Night View of West Lake in Hangzhou

November 24th, 2014
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Hangzhou is the most beautiful garden city in China. The West Lake is the illustrious drawcard in Hangzhou. Walking on the edge of the West Lake in the early morning gives you much serenity while an evening stroll allows you to enjoy a casino-like wonderland.

Normally the West Lake will be lit up on weekend evenings from Friday through Sunday, a great time to appreciate the beauty of the West Lake when it sparkles. You will have a lot of photography opportunity and at the same time you should prepare for possible crowds and people watch due to a lot of foot traffic.

The best night view of the West Lake starts from  Beishan Road ( the northern edge of the West Lake ) through the east side of the lake which is adjacent to the city.

Visiting the West Lake is  the highlight on your Hangzhou tour. Now follow me to have a night view of the West Lake.  The night view starts from Beishan Road on the northern edge of the West Lake,  below the Precious Stone Hill toppled by the spire of Baoshu Pagoda.

Beishan Road is lined with the plane trees, which arch across the street. Some old houses have been revamped and turned into trendy and fashionable bars and cafes.

Beishan Road at night

Beishan Road at night

Standing on Beishan Road, you have a good angle to grab a photo of the stone arched bridge – romantically known as  “Lingering Snow on the Broken Bridge”.

Lingering Snow on the Broken Bridge at night

Lingering Snow on the Broken Bridge at night

Inside the pavilion, local people are having an impromptu singing, a great fun to relax and unwind.

Inside the pavilion by the bridge, local people have impromptu singing each night just for a fun.

Inside the pavilion by the bridge, local people have impromptu singing each night just for a fun.

Standing on the top of the  Linggering Snow on the Broken Birdge, you will see Baoshu Pagoda atop the Precious Stone Hill above Beishan Road with its reflection on the water.

Baoshu Pagoda atop the Precious Stone Hill  with its reflection on the water

Baoshu Pagoda atop the Precious Stone Hill with its reflection on the water

The buildings on the east side of the lake with their reflections on the water.

The buildings on the east side of the lake with their reflections on the water.

The buildings on the east side of the lake with their reflections on the water.

The night of the West Lake kindles a kind of romance.

The night of the West Lake kindles a kind of romance

The night of the West Lake kindles a kind of romance

At 7:30 pm, I see the musical water fountains by the east shoreline of the lake. There over 400 small fountains in  the musical fountains system with nozzles sending beautiful patterns of water which are choreographed to music. Each water musical fountains show takes about 15 minutes with over 14 songs or music.  Musical Fountains in Hangzhou attracts large crowds each night.

The musical fountains

The musical fountains

It is relaxing and unwind to have a stroll along the lake.

It is relaxing and unwind to have a stroll along the lake.

It is relaxing and unwind to have a stroll along the lake.

Take a break for a cup of coffee or tea in a lake side open-air restaurant.

Take a break for a cup of coffee or tea in a lake side open-air restaurant.

Take a break for a cup of coffee or tea in a lake side open-air restaurant.

Sitting on a bench, chatting and looking at the glistening waters with comfy breeze.

Sitting on a bench, chatting

Sitting on a bench, chatting

 

Lit trees and Jixian Pagoda

Willow Trees and Jixian Pagoda

Lit Trees and Jixian Pagoda

Have a close-up view of Jixian Pagoda protruding into the water.

a close-up view of Jixian Pagoda protruding into the water

a close-up view of Jixian Pagoda protruding into the water

A zigzag cement bridge with a better view of the lake

A zigzag cenment bridge with a better view of the lake

A zigzag cement bridge with a better view of the lake

A lit pavilion by the lake

A lit pavilion by the lake

A lit pavilion by the lake

Add on:
Top 10 Attractions in Hangzhou – Top 10 Things to Do in Hangzhou

Any questions, just drop a line.

How to Visit Nanxun Water Town

November 21st, 2014
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In the Yangtze River Delta Area still exists Chinese ancient town life style – people live along the canals or rivers. These old towns are oft-lauded as water towns or canal towns featuring white-washed walls, black tiled roofs, old stone bridges over narrow canals,  old-fashion wooden boasts,  elegant mansions, beautiful gardens and weirdly shaped rocks.

There are some much visited water towns such as Zhouzhuang, Tongli, Wuzhen,etc.  These popular water towns are very often swarmed with  busloads of tourists, breaking serenity and peacefulness. Nanxun Old Town is comparatively less crowded and commercial, mainly due to its location and less promotion.

