A quiet day in the secluded countryside

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Pan'an County

It's hard to find a quiet place to relax during major holidays. Shanghai Daily explores a few places that are suitable for a one-day journey, including an ancient village, a famous pavilion and a flower-blossoming county.

Qingyang Village

Qingyang Village is surrounded by hills on three sides, while the western side is covered with large fields. It used to be a cultural hot spot.

The village could date back to the Neolithic Age. During the Southern and Northern Dynasties (AD 420-589), the Jin Kingdom's General Mao Qu moved to Quzhou. Later, his descendant Mao Yuanqiong settled in this village and named it Qingyang.

Due to the location at the northern slope of the World Natural Heritage Jianglang Mountain, the village boasts a picturesque landscape like steep cliffs similar to karst topography, lush vegetation and clean creeks.

How to get there: S31 Expressway — S33 Expressway — G60 Expressway — G3 Expressway

Orchid Pavilion


Orchid Pavilion is the setting of the gathering of established literati in AD 353. This cultural event is known for the excellent quality of the calligraphy of Wang Xizhi. He was both one of the participants as well as the author and calligrapher of the "Preface to the Poems Composed at the Orchid Pavilion," one of the most popular pieces of calligraphy during that time.

The gathering was actually a drinking contest. Cups filled with rice wine were floating down a small creek and whenever a cup came to a halt, the man sitting closest to it was required to empty it and write a poem. This was known as the "floating goblet" (流觞) in ancient China. In the end, the participants composed 37 poems.

Before the gathering made the pavilion famous, it was believed to be the garden of Gou Jian, King of Yue Kingdom (present-day Zhejiang Province) during the Spring and Autumn Period (770-476 BC). He planted orchids there and later established a pavilion.

Today's pavilion was rebuilt in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and reopened to the public in the 1980s. The new Orchid Pavilion is a classical Chinese garden with a pond and bonsai trees.

How to get there: G92 Expressway — G60 Expressway — G330 Expressway

Pan'an County


Pan'an County is situated in the middle of Zhejiang Province. It's the source of the Qiantang, Ou, Ling and Cao'e rivers high up in a mountainous region where temperatures fluctuate, making it a great place to grow azaleas.

Now the 4th Zhejiang Azalea Festival is taking place in the county through June 20. Gaolao Hill is one of the best places to enjoy the flowers.

The hill is now covered by more than 660 hectares of blooming azaleas ranging from rosy to pink colors.

In addition to the azaleas, Pan'an is also home to ancient villages. One of the most famous is Juxi Village, which could date back to the early Southern Song Dynasty (1127-1279) and is protected as a national relic.

How to get there: G92 Expressway — G60 Expressway — S35 Expressway

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