Natural attractions offer refreshing outdoor fun

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Shanghai Daily, August 10, 2016
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Nine Creeks and Eighteen Gullies

This time of year, many Hangzhou residents seek leisure activities that offer respite from high temperatures. But the scorching weather hasn't dampened people's enthusiasm for being outdoors, especially in the spirit of the upcoming Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Today Shanghai Daily recommends a couple of options for outdoor fun that will help you get through the sweltering summer months and work out in a cooling, idyllic way.


Hangzhou boasts a number of springs, creeks and shallow rivers where people can refresh themselves by drifting along cooling waters.

Tonglu County, in southwest Hangzhou, is famous for its mountain and river scenery. The paddling stretch along the Chuiyun Tongtian River starts from Bipu Port and ends at Lengkeng. A complete journey down this slow-moving and winding riverine course takes about an hour-and-a-half. A few small drops add a dose of excitement along the way.

A perfect course for lazy paddling runs through Shuangxi Bamboo Forest in Yuhang District. The river is broad, calm and clear enough to see fish and the riverbed below. Aquatic birds fly overhead or pick their way along the banks. Lush vegetation on either side helps keep the temperature cool and provides a peaceful retreat.

There are tea plantations, dark green bamboo forests and hilly landscapes extending for kilometers along the paddling course.


The more adventurous may want to experience Hangzhou's rushing rivers and rapids.

Hangzhou has many nearby water retreats where visitors can tackle rapids both big and small. Temperatures in the hilly, wooded, river and lake areas are definitely lower than in the concrete jungle.

Daxi Gorge in Tonglu County was formed by glaciers and features sheer granite cliffs and rapids flowing at around 5 cubic meters per second. The 8-kilometer-long rafting stretch of rapids drops 198 meters, meaning there's a 5-meter drop every 200 meters or so. Rafters need to stay alert to appreciate the scenery as it races past.

The man-made Thousand Islands Lake in Chun'an County also boasts rapids suitable for rafting at Longtan Gorge, Jiulong Stream Rapid, Jinfeng Canyon Rapid and Pinghe River Rapid.

Another highly recommended rafting course is at Longtan Gorge. It stretches 3.6 kilometers and has a total drop of 160 meters. The swift water released from the reservoir makes this course a challenge. There are swift moving whirlpools to navigate as well as drops of over 20 meters.

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