Nanxun Ancient Town was  the most affluent among the water towns in Yangtze River Delta Area. Nanxun was once the silk production and trade center in the ancient China  and home to many wealthy Chinese businessmen. These elite Chinese constructed many typical Chinese traditional buildings along rivers and canals with typical water town features. What sets it apart from other water towns is the interesting  blend of European style  and Chinese style architectures.

Influenced by the late 19th century boom in Shanghai and business connection with the world, western ideas and influence appeared in the affluent family circles at Nanxun. You will see some estates with a mix of western ballrooms and traditional Chinese architectures. Some wealthy businessmen’s house  boast a classical portico and a red-brick residence with French balconies, French marble floors and stained glass in the windows. In addition to the elite families’ houses, you also can see the  old houses for common people living in the canal towns.

Nanxun Water Town is effortlessly reached from Shanghai and Hangzhou by public buses.  Under the administration of Huzhou City in Zhejiang Province, it is located 100 km to the southwest of Shanghai and 100 km northeast of Hangzhou.
Daily buses start from Hangzhou North Bus Station with one and half hours’ drive; from Shanghai South Bus Station, Shanghai Passenger Bus General Station and Shanghai Hongqiao West Bus Station also with one and hours’ drive. If you are planning your Shanghai tour or Hangzhou tour, you are highly recommended to have a side trip to Nanxun Ancient Town.

Nanxu Long-distance Bus Station is located by the National Highway 318, not far from the core of Nanxun Water Town.
Nanxun Bus Station enquiry phone number: 0572 – 3061139
Nanxun Water Town Entrance Fee: RMB100 ( Valid for one day)
Enquiry: 0572 – 3016999
Tourism Complain: 0572 – 3018585

Follow me to have a glimpse of the picturesque Nanxun Water Town.

Below is the panoramic view of Nanxun Ancient Town. With your entrance ticket, you are able to visit 8 pay attractions inside the water town.

Panaromic view of Nanxun Old Town

Panoramic view of Nanxun Old Town

Once inside the town, you are easily guided by the Chinese-English signs dotted all over the town with brief introduction.

Travel Signbaord in Nanxun Ancient Town

Travel Signbaord in Nanxun Ancient Town

This is Tongli Bridge, a stone bridge spanning the canal, a typical feature of a water town.

Tongli Bridge

Tongli Bridge

This is Xingfu Bridge, a flat stone bridge over the river, connecting the two streets – east and west. The canal was once used a water passage for transportation.

Xingfu Bridge

Xingfu Bridge

Guanghui Bridge, a stone half moon bridge

Guanghui Bridge

Guanghui Bridge

East-West Boundary Bridge

East-West Boundary Bridge

East-West Boundary Bridge

A boat is drifting on the canal

A boat is drifting on the canal

A boat is drifting on the canal

Pay RMB 240 for a half hour’s boating on the canal to experience the water town’s life.

boating on the canal

boating on the canal

White-washed walls and black-tiled roofs, typical of water town.

White-washed walls and black-tiled roofs, typical of water town

White-washed walls and black-tiled roofs, typical of water town

Walk along the white-washed wall building by the canal.

Walk along the white-washed wall building by the canal.

Walk along the white-washed wall building by the canal.

The French red-brick residence in Liu Family’s house

The French red-brick residence in Liu Family's house

The French red-brick residence in Liu Family’s house

The traditional hall in Liu Family’ House

The traditional hall in Liu Family' House

The traditional hall in Liu Family’ House

Zhang Family’s European Building

Zhang Family's European Building

Zhang Family’s European Building

The traditional hall in Zhang Family’s house

The traditional hall in Zhang Family's house

The traditional hall in Zhang Family’s house

Baijianlou, or the “100 room complex”. 100 common houses along this canal. These houses are still used by the local residents. The houses still keep their ancient, local charm.

Baijianlou - 100 room complex

Baijianlou – 100 room complex

The two-story wooden houses by the canal

The two-story wooden houses by the canal

The two-story wooden houses by the canal

Strolling along the narrow alleys by the canal is relaxing and rewinding.  Sit down for a sip of tea or a bite of local snacks. street side restaurants and modern bars are nice outlets.

Take a break at a canal side food stall for a bite of local food.

Take a break at a canal side food stall for a bite of local food.

Take a break at a canal side food stall for a bite of local food.

Many house hosts at Qilou buildings by the canal offer catering service for visitors.

Many house hosts at Qilou buildings by the canal offer catering service for visitors.

Many house hosts at Qilou buildings by the canal offer catering service for visitors.

More restaurants inside Qilou buildings along the canal.

