For professional cyclists, mountains are perfect for an adventure. But for the average cyclist, Hangzhou offers a pleasant, safe, not-so-energy-consuming excursion around West Lake.
Yanggong Causeway is parallel to the famous Su Causeway. Located to the west of the West Lake, the 3.4 km causeway is a relatively peaceful spot among all the hot tourist spots in the area.
Yanggong Causeway features boulevards with tall flourishing trees, gardens that don’t charge admission, smooth roads and just a few bridges.
Riding from the south end to the north, do not miss Maojiabu, a village with a beautiful lake, pavilions, bamboo bridges and restaurants offering simple but delicious local dishes such as old chicken soup with bamboo shoots. The village looks like a Chinese ink painting, as wild ducks swim across the water and fade into the sunset.
In the west part of the village is Longjing Road, which goes through Longjing tea fields and looks like the scene from the movie Gone with the Wind, when Scarlett O’Hara stands under a tree promising she will survive the war. A cup of spring tea in a farmer’s courtyard is cozy and well worth the time.
Near the north end is Hangzhou Botanic Garden, where over 3,500 types of plants give off a fantastic fragrance. It really is a great place to lie down and enjoy the spring sunshine.
- Recommended cycling route: Along Yanggong Causeway, west of the West Lake.
- Estimated duration: one hour, but enough interesting stops may take you a whole day.
- Best time for cycling: April to June
- Bicycle rental: Hangzhou government provides good public bike renting services. Register with your passport near Jingci Temple on Nanshan Road. After finishing the route, you can return your bike at the station near Yue Wang Temple on Beishan Road. The first hour is free, 1 yuan per hour will be charged after the first hour. Also, many Hangzhou hotels offer bike rental.
- There are few stores along Yanggong Causeway, you can prepare water and snacks if you don’t want to dine in Maojiabu village.
- While riding through wonderful natural scenery is a treat, you will need to be careful as some vehicles take advantage of the cycle paths to avoid traffic jams.