Dotted with hundreds of small islands, a trip to Qiandao Lake (千岛湖) in Chun''an County is a relaxing break from bustling Hangzhou. The lake itself, despite being artificial, covers over five hundred sq. m. The area is particularly beautiful from September to November; a trip to Qiandao Lake is the perfect autumn day trip with dry days and temperatures resting comfortably between 12-18 ° C (skip the lake during the winter, as it''s too windy and cold). Be sure to take a boat tour of the many islands, and don''t forget to check out the stunning scenic views from Meifeng Island!
1) Qiandao Lake Boat Tour
This beautiful breezy lake is great for boating. Get out on the water and see the sights on a Qiandao Lake boat tour. Although the lake is not swimmable, a boat tour will take you to see all the best spots without having to get into the water. There are two main boat trips to chose from: the A line and the B line. The A line starts from the Tourist Pier (旅游码头) and stops at Meifang (梅峰), Monkey Island (猴岛) and Santan Island (三潭岛). The B line stops at Yueguang Island (月光岛) (formerly Wulong Island (五龙岛)), Shenlong Island (神龙岛) and Longshan Island (龙山岛). In addition, there is another leg of the B line that starts from the Southeastern Tourist Pier (岛湖东南湖区旅游码头). This departure station is usually reserved for the special C line (Tianchi (天池), Mishan Island (蜜山岛), Huangshan Point (黄山尖)).
Opening hours: 07:30-08:30 (A line summer); 08:00-09:00 (A line winter); 12:00-13:00 (B line from Tourist Pier); 08:20, 09:00, 09:40, 10:20, 11:00, 12:00 and 13:00 (B line from Southeastern Tourist Pier). Times vary depending on season and conditions, call ahead to check.
Tel: 571 6481 6244 (Tourist Pier); 571 6488 1959 (Southeastern Tourist Pier).
Price: 45 RMB (adult cruise); 25 RMB (child cruise); 150 RMB (luxury yacht cruise)
2) Meifeng Island Tour
On the Meifeng Island Tour (游览梅峰岛), you''ll hike up to a viewing platform on Meifeng Island where you can gaze out at the hundreds of other islands dotting the massive lake. The view from this area is considered the best of Qiandao Lake. And as the saying goes, if you do not see the view from Meifeng Island, you do not understand the true meaning of Qiandao Lake (the name translated means "Thousand Island Lake"). With a cableway, open flat land and mountainous areas, Meifeng Island is the perfect place to explore, walk, and climb.
3) Dine on local freshwater fishView In Map
Qiandao Lake is also known for its delicious freshwater fish. The lake is rich in marine life and is home to over 80 different types of freshwater fish. The fish are caught in the lake and steamed fresh in the traditional local fashion called qingzheng guiyu (清蒸桂鱼). Other local dishes include fish with green onions (葱油白花), fish ball soup (清汤鱼圆), wild boar strips with salt and pepper (椒盐野猪排), Qiandao jade turtle (千岛玉鳖) and silver-fish chowder (银鱼羹). One of the most popular restaurants in the area is Qiandao Yuwei Guan (千岛湖鱼味馆), which serves up prized local cuisine, such as Xiushui Emperor fish head (秀水鱼头皇), fish head soup (鱼头汤) and organic fish head (有机鱼头). The restaurant is quite expensive (the cheapest dish is 388 RMB), but it''s totally worth it if you''re a gourmand with a few extra Yuan to spare.
Add: Qiandao Yuwei Guan, 2 Pailing Nan Lu, Qiandao Lake Village, Chun''an County, Hangzhou
Price: very expensive
4) Buy a Qiandao Lake Souvenir View In Map
Qiandao jade tea leaves (千岛玉叶), formerly called Qiandao Lake Dragon Well (千岛湖龙井), are tea leaves native to the area. Flat and straight, they are grown from a puffy yellowy green tea plant and are known for their sweet, lasting scent. If tea is not your thing, yejiaojiao xiuxian fish (野娇娇休闲鱼), sold by Qiandao Lake Yejiaojiao Food Co. Ltd, is a popular souvenir for many tourists. Buy a few packs of the delicious fish as presents, or savor their delicious and delicate taste on your own later. You can also find locally grown pecans and dried bamboo shoots that are both natural and nutritious. Also, check out Xiushui Jie (秀水街) near the tourist pier for a great selection of souvenirs and tourist shopping.
Add: Qiandao Lake Village, inside Chun''an Xian, western Zhejiang Province
Tel: 400 8811 988; 571 8522 2237; 8716 1572; 6481 1876 (inquiry); 571 6481 3659 (complaint hotline)
Opening hours: 08:00-16:30
Prices: 150 RMB (peak season - Mar 1-Nov 30 - not including boat tour), 195 RMB (with boat tour); 120 RMB (off-season - Dec 1- Feb 28 - not including boat tour), 165 RMB (with boat tour)
Getting there: From Hangzhou, take the shuttle that runs every 30 min (6:00-18:50) from Hangzhou West Bus Station. The journey takes about 2 hours, and cost 60 RMB. Returning from Qingdao Lake, take shuttle that runs every 30 minutes (05:20-18:20) from Chun''an Long Distance Bus Station (淳安汽车客运中心) to Hangzhou West Bus Station.
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Keywords: Hangzhou Qiandao Lake Hangzhou Thousand Island Lake Chun’an County Hangzhou trips
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