An idyllic natural paradise set in a fairy tale wonderland

The Zhejiang Forestry Bureau has joined hands with the local media to select the area's most picturesque beauty spots.

he Zhejiang Forestry Bureau has joined hands with the local media to select the coastal province’s most picturesque spots. In June, the spring-and-summer seasonal spots were revealed, and selection is now underway for autumn and winter.

The bureau has shortlisted 52 places and divided them into five categories: ginkgo trees and osmanthus flowers, flower sea parks, colorful forests, plum blossoms and beautiful landscapes. The result will be announced at the end of this month.

Shanghai Daily checked out the impressive shortlist and selected five favorites from the list of attractions.

An idyllic natural paradise set in a fairy tale wonderland

Xiazhu Lake Wetland 

Xiazhu Lake Wetland 下渚湖湿地

Xiazhu Lake is surrounded by 600 islets featuring rare wildlife species, such as the crested ibis, a species on the verge of extinction in China. As one of the largest wetlands in southern China, it is also home to over 500 varieties of plants, especially aquatic vegetation.

Some of the islets have been developed for the sole purpose of tourism. More than 1,000 watercourses crisscross the wetland and boat rides are available for visitors to explore. Following a stunning water route, surrounded by a variety of birds and waving reeds, you feel as if you’ve just entered an ink-wash painting. The idyllic scenery is that beautiful.

Meanwhile, the islands have teahouses and bird observatories, allowing tourists to rest at this idyllic wildlife heaven and observe the animals much closer. Fishermen from the nearby villages still rely on the wetland’s natural resources for their livelihoods. And family-run restaurants provide freshwater fish caught by the fisherman from around the wetland.

How to get there: G25 Expressway — get off
 at Deqing Exit

An idyllic natural paradise set in a fairy tale wonderland

Yangjia Village

Yangjia Village 杨家村

The hundreds of shutterbugs visiting the village to take pictures of the golden ginkgo trees bears testimony to its overwhelming popularity. In late November and early December tourists can enjoy the yellow scenery, walk on sun-dappled paths and feel the comforting scrunch from the leaves beneath their feet.

The village is located at the intersection of Fuyang, Lin’an and Tonglu, and boasts hundreds of gingko trees. The trees, which extend several kilometers in length, has created a pastoral scene with numerous shades of yellow hue.

The village is composed of many smaller hamlets where the trees grow naturally between farmers’ habitat. Most of them were planted over 100 years ago. House roofs and slab-paved roads are covered with fallen leaves and add to the serenity of the village.

How to get there: G25 Expressway — G56 Expressway — get off at Linglong Exit

An idyllic natural paradise set in a fairy tale wonderland

Xiaoshan Jishan Plum Blossom Garden

Xiaoshan Jishan Plum Blossom Garden 萧山吉山梅园

The Chaoshan Mountain in Yuhang District has stolen thunder from Jishan because of its long history of planting plum trees. The new garden in Xiaoshan District is also an ideal spot to view the blossoms in winter.

The garden covers an area of more than 13 hectares with over 1,000 plum trees. Varieties include common Zhusha, Gongfen and Xiangxuehai, and rare species that were cultivated by Zhejiang Agriculture and Forestry University. Last year, the garden hosted the first plum blossom festival in order to allure more visitors. This year, the festival is expected to be held during the blossom season.

Don’t worry about food and accommodation, guesthouses offer authentic Xiaoshan cuisine and a homely welcome.

How to get there: Desheng Road — Qiushi Road — Fengqing Avenue — Linbei Road — Tangmei Road — Baicao Road

An idyllic natural paradise set in a fairy tale wonderland


Dipu Village 荻浦村

Dipu is a gorgeous village due to the thousands of flowers planted by villagers, which vary according to the seasons. Every autumn, tourists flock to this little piece of paradise and enjoy autumn vistas, shrouded with vibrant yellow sunflowers that emit a feeling of hope and vigor.

The town is situated along the border of Fuyang and Tonglu. It boasts numerous pavilions and archways built in either the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) or Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). It still looks like a remnant from the past, with its antique bridges, temple, ancestral halls and other architectural structures.

Villagers are setting up “happy farmhouses” to cater to travelers who come to see the flower sea. Natives have also built orchards where visitors can pick fruit and vegetables.

How to get there:
G25 Expressway — get off at Shen’ao Exit

An idyllic natural paradise set in a fairy tale wonderland

Metasequoia forest in Qingshan Lake

Metasequoia forest in Qingshan Lake 青山湖红杉林

Qingshan Lake is a national forest park in western Hangzhou. Surrounded by the Tianmu Mountain and spanning an area of 10 square meters, the lake was turned into a reservoir in the 1960s.

The well-protected ecological environment is home to thousands of metasequoia trees, a fast-growing redwood conifer. The trees are cultivated in water, which distinguishes them from their forest counterparts.

In early winter, the lake mirrors the red color of the metasequoia, creating a wonderland that only appears in fairy tales.

Backpackers who crave the pure natural environment are frequent visitors to the forests. The nearby water sports center also offers other outdoor leisure activities, including parasailing and power boating.

How to get there: G56 Expressway — get off at West Hangzhou Exit

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