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Top 10 Destinations in the Zhejiang Province

Last updated by meimeili at 2013/12/24; Destinations: Hangzhou

1.    Hangzhou & West Lake & Qiantang River – Hangzhou is the capital of the Zhejiang Province and was even once the capital of all of China itself, making it a must-see during your trip to the area. The city is famous for its high quality productions of tea, silk, and, oddly, scissors. However, the main reason that visitors stop by Hangzhou is to visit the West Lake. Since it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Chinese government has made a point to keep it open free of charge for all visitors. The landscapes here are simply spectacular due to the combination of classic Chinese architectures, pavilions, temples, forested mountains around, and of course the sparkling water of the lake.

There are 10 Famous Scenes of West Lake that you should not miss, with some being more seasonal while others are great all year round. The other principal highlight of Hangzhou is the Qiantang River. It is the largest river in the Zhejiang Province and runs a total of 427.5 miles. It has always been a very important route connecting the East and the West in trade. Every 18th day of the 8th month, visitors from all around the world gather to witness the Qiantang River bore, a natural phenomenon during which a tide rises and goes against the existing current. This is the largest tidal bore in the world, caused by the gravitational pull of the stars and planets. Even if you are not in Hangzhou during this time, be sure to visit the city’s fine museums, handicraft markets, and teahouses!

2.    Lingyin Temple – This temple dating back to the Southern Song, Ming, and Tang Dynasties is so unique to Hangzhou, the capital of the Zhejiang Province, that it deserves its own listing. Lingyin Temple is wrapped by the beauty of the Wulin Mountains and is one of the most significant and gorgeous Buddhist monasteries in China. The atmosphere and surroundings here are incredibly peaceful, a wonderful pairing with its stunning halls, palaces, pavilions, and pagodas. Inside, visitors will be able to witness priceless collections of historic and Buddhist artifacts, realics, and treasure pieces.

The Buddhist literature here is particularly important and prized. Thousands of worshipperes continue to visit Lingyin Temple daily, passing through the Hall of the Heavenly King where there is a large statue of the large Buddha Maitreya, and the Main Hall which is the home of a prominent statue of Sakyamuni, the founder of Buddhism. Outside of the temple, be sure to visit Feilai Peak (also known as Peak Flown From Afar) about 700 feet tall. It is a limestone mountain with large stones strewn along the ridge that resemble images such as a tiger, money, elephant, and more. The peak also has a few caves with about 330 stone statues of Buddha in various positions. Note that there is a separate entrance fee for Lingyin Temple and Feilai Peak.

Address: Fayun Lane, Xihu District, Hangzhou
Phone: 57 1 8796 8665 or 57 1 8797 3280
Hours: 7:00am to 6:00pm
Entrance: 30 Yuan Lingyin Temple; 45 Yuan Feilai Peak (Peak Flown From Afar)
Getting there: Bus Lines K7 or K807; Tourist Lines Y1 or Y2

3.    The Big Bamboo Sea – The Zhejiang Province is certainly not short on breathtaking landscapes and views. The Big Bamboo Sea found in Anji County of Huuzhou is so beautiful that many scenes of the internationally acclaimed film “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” were filmed here. Here you will be able to witness authentic rural life in China. With your entrance of 30 Yuan, you will have access to the immense bamboo forest that covers 120 square kilometers as well as a teahouse and 5-story lookout tower. The forest area should take about 1 hour to enjoy, but the area is well worth at least 2 days’ minimum stay. Since you are here, also stop by the nearby village named Gangkou where the villagers harvest and process the bamboo. The Big Bamboo Sea and surrounding areas make for an ideal excursion any time of the year.

