Today, I recommend a day tour to Hangzhou West Lake from Shanghai to a wide of tourists.
Hangzhou West Lake Facts
Hangzhou West Lake in Hangzhou is well known in China for a long time, praised as a paradise, listed as World Heritage in 2011, and a 5 stars tour spot in China. West Lake occupies an area of 6.39 square kilometers, surrounded by mountains in three sides, and separated by mountains and embankments and causeways, and it forms a layout of one mountain, two towers, three islets, and five lake districts. West Lake is so large that it has many scenes and ten of them are popular to tourists and visitors. Except its fascinating scenery, West Lake has music fountain and the Impression of West Lake Show(Enduring Memories of Hangzhou) for tourists.
Hangzhou West Lake Attractions
Top ten scenes in the West Lake are Autumn Moon over the Peaceful Lake(Pinghu Qiuyue平湖秋月), Evening Bell at Nanping Hill(Nanping Wanzhong南屏晚钟), Curved Yard and Lotus Pool in Summer(Quyuan Fenghe曲院风荷), Melting Snow at Broken Bridge( Duanqiao Canxue断桥残雪), Orioles Singing in the Willows(Liulang Wenying柳浪闻莺), Spring Dawn at Su Causeway(Sudi Chunxiao苏提春晓), Viewing Fish at Flower Harbor(Huaguang Guanyu花港观鱼), Leifeng Pagoda in the Sunset(Leifeng Xiyang雷峰夕照), Two Peaks Piercing the Clouds(Shuangfeng Chayun双峰插云), Three Pools Mirroring the Moon(Santan Yinyue三潭印月), located around the West Lake. For the convenience of touring, there are about 10 docks for tourists to take a boat or to shorten distance and tour time. For more information, please visit West Lake.
Hangzhou is in the southwest of Shanghai, about 180 kilometers away from Shanghai. Tourists go to Hangzhou from Shanghai by airplane, bus and train, but I recommend train to tourists, cause it is the best option given that cost, time and convenience.
From Shanghai to Hangzhou, about 180 trains are available everyday, which falls into four types, fast train(K), high speed train(G), highs speed bullet train(D)and non-stop fast train(T), and the slowest fast train needs about 2.5 hours, and the fastest high speed train takes 46 minutes.Those trains depart Shanghai from Shanghainan Railway Station, Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station, and Shanghai Railway Station, and arrive Hangzhou at Hangzhoudong Railway Station and Hangzhou Railway Station. The following table is some information about trains from Shanghai to Hangzhou.
From Hangzhoudong Railway Station to West Lake scenic area, take subway Line 1 at the railway station and get off at Longxiang bridge station, then walk about 5 minutes. Or you could take a taxi, which won’t cost more than 30 yuan. From Hangzhou Railway Station to West Lake scenic area, take No. 7 public bus at the railway station bus stop and get off at Shaoniangong bus stop or take subway Line 1 or take a taxi.
First Class Seat
|Soft Sleeper /CNY|
|K1805||Shanghainan 04:22||Hanghzou 06:29||02:07||28.5||74.5||112.5|
|G7541||Shanghai Hongqiao 06:00||Hangzhoudong 06:52||00:52||219.5||117||73|
|D3131||Shanghai Hongqiao 07:37||Hangzhoudong 08:38||01:51||89||56|
|G7315||Shanghai Hongqiao 21:30||Hangzhou 22:28||00:58||219.5||117||73|
|G1660||Hangzhoudong 22:39||Shanghai Hongqiao 23:26||00:47||219.5||117||73|
Hangzhou West Lake ticket. West Lake is free to tourists, but some scenes need entrance tickets. Yuewang Temple needs an entrance ticket of 15 yuan, Qianwang Temple, 15 yuan, Leifeng Pagoda, 40 yuan, Jingci Temple 10 yuan, and Hangzhou Zoo, 20 yuan.
Hangzhou West Lake Opening hours. West Lake is 24 hours opened, but some attractions close before nightfall. Boats are in service from 08:00-16:00.
