Five Tour Routes to the Beauty of Grand Canal
On 22 June 2014 the Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal was listed as a UNSECO World Heritage site and two years later it still manages to retain its original style functioning as one of the most important transport networks connecting Beijing and Hangzhou whilst overflowing with history and culture.
West Lake is by far the most recognized landmark attraction of Hangzhou and a must-visit for many first-time visitors. However if you fancy something picturesque, without the crowds, but still with cultural and historical connotations then Gongshu District at the southern end of Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal is the perfect place to start.
On 28 May 2016 Gongshu District People’s Government and the Hangzhou Grand Canal Group in Wulinmen wharf unveiled six special routes to tour the Hangzhou section of the Grand Canal and here they are...
Seasonal Tour Routes
For its subtropical climate Hangzhou is blessed with four distinct seasons which cast spells on the ancient Grand Canal making it glow come rain or shine.
In spring head to Shuyuan Garden (墅园) which is an urban garden built in 1959 and combines features of Jiangnan style gardens as well as Suzhou and Hangzhou style gardens. The garden offers visitors a tranquil getaway from the hustle and bustle of urban life. Then tour around the Grand Canal where you will be greeted by weeping willow, tulips and daffodils and ducklings swimming in the river below. Lastly, visit the Banshan National Forest Park to enjoy peach blossom in full bloom and Hangzhou city’s mountain views.
In summer visit Banshan National Forest Park to experience folk customs unique to Hangzhou city such as Weighing Yourself on Lixia, eating Wumi Rice and learning about the making of Banshan Mud cat. You can even experience the pastoral life in the biggest natural oxygen bar in Hangzhou and cruise along the Grand Canal on summer nights where the evening breeze brushes against your face and magical lights illuminate the Grand Canal.
In autumn visit one of Hangzhou’s only culture creative zones such as Silian 166 and Loft 49 where you can immerse yourself in art or go to Jiangshu Railway Theme Park – the first railway in Zhejiang.
In winter stroll among ancient workshops, shops, river wharfs in historic blocks like Xiaohe Straight Street, Dadou Road and Qiaoxi Historic Block, where local life styles, folk customs and history and culture as well as local delicacies are waiting to be discovered.
Grand Canal Culture Tour Route
The Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal is a waterway to culture and if you are not in a hurry then this four-day tour will allow you to delve deep into the Grand Canal’s marvelous history and magnificent culture.
Leisurely stroll along Gongchen Bridge and visit Qiaoxi Historic Block then choose any one of the many riverside restaurants to sample Hangzhou’s famous dishes. Later visit the largest workmanship experiencing base in Zhejiang province – Workmanship Demonstration Pavilion and the largest museum complex in China. At night you can check in to any one of the many hotels nearby.
Take the archaistic tourist boat to cruise the Grand Canal and to get to Xiangji Temple to enjoy its famous vegetarian meal; in the afternoon head to Banshan National Forest Park to witness its marvelous natural views and learn about its history and culture.
Enjoy tea performances in Lao Kai Xin Teahouse in Qiaoxi Historic Block, watch a shadow play and enjoy the tasty buffet in Che’fle Canal Hotel.
Today enjoy a lie in and then leisurely pack for your return journey home.
Grand Canal Photography Tour Route
Cameras provide people with a way to capture beauty and everlasting memories. Set aside two days and visit the Grand Canal riverside wharf, Jiangshu Railway Theme Park, Banshan National Forest Park and you too will be able to capture the beauty of Hangzhou and its Grand Canal.
Find the perfect location to shoot a photo or two in downtown attractions such as Gaojia Garden, Gongchen Bridge, Jiangshu Railway Theme Park and Xiaohe Straight Street.
Head to Banshan National Forest Park to breathe the fresher than fresh air and on the way back rent a bicycle stopping to take a photo or two.
Cycling Tour Route
In the morning head to Xiangji Temple wharf where you can take a water bus to Qiaoxi Historic Block; at noon dine in Tong Yuan Li – Courtyard Restaurant (同源里– 院子餐厅); in the afternoon rent a public bicycle to visit Qiaoxi and Dadou Road historic blocks and Xiangji Temple and finally at dusk it is highly recommended to visit Shengli River Food Street where a number of tasty options await. At night stay at one of the many characteristic Hangzhou-style B&Bs.
Workmanship Experiencing Tour Route
In the Workmanship Demonstration Pavilion at the bank of Gongchen Bridge one can enjoy the charm of world class intangible cultural heritages such as “Chinese silkworm keeping, mulberry growing, silk making and weaving” as well as national level ones like “Fuyang Bamboo Paper Making” and provincial ones like “Hangzhou Tianzhu Chopsticks making”.
The route combines Gongchen Bridge and Qiaoxi Historic Block which are both characterized by arts and crafts and intangible cultural heritages. Attractions include Hangzhou Arts and Crafts Museum, China Knife, Scissors and Sword Museum, China Umbrella Museum, China Fan Museum and Workmanship Demonstration Pavilion.
One more internet-famous restaurant hits Hangzhou. The restaurant offers guests not only tasty food from all over the world, but also an opportunity to experience the supreme airplane VIP services. It is called Hedila Airplane Theme Restaurant. With a giant airplane head, boarding signs, beautiful stewardesses and ceilings resembling the clear starry sky, the details in the restaurant is exactly the same as on a real airplane.