Address: Gangkou County, Anji, Huzhou
Phone: 57 2501 5999
Hours: 10:00am to 5:00pm
Entrance: 30 Yuan
Getting there: bus from Chengdu Xinnanmen Bus Station (Y95); or a bus that runs Chengdu/Chongqing-Yibin-Changning-Big Bamboo Sea; or a ferry from Luzhou or Chongqing

4.    Tian Yi Library – Another large city in the Zhejiang Province is Ningbo, a former treaty port with a population of more than 5 million and which features some fascinating islands in the surroundings. Tianyi Pavilion and Library is one of Ningbo’s most impressive tourist destinations. The library is China’s oldest existing private library and one of the world’s oldest overall. Visiting here, you will be taken back in time and begin to feel relaxed due to its peaceful nature-based setting next to Ming Lake. The adjacent gardens, decorative red lanterns, and collection of ancient literatures and books will surely appeal to the literate and educated. Tian Yi Library’s collection includes more than 300,000 volumes of ancient books, 80,000 rare copies of literature, and even exclusive woodcuts and handwritten copies of text from the Song and Ming Dynasties.

Address: No.5 Tianyi Street, Haizhu District, Ningbo
Phone: 57 4 8729 4832
Hours: 8:00am to 5:30pm
Entrance: 30 Yuan for adults, 15 Yuan for children
Getting there: Bus Lines 371 or 512

5.    Baoguo Temple – This temple dating back to the 16th century is found 15 kilometers north of Ningbo and one of the oldest intact wooden structures in southern China. It lies at the foot of Mount Emei, offering fantastic views of the landscape, and is a central location for Buddhism worship. A highlight to be seen here is the 3.5-meter tall porcelain Buddha statue created in 1415, almost 600 years ago. The temple faces the east and greets the rising sun each morning, with a pair of large stone lions from the Ming Dynasty at its gate to greet visitors. You will also see beautiful rockeries, halls, impressive Buddha statues, and more. There are 4 main halls in total and the property is about 10 acres wide. Due to the mountainous region’s rainy season about April to October, it is recommended to visit Baoguo Temple in spring and autumn such as December to March.

Address: foot of Emei Mountain, Anshan Village, Hongtang Street, Jiangbei District, Ningbo
Phone: 83 3552 2952
Hours: 8:00am to 4:30pm
Entrance: 12 Yuan
Getting there: Bus Lines 5 or 332

6.    Qiandao Lake (Thousand Island Lake) – This manmade lake formed after the completion of the Xin'anjiang hydroelectric station in 1959 is unlike any other destination in China. Qiandao Lake is also known as Thousand Island Lake and can be accessed within 2 hours from Hangzhou. You will note how it almost seems as if the heavens carved niches throughout the countryside and then filled the nooks with shining blue water, in the process creating a total of 1,078 large islands with thousands of smaller ones in between, hence its name. In fact, the water is so nice that it is potable and many known bottled water brands extract their product out of Qiandao Lake.

The total property stretches an incredible 573 hectares and the water reaches on average about 34 meters deep. Verdant forests cover 90% of the islands, proving homes for much native wildlife and which have interesting names such as Bird Island, Snake Island, Monkey Island, and Lock Island among many, many more. The views here are nothing short of breathtaking. Due to the flooding of the land to create this lake, below the surface level there still rests the towns of Hecheng and Shicheng, an interesting idea to think about. Qiandao Lake certainly makes for an ideal weekend excursion from the loud and busy cities of China that surely populate your journey.

Address: Qiandaohu Town, Chun'an County
Phone: 57 1 6483 1113
Getting there: bus from Hangzhou West Bus Station

7.    Mount Putuo – Mount Putuo on an island is a significant Buddhist mountain and is mostly associated with Guanyin. In fact, it is one of the 4 major such mountains in China, along with Mount Emei in Sichuan, Mount Wutai in Shanxi, and Mount Jiuhua in Anhui. Pilgrims and worshippers continue to visit every day. Similarly, you will see the resident monks; Mount Putuo was once the hole of more than 3,000 monks though there is much less these days. The monks are usually quite happy to chat with visitors.

On the island, you will also of course find an abundance of temples, shrines, and Buddhist statues such as the 33-foot tall representation of Guanyin overlooking China’s Eastern Sea. The island is just 8.6 kilometers long and 3.5 kilometers wide for a total of 12.5 square kilometers in size. The main peak is the Peak of Buddhist Top about 300 meters above sea level. For a break, descend to one of the dozens of clean beaches where you can go for a swim, with One Hundred Step Beach and One Thousand Step Beach being the 2 most popular. In addition, be sure to visit the other attractions on Mount Putuo Island such as its caves and grottoes.

