Hangzhou, the capital of Zhejiang Province, is located at the southeastern coast of China, at the south end of the Grand Canal. The reputed beauty of Hangzhou is closely related to its mountains, forests and waters, among which the always charming West Lake (known locally as Xi Hu) is undoubtedly the most famous. One of the best ways to admire the beauty of West Lake is to rent a bike! With bike-rental stations scattered around the city, it’s easy peasy to rent a bike AND it’s completely free of charge in one hour.
Here is one recommended cycling route along the lakeshore of West Lake: Hupao Road – Manjuelong Road – Six Harmonies Pagoda – Jiuxi – Meijiawu.
Dreaming of Tiger Spring at Hupao Valley (One of the Top 10 New Scenes of West Lake selected in 1985)
Legend has it that the water from the Hupao Spring, dubbed “the world’s third best spring”, is germ-free. Longjing Tea and Hupao Spring have long been considered the “two treasures of the West Lake”. The place, where you can either watch or taste a handful of the crystal clean spring water, offers endless fun.
Sweet Osmanthus Rain at Manjuelong Village (One of the Top 10 New Scenes of West Lake selected in 1985)
Manjuelong has been renowned for its osmanthus blossoms since the Ming Dynasty. Every year, the coming of autumn is accompanied by the wafting fragrance of the flowers and the city will be showered with falling osmanthus petals.
Listening to the Roaring Qiantang Waves at Six Harmonies Pagoda (One of the Top 10 Latest Scenes of West Lake selected in 2007)
Sited on the Yuelun Hill, the majestic Six Harmonies Pagoda (Liuhe Pagoda) overlooks the vast waters of the Qiantang River and has a 360-degree view of the sprawling cityscape.
Nine Creeks in Misty Forest (One of the Top 10 New Scenes of West Lake selected in 1985)
Known colloquially as Nine Creeks and Eighteen Gullies, the scenic area is basically a footpath in lush forests where peace truly reigns. Chattering streamlets from all over are integrated into creeks and form gullies before joining the Qiantang River. The view here becomes especially good after the spring rain, presenting an ethereal feel that would remind you of the wonderland in fairytales.
An Early Spring Scene at Meijiawu (One of the Top 10 Latest Scenes of West Lake selected in 2007)
Springtime means the start of the tea-picking season of the year for farmers at Meijiawu. During the Pure Brightness Festival in April, the hillsides at Meijiawu are studded with beautiful images of women picking new sprouts, presenting a poetic view complete with chirping birds hovering around.
You can buy an IC card at the bike-rental stations with your passport, refundable deposit (200yuan) and the prepayment (100 yuan).
After purchasing an IC card, you can rent a little red bike for free for up to 1 hour, within 1-2 hours at 1 yuan per hour, 2-3 hours at 2 yuan per hour; 3 hours or more at 3 yuan per hour.
You don’t have to return the bike to the station where you rented it; you can return it to any other station near your destination.