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Cycle Routes Steeped in Beauty and Tea…

To celebrate the 5th China Tourism Day nine tea plantation cycling routes have been mapped out in the Xihu (West Lake) District of Hangzhou. As the main production area of Longjing Green Tea, Xihu district possesses a number of rolling tea fields all of which are home to row upon row of luscious green leaves and some of which are known for their winding tourist paths and cycle routes steeped in beauty and an abundance of tea. With nine routes set to suit all levels – a ride in Hangzhou’s tea plantations is guaranteed to leave you thirsty for more.

Route One

Route: Shuangkou Well on Xixi Road (西溪路双口井) → Slow Lane of Xixi Valley (西溪谷慢行道) → Entrance of Lingxi Tunnel (灵溪隧道口)

Distance: 5.8 km

Highlights: A nature’s paradise where cycling over mountains and through forests enables you to enjoy the fresher than fresh air.

Note: The route features a wide and level path with gentle slopes and a few U-turns.

Route Two

Route: Huawai Tongwu Characteristic Town (画外桐坞风情小镇) → Shangchengdai Village (上城埭村) → Xishan National Forest Park (西山国家森林公园)

Distance: 4 km

Highlights: An arty route that passes galleries, art museums and studios as well as Shangchengdai Village, the original place of West Lake Longjing Green Tea. With tea aplenty and farm-flavoured dishes you will be able to satisfy any number of senses. The route’s final destination is at the entrance of the Xishan National Forest Park where, if you wish, you can choose to continue your adventure.

Note: Most sections of the route are near busy roads, so please be careful with any oncoming traffic.

Route Three

Route: Zhipu Road (之浦路) → Qiantang Road (钱塘路) → causeway of Qiantang River (钱塘江堤) → Dongjiangzui Fishing Village (东江嘴渔村) → Hai Huang Xing Ecological Park (海皇星生态乐园) → Zhoupu Village (周浦乡)

Distance: 19.8 km

Highlights: This professional cycling greenway boasts of Three-river Fishing Villages as well as the Zhijiang Riverside Leisure Strip which features riverside scenery and edible delicacies from the crystal-clear waters below.

Route Four

Route: Cimuqiao Village (慈母桥村) → Inner Tongwu Village (里桐坞村) → Huawai Tongwu Characteristic Town (画外桐坞风情小镇)

Distance: 5.6 km

Highlights: This route is predominantly along Xishan tourist path where segments of tea plantations line the way. After feasting your eyes on a plateau of tea you will reach Tongwu Village where you can rest and visit some of the town’s best attractions such as tea houses serving Longjing tea and watch a number of famous tea performing shows.

Note: Please be aware that Xishan tourist path is narrow. When ascending and descending be careful with your speed and pay attention to the distance between other cyclists.

Route Five

Route: Hejia Village International Mountain Cycling Path

Distance: 5.9km

Highlights: Located in Longwu Hejia Village (龙坞何家村) this is the 1st standard mountain cycling path in Hangzhou that has lots of crisscrossing paths in between fields. Both amateurs and professionals can ride their way through here.

Note: A professional mountain bike is needed.

Route Six

Route: Shangchengdai Village (上城埭村) → Hejia Village (何家村) → White Dragon Pool Scenic Area (白龙潭风景区)

Distance: 4 km

Highlights: The untouched White Dragon Pool Scenic Area, also the final destination, is blessed with primitive mountains and lucid waters and is the ideal place to avoid the summer’s sweltering heat.

Route Seven

Route: Shuangliu Park (双流公园) → Shuangling Village (双灵村) → Lingshan Cave (灵山洞)

Distance: 6.9km

Highlights: Shuangling Village is the production place of Jiuqu Hongmei (九曲红梅), a treasured red tea and, in addition to Longjing Green Tea, is Xihu’s other savoured masterpiece. Shuangling Village is surrounded by mountains on three sides and has the biggest reservoir in Xihu District – Bishan Reservoir (壁山水库) and the highest peak in Hangzhou – Ruyi Peak (如意尖). In the village you can sip a cup of red tea, climb Ruyi Peak and visit Lingshan Wonderland, a magical cavern home to Karst caves with colourful stalactites, stalagmites and various other rock formations.

Route Eight

Route: Xixi Valley (西溪谷) → Xixi National Wetland Park (西溪国家湿地公园)

Distance: 11.6 km

Highlight: A spiritual route that takes you along Xixi Valley Slow Lane and allows you to experience Buddhism culture while freeing your mind, body and soul. The Fortune Causeway inside Xixi National Wetland Park is the best vantage point in which to soak up the wetland landscape and Jiangcun Slow Life Block can offer you a taste of the wetlands famous fish and shrimp dishes. Diving into the interesting shops that occupy this block makes the ride all the more worthwhile.

Route Nine

Route: Xixi Valley → Huawai Tongwu Characteristic Town

Distance: 12.7 km

Highlights: Taking a break in one of the farmer’s tea houses, experiencing the art atmosphere in Huwai Tongwu Characteristic Town or savouring a number of organic vegetables and fruits are all healthy choices for this rustic route.

Other popular Bicycle Routes for your choice!
Routes A: Downtown & South Westlake
Routes B: North Westlake & Inner Westlake

Source (Pictures & article) from: Hangzhou Weekly

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