If you manage to see everything in Hangzhou, there are still plenty of great places to visits within a short distance from the city. Here are some of our favorite destinations for day trips.
A short train ride from Hangzhou you will find China’s most bustling metropolis. This mega city has everything you can imagine (and more), so make sure you set aside at least 1-2 days for exploring. Among the must-sees are: The Bund, Yuyuan Garden, Shanghai Museum and Nanjing Road. If you are not afraid of heights, you can also take the express elevator to the top of the “Bottle Opener” and see the entire city stretch out in front of you.
Located approximately 50km west of Hangzhou, this “Little Venice” is a pretty location, good for spending one or two days. The little stone bridges will seduce you and distract you from the subtropical weather, but be careful to avoid the city during August or you might be discouraged by the rain.
Among the different places that you are able to visit, do not miss the Beisi Pagoda (Běisì Tǎ 北寺塔) and its 9 floors which stand since the 14th century. The other one is the Lingering Garden (Liú Yuán 留园, categorized as World Heritage by the UNESCO) which is divided into 4 different places (where you will find some statues, bonsais, cave…).
The city is also famous for its embroidery skills, so do not hesitate to have a look at it.
Also, enlisted as World Heritage Site by UNESCO, the Yellow Mountains boast some wonderful scenery. About 500km southwest of Hangzhou, 50km of scenic area and long walks are waiting for you.
The famous spots are: the Sea of Clouds, the Oddly-Shaped Rocks, and the Imaginatively Named Pines; you can walk by the two lakes (Taiping and One Thousand Islets) and the three waterfalls (the “Renzi Waterfall", "Baizhang” and the “Jiulong Pu” which means “Nine Dragon Waterwall”).
You can climb most of the mountain by walking or by cable railway which can save you some time. Moreover, the walking routes do not have great scenery every time so you can make your choice regarding which part of the mountain you want to climb. You can have an idea of the sceneries by watching the movie Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon which is really famous as well.
This bamboo mountain is not really famous among the foreign community and the Chinese one as well, which is a pretty nice opportunity for you to discover this place without meeting anyone on your trip. You can get there by taking a van from the train station to the mountain.
Because this is not a typical destination for foreigners, you won't see many signs in English, but sometimes it is quite nice to be challenged. The Chinese people will no doubt help you find your way if you still have problems. Just ask the driver to go to the “place where the foreigners gather”, and you will surely arrive at a charming little hotel restaurant which is owned by an English couple - you won't have difficulties finding a typical western style breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Moganshan has some really charming walking routes lost in the mountain; some of them will lead you to the top where the clouds often pass by.
Located on the banks of the Grand Canal, Wuzhen is one of several famous water towns in Eastern China. What makes it special is its curious mix of narrow lanes, traditional shops and quaint bridges. It is well worth enjoying a boat ride along one of many canals. You can actually stay in Wuzhen if you want to and enjoy the town’s traditional charm at night. How to get there: Take a coach from Hangzhou Jiubao Bus station (35 cny, 80 minutes)