As a popular Chinese saying goes, there is a paradise in heaven, and on earth we have Suzhou and Hangzhou. Located in southeastern China, Hangzhou, capital of Zhejiang Province, is a beautiful city. The city has a prosperous history behind it and a bright future before it. It is renowned for its West Lake.
Scenery Lines:Route 1: Broken Bridge to Su Di Causeway Cycling Tour
Distance: 5 kilometers
Time: 1 hour
Difficulty: Easy with nice road condition.
Highlights: the Broken Bridge; Bai Di Causeway; Su Causeway; Three Pools Mirroring the Moon
Route: The Broken Bridge- Bai Di Causeway -Louwailou restaurant- Su Di Causeway- Three Pools Mirroring the Moon-South End of Su Di Causeway
This short route with nice road conditions is perfect for families and kids.
This route starts from the famous icon of Hangzhou, the Broken Bridge, which is a stone arch bridge on the Bai Di causeway. Riding straight on the Bai Di causeway for a while, travelers will see an island at the end of the causeway. On this island,Gushan island, people can visit Zhejiang Provincial Museum. This museum opens from 9:00 to 16:00 and is closed on Mondays. It’s free admission.
Riding along the Gushan Road, there is a restaurant named Louwailou specializing in Hangzhou cuisine. A famous poem mentions it and now it has become an attraction.
Next, ride across the lake via the much longer Su Di causeway. It was constructed in honor of the famous Song Dynasty poet, Su Dongpo, hence the name of the causeway. There are a large number of willow trees planted along both sides of the path, so travelers willfeel comfortable when riding. It’s impossible to miss “Three Pools Mirroring the Moon”. This famous scenery is printed on the back of 1 yuan bill. Travelers can see other attractions on this path as well, like “Dawn at Su Di Causeway in Spring.”
Route 2: West of West Lake
Distance: 7 kilometers
Time: 1.5 hours
Difficulty: Easy with smooth road conditions.
Highlights: Yanggong Di; Quyuan Fenghe (from July to August); Yuewang Temple; Viewing Fish at Flower Pond
Route: Yuewang Temple- Quyuan Fenghe- Yanggong Di
This route starts at Yuewang Temple which is dedicated to a revered general of the Southern Song Dynasty. Yuewang, or Yue Fei, was a patriotic general. If you are interested in his story, you can park your bike and step inside to view this temple, which has three temple halls and a courtyard that contains Yuefei’s tomb.
Next, if you’re visiting in July or August,turn west and head to Quyuan Fenghe . There visitors may participate in water lily appreciation, lotus seedpod picking, lotus seed shelling, cooking water lily dishes, listening to a folk drama, water lily lantern sending for bliss, Miss Water Lily contest by West Lake, chinese water lily variety exhibition and so on.
Next,head to Yang Gong Causeway, which parallels Su Di Causeway and gives a fine perspective of the lake from the western shore. There are many gardens on this road and they do not charge admission fee.
The end of this route is “Viewing Fish at Flower Pond” which has developed into a large park made up of 5 spots: Red Carp Pond, lawn, Flower Harbor, Peony Park and grove. a Red Carp Pond is the heart of Viewing Fish at Flower Pond. For hundreds of years, the Red Carp Pond has fascinated emperors like Emperpor Kang Xi and Emperpor Qian Long of the Qing Dynasty In addition to royalty poets and calligrapher alike have expressed their admiration through calligraphy, poems and drawings.
Route 3: Quyuan Fenghe to Temple of Soul’s Retreat
Distance: 4 kilometers
Time: 40 minutes
Highlights: Hangzhou Botanical Park; Twin Peaks Piecing the Cloud; Temple of Soul’s Retreat (Lingyin Temple)
Route:Hangzhou Botanical Park- Twin Peaks Piecing the Cloud- Lingyin Temple
From West Lake’s northwest corner, ride west down Lingyin Road towards Temple of Soul’s Retreat which is one of Hangzhou’s largest Buddhist temples. Taking a detour to Hangzhou Botanical Park is a good choice for relaxation.
There are some uphill challenges when heading west down Lingyin Road. The effort is worth it because cyclists will reach one of the most cherished Buddhist temples, the Temple of Soul’s Retreat, which was built over 1,600 years ago.
On the middle of this route is Twin Peaks Piecing the Cloud. On days with clouds, or on days with fog, it is as if these twin peaks pierce through the cloudsor the fog.
Route 4: Legendary Landmarks (South and East of the West Lake)
Distance: 9 kilometers
Time: 2 hours
Highlights: Lingering Snow over the Broken Bridge; Autumn Moon over the Calm Lake; Orioles Singing in the Willows; Leifeng Pagoda
Route: Leifeng Pagoda-Nanshan Road- Orioles Singing in the Willows-Hubin Road-Baisha Road-Beishan Street
This route starts from Leifeng Pagoda which was originally built in 975 A.D. Unfortunately, this pagoda was burned and destroyed several times. Although it was often rebuilt, locals did not protect it. So, it eventually collapsed in 1924. In 1999, government decided to reconstruct this pagoda around the ruined site. Thus its second life was ushered in. Thanks to the folk tale “The Legend of White Snake”, it has been famous in China for hundreds of years.
Next coming out of Leifeng pagoda continue cycling counterclockwise around the lake. You s may want to stop at the “Orioles Singing in the Willows” before continuing along the Hubin Road. At the end of Hubin Road, head counterclockwise on Baisha Road, and then travelers will come to Beishan Street.
Riding for a while along Beishan Street, cyclists will be greeted by “Lingering Snow over the Broken Bridge” in the south. Its reputation was s also created by “The Legend of White Snake”. Broken Bridge is not really broken. It is called broken because it gives a broken illusion when snow begins to melt.
At the western end of Bai Causeway is “Autumn Moon over the Calm Lake”. It is an ideal spot to appreciate the moon's reflection on the surface of the lake in autumn evenings.
It would be advisable not to ride on weekends and Chinese official holidays.