Hangzhou Free Trail Run Exploration

First day started at around 9:00AM warming up before heading out. 
Our hotel was near the Jade Emperor Mountain, so it seemed logical to go there first. Unfortunately, when I rocked up
it had a guard house and a car park ( I smell tourist trap). 

In my bad Mandarin, I asked (what mountain is this?).
The answer, 10 RMB.  OK, I said Shi Kwai Qian Shan, hen hao. (Mountain is 10 RMB Mountain, that’s good).
Needless to say ( and more for expedience than any other reason) – I forked out the cash and jogged up.

Yuhuangshan Path

10