Hangzhou West Lake Tour : take a high speed train to Hangzhou and get to West Lake at about 9:00, then have a day tour in West Lake Scenic Area and watch the Impression of West Lake Show at 19:00. After the show, you go back to Shanghai from Hangzhou.
Impression West Lake Show: everyday, there are two shows in two periods of time, 19: 45-20:35 21:15-22:05. Impression West Lake tickets: 360 yuan, 400 yuan, 680 yuan, etc. The show is made on the lakes, close to Yuewag Temple, in the west side of West Lake.
Hangzhou West Lake Sightseeing ways: walking, bicycle, boat and electromobile. Around the lake, you can rent a bicycle in many places. The fares of renting a bicycle, boat and electromobile are different, and bicycle is the cheapest. In terms of boat, there are three kinds of boat, rowing boat, power-driven boat and gaily-painted boat. The rental fares of these boats are different according to time and persons.
Hangzhou West Lake is almost a round lake, and scenes scatter around the lake, but there are causeways and roads linking them together. Riding a bicycle along those roads, take a boat to the islets, and have a boat tour on the lake, you will have a leisure and comfortable day tour in West Lake. Here are two sightseeing routes for you, one with Impression of West Lake Show and one with music fountain.
Hangzhou West Lake Sightseeing Route
The sightseeing route with the Impression West Lake Show: Duanqiao Canxue → Pinghu Qiuyue- Gushan Park→ boat to Santan Yinyue→ boat to Qianwangci dock→ Liulang WenYing → Leifeng Xizhao → Leifeng Pagoda → Nanping Wanzhong → Sudongpo Memorial Hall → Huagang Park → Sudi causeway → Quyuan Fenghe → Yuewang Temple → Impression West Lake Show.
The second sightseeing route with music fountain: Duanqiao Canxue → Pinghu Qiuyue → Gushan Park → Quyuan Fenghe → Yuewang Temple → boat to Santan Yinyue → boat to Huagang dock → Huagang Park → Sudongpo Memorial Hall- Nanping Wanzhong → Leifeng Pagoda → Leifeng Xizhao → Liulang WenYing →Yigongyuan Park → Sangongyuan Park(Music Fountain).
Hangzhou West Lake Sightseeting Hights
Duanqiao Canxue has Duanqiao, referring to the bridge where Baisuzhen encounters Xuxian in a popular folk tale-Legend of White Snake. Pinghu Qiuyue is in the southeast of Gushan mountain, and it is one of top places to have a panorama view of the whole lake and to enjoy moon scenery in Mid-Autumn Festival. Quyuan Fenghe is in the north end of Sudi causeway, themed with lotus in summer, thus it the place to enjoy lotus scenery. Shuangfeng Chayun is the southwest side, referring to two peaks. Santan Yinyue refers to Xiaoyingzhou Islet, featured with three pagodas in the lake, and it is the picture in the back of 1 yuan paper money.
Chunxiao Sudi refers to scenery along the Sudi causeway, crossing the lake from southeast to northwest. Its name is in memory of Sudongpo who made great contribution to built the causeway. Huagang Guangyu is a water area to see shoals of fish, located in the south of West Lake. Nanping Wanzhong is in the southeast side, and refers to areas close to Nanping mountain, where Jingci Temple stands. Leifeng Xizhao is areas around Xizhao mountain, featured with Leifeng Pagoda, a meaningful building in the Legend of White Snake.
If you go around the lake by eletromobile or go to the scenes by boat, then you save much time for sightseeing, but it will cost much money. For a boat touring, you could rent an electric-boat, and drive it by yourself, rent a rowing boat, or take a gaily-painted boat, but the first two kinds of boat require 4 or 5 persons. If you have much time left after touring West Lake, you could go to other attractions in the West Lake which I don’t introduce, or go to visit Linyin Temple or some museums close to this scenic area.
After a tour in West Lake, you may go to have a meal, then back to Shanghai by train. The last high speed train from Hangzhou to Shanghai leaves at 22:39.