Address: Putuo Town, Putuo District, Zhoushan
Phone: 58 0637 7110
Entrance: 160 Yuan
Getting there: bus from Ningbo, Zhoushan, Hangzhou, or Shanghai; or boats from Shenjiamen or Shanghai

8.    Water towns Wuzhen & Xitang – The water towns of Zhejiang Province are fascinating. Wuzhen and is located along the Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal about 1 hour drive from Hangzhou and is a historic place ready for discovery and exploration. The townspeople get around on boats through the various networks of smaller canals and rivers. Ancient bridges, harbors, and waterside pavilions add to the pleasant atmosphere and views. Wuzhen’s layout and dated buildings full of residential areas, workshop areas, cultural areas, dining areas, shopping areas, and scenery areas are what make the town such a popular escape for city dwellers and travelers. The homes are especially impressive such as the ones with large traditional courtyards, overlapping roofs, and elaborate eaves.

One section of town called Xizha has recently been renovated for modern tourism but still features old Ming and Qing Dynasty style constructions, making a walk here very nice for the eye. A visit to Wuzhen should be at least 2 days to fully enjoy. Xitang, on the other hand, is known as the top 6 ancient towns in China but in other ways is very similar to Wuzhen. There are 9 rivers that join together in Xitang, requiring 27 age-old bridges to connect each disjointed section of land. Both towns are simply beautiful at night when lit up. Strolling down the corridors to taking a short boat ride in the waterways will surely bring you memories to treasure.
Getting there: bus from Hangzhou or Shanghai

9.    Nanxun Ancient Town – Nanxun was founded in 1252 during the Southern Song Dynasty and is now both an ancient town with a rich heritage as well as a modern city in many ways. It is 30 kilometers east of Huzhou. If you are a shopper, the best reason to come here is to browse the town’s silk products. The quality and selection is great. As well, 2 rivers cross Nanxun: the Shihi River and the China Grand Canal which flows between Beijing and Hangzhou. 15 ancient bridges cross these bodies of water, all dating back to the Song, Yuan, Ming, and Qing Dynasties. Indeed, visit Nanxun if you wish to indulge in the nostalgia of a gorgeous, old Chinese establishment.

Address: No.38 Shiyuan Road, Nanxun Town, Nanxun District, Huzhou
Phone: 57 2301 8725
Hours: 7:20am to 5:30pm
Entrance: 100 Yuan for 9 attractions; cruise ships 100 Yuan per 15 minutes
Getting there: bus from Huzhou, Shanghai (A9), Hangzhou, and Ningbo

10.    Yandang Mountain – Even with so many distinguished mountains in Zhejiang Province, Yandang Mountain is well worth a mention. The mountains found in Leqing, Wenzhou in the province’s southeast. Named one of the country’s most famous mountains, Yandang spreads over a total of 450 square kilometers and hosts more than 500 tourist attractions, with Lingfeng Peak, Lingyan Rock, and Dalongqiu Waterfall bring the 3 most well known. Countless other peaks, waterfalls, caves, and cliffs comprise the landscapes here. Yandang Mountain was even once a volcano but is no longer active, so do not worry!

Address: No.88 Yanshan Road, Wenzhou
Phone: 86 577  6224 1762
Entrance: free Yandang Mountain; 50 Yuan Spiritual Peaks: CNY 50 (recommended to buy tickets separately if you want to visit both in day and night); 50 Yuan Spiritual Rocks; 50 Yuan Big Dragon Waterfall; 10 Yuan Wild Goose Lake; 15 Yuan Wonder-Displaying Gate; 20 Yuan Goat-Horn Gate; 20 Yuan Three-Step Waterfall
Getting there: bus from Hangzhou East Station, Ningbo South Station, Wenzhou New South Station, Shanghai, Wenzhou, or Zhiqing Bus Station; train from Shanghai South Railway Station