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The Hupao Spring is widely known as the third best spring in China due to its water quality, which has been tested scientifically. The other two best springs are Jinshan Spring in Zhenjiang and Hui Spring in Wuxi. But for those traveling in Hangzhou, the Hupao Spring is definitely a must-see waterscape.
Also known as the Running Tiger Spring, the Hupao Spring is attractive in both its natural beauty as well as the unique quality of its waters. Due to both of these reasons, famous Chinese poets in ancient and modern times have written poems praising the spring.
Things to do
Visitors at the Hupao Spring can find plenty to do at the spring. Although it may seem like a very simple scenic area, the spring offers plenty of activities, all of which can relax and soothe the nerves. Many people, even locals, go there just to enjoy the scenery, listen to the quaint sound of the spring, taste the spring water, touch the spring, and just linger by the spring.
There you will also see a unique fountain. The fountain is best known for making excellent Longjing tea, so just as it is a must to see the Hupao Spring, it is also a must to taste tea made of water from the spring’s fountain. Together, the spring and tea made from it are sometimes dubbed as ‘two wonders’ in the West Lake scenic area.
Aside from the spring itself, there is also a temple in the nearby area. The temple is also worth a visit as it is also of high historical value since it was erected way back during the Tang Dynasty. It also has an interesting legend; it is believed that a monk named Xingkong used to live in the temple and that when he was planning to leave the temple due to the lack of water in the area, he dreamed that an immortal being told him that a fountain would be moved there by two mighty tigers. The monk was then surprised to see two tigers indeed come the next day; the tigers then dug a hole in the spot where the spring is now located. The legend says that the water of the spring immediately came rushing out as soon as the two tigers opened up a hole. This is where the spring got its name ‘Running Tiger Spring’.
According to scientific research, however, the spring was formed as a result of a stream of underground water that seeps through the cracks of a quartz sandstone. This is what gives the water of the spring its unique composition. Although the water has very low mineral content, it has a high level of radon, a radioactive element, and this is what makes it taste pure, sweet, and cold. Visitors are encouraged to taste the water for good health.
The spring water also has another mysterious characteristic, something that guests can even test themselves. It is known that the spring water can rise up to three millimeters above the edge of a bowl without overflowing. In fact, even when a coin is dropped into the bowl, the water does not spill over. According to science, this unique phenomenon is caused by the high surface tension of the water of Hupao Spring.