LAST week, we recommended some of the 10 attractions that were voted as the best places to visit late in the evening by Hangzhou Tourism Commission. Among them were the West Lake music fountain near Hubin Road, light show at Qianjiang New Town, Changqiao Bridge, “Most Memorable is Hangzhou” performance, and Grand Canal.
This week, we will introduce Hefang Street, Xixi Wetland, Xiang Lake, Chenghuang Pavilion at Wushan and Qiantang River. Summer is the best season for all night excursions. Visitors can rent a bike to explore them, or just chill out for a night stroll.
Xiang Lake 湘湖
Xiang Lake is often described as the “sister” of West Lake. It is located near the Yue Kingdom City Relic and Kuahu Bridge Cultural Relic Site. The latter has helped archeologists learn more about the Neolithic Age. A canoe excavated from the site is considered the oldest ever found in the country.
There is a 21-kilometer path around the lake that’s perfect for strolling or jogging at night. A total of 108 bridges were added to the lake with glittering lights.
Fields of flowers are equivalent to over 200 football fields. The lake blooms with rape flowers and cherry blossoms in spring and is ablaze with lotus flowers in summer, which adds sweet smell to the romantic night view.
Visitors can board a boat at Dingshan Square or Hushan Square to tour the lake. There’s also a sightseeing tram that departs the Laohudong Visitors Center. Bike rentals are available. Riding around the lake during summer nights is recommended.
Hefang Street 河坊街
In order to save the most significant buildings and neighborhoods, Hangzhou renovated residences and relocated residents.
Hefang Street is considered the most successful example of restoration. A variety of shops prospered there, turning it into one of the most popular spots for tourists.
Evening excursions are an established feature of it. Illuminated scenery, evening shows and night snacks entice travelers to extend day trips into overnight stays.
Summer is the high season for evening excursion. The archetypical traditional-style street in the city houses traditional brands and stores in two-story black-and-white building with upturned eaves and carved beams.
Chenghuang Pavilion at Wushan
Wushan Hill is important for local residents as it holds more native memories. Located at the top of the mountain, Chenghuang Pavilion, literally translated as “city god pavilion,” is now an epitome of the city’s soul. At night, the illuminated pavilion is a landmark of Hangzhou.
The seven-story building is home to the past, present and future aspirations of the city. When night falls, one can enjoy the panoramic view of West Lake as well as the city. The pavilion is open at night so it’s worth checking out for sunsets and night views. It is the best place to enjoy fresh mountain breeze and panorama.
Xixi Wetland 西溪湿地
Hangzhou’s Xixi Wetland serves as the lung of downtown area and a paradise for birds. Watercourses crisscross the park. Visitors can take paddle boats to view the birds.
Different from other night excursions, the park is famous for the sunset scenery. Taking a boat through rivers and streams is a great way to see the area. Flying, paddling and diving birds, aquatic plants and reed marshes are at every turn, and the landscape glows under the sunset.
In some shallow bogs, visitors can see local fishermen catch fish, or experience fishing of their own. People can rent wading suits used by local fishermen. If they manage to catch fish, they can have them cooked at family-run restaurants.
In autumn, the wetland is renowned for its picturesque reed beds and fiery persimmons, which add a red hue to the season, especially at sunset.
Qiantang River 钱塘江
As the mother river of Hangzhou and Zhejiang Province, Qiantang River has always been considered the cradle of ancient culture as seen from the unearthed antiques that were lined along the watercourse. In modern times, the city’s development has shifted from West Lake to Qiantang River.
Wentao Road is considered the best location to view the river. At night, Qianjiang New Town across the river stages a light show every evening at 6:30pm. People can stroll along the road and appreciate the gorgeous show.
In addition, cherry and apricot trees flank the road. In spring, pink and white blossoms cover the road, turning it into a popular site for shutterbugs.