenic Area (4A-rated)

Xianghu Lake is reputed as being the sister lake of the West Lake, however whereas the West Lake is often swarmed with tourists, Xianghu Lake is more serene with fewer tourists but more residents.

With well-equipped entertainment facilities such as a music fountain, night cruise, battery tourist cars, Xianghu is a quieter alternative but still possesses its own charm of being the cradle of Kuahuqiao Culture.

Traffic: Take Subway No.1 to the stop of Xianghu Lake. (地铁1号线至湘湖站)

Liangzhu Museum (4A-rated)

The museum, themed on Liangzhu Culture (the last Neolithic culture in the Yangtze River Delta of China), collects relics unearthed from the Liangzhu archaeological site which includes exquisite jade and black pottery artifacts.

Inside the museum a multitude of high-end technology has been introduced and all of which aim to make your exploration into the world of Liangzhu Culture a lot more fun.

Traffic: Take the Bus No. 372, 348, 313 and B8 to the stop of Liangzhu Museum.

Tangqi Ancient Scenic Area (4A-rated)

Situated beside the Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal, Tangqi Ancient Town has a history of over 1300 years and is blessed with a number of spots of historical significance and scenic beauty. You can clearly see why this scenic area has been titled: ‘the Picture-Postcard Town in Jiangnan Area’ and ‘Top Ten Renowned Towns in Jiangnan’.

Traffic:Take bus No. 319, 342 to the Tangqi town.

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No.188, Fuchun Road, Hangzhou, China
TEL: 86-571-96123
FAX: 86-571-96123
Complain: slw@hz.gov.cn
Consult: slw@hz.gov.cn