More restaurants along the canal

More restaurants along the canal

Sticky tofu is a typical local snack

Sticky tofu is a typical local snack

Sticky tofu is a typical local snack

The exterior of Zhang Family Mansion by the canal

The exterior of Zhang Family Mansion by the canal

The exterior of Zhang Family Mansion by the canal

Add on

How to Visit Tongli Town 

How to Visit Zhouzhuang

Any questions,  just drop a line.

 

The Smoggy West Lake in Hangzhou

November 20th, 2014
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The West Lake Landscape, a World Cultural Heritage Site, dominates the psyche of the locals and visitors. Walking along the 15-km perimeter of the lake is a delightful rewind.  If not strong legs, choose any of the sections for a leisure stroll; or you may easily rent a bike since the  area around the lake is very bike-friendly.  The lake shoreline is full of well-maintained paths and gardens which are all free including the lake itself. 

The West Lake presents its different picturesque views under different time of a day, different weathers and different seasons. Even in a smog ( not heavily smoggy – around P.M 120), the West Lake still looks mesmerizing like a traditional water and mountain scroll of Chinese painting. 

The popular tourist West Lake does attracts domestic tourists who come in droves. A bit annoyed by the noisy huge crowds? Well, just mingle with the crowds and people-watch. Many local people do all kinds of impromptu activities like singing, dancing, playing chess, flying kites, taichi, calligraphy with water brushes, etc. 

On your Hangzhou tour, walking along the water edge gives you a picture of classic beauty of China and a better understanding of its people.

Now follow me to have a West Lake walking tour in smog. 

A close-up view of the rowing boats by the water edge

A close-up view of the rowing boats by the water edge

A close-up view of the rowing boats by the water edge

On the lake edge in the largest island in the West Lake , a boatman is waiting for business.

A boatman is waiting for business

A boatman is waiting for business

The withered yellow lotuses on the Inner West Lake with the Baoshu Hill and Baidi Causeway on the background,  a late autumn view of the lake.

The withered yellow lotuses on the Inner West Lake

The withered yellow lotuses on the Inner West Lake

Walking and biking along the Baidi Causeway.

Walking and biking along the Baidi Causeway.

Walking and biking along the Baidi Causeway.

It is a leisure and contemplative walk on the Baidi Causeway lined with waving willow trees.

Walk on the Baidi Causeway lined with waving willow trees.

Walk on the Baidi Causeway lined with waving willow trees.

Walking on the lake edge, appreciating the hazy West Lake.

Walking on the lake edge, appreciating the hazy West Lake.

Walking on the lake edge, appreciating the hazy West Lake.

Two foreign visitors are cycling on the Baidi Causeway, a great way of traveling the lake.

Two foreign visitors are cycling on the Baidi Causeway

Two foreign visitors are cycling on the Baidi Causeway

Flying a paper ring kite.

Flying a paper ring kite.

Flying a paper ring kite.

The legendary so-called Broken Bridge,  an arched bridge connecting the Baidi Causeway with the shore.

The legendary so-called Broken Bridge

The legendary so-called Broken Bridge

Flying a kite on the Broken Bridge

Flying a kite on the Broken Bridge

Flying a kite on the Broken Bridge

A close-up view of the Baishan Hill and Baishu Pagoda in a late autumn hue.

A close-view of the Baishan Hill and Baishu Pagoda in a late autumn hue.

A close-up view of the Baishan Hill and Baishu Pagoda in a late autumn hue.

The West Lake creates a romantic space.

The West Lake creates a romantic space.

The West Lake creates a romantic space.

Boating on the lake is relaxing and peaceful.

Boating on the lake is relaxing and peaceful.

Boating on the lake is relaxing and peaceful.

More boats waiting by the lakeshore along Hubin Road ( Lakeside Road).

More boats waiting by the lakeshore

More boats waiting by the lakeshore

Strolling along the Bubin Road (Lakeside Road), on the east of the lake connecting the city center.

Strolling along the Bubin Road

Strolling along the Bubin Road

Impromptu Singing on the lakeside road.

Impromptu Singing on the lakeside road.

Impromptu Singing on the lakeside road.

Play with doves on the lake edge park.

Play with doves on the lake edge park.

Play with doves on the lake edge park.

Dancing on along the park of West Lake.

Dancing on along the park of West Lake.

Dancing on along the park of West Lake.

Singing traditional Chinese songs

Singing traditional Chinese songs

Singing traditional Chinese songs

The images and views of the West Lake will linger in your mind for ever.

The images and views of the West Lake will linger in your mind for ever

The images and views of the West Lake will linger in your mind for ever

Add On:
Walk around West Lake in early morning Hangzhou
Top 10 Attractions in Hangzhou – Top 10 Things to Do in Hangzhou

 Any questions, just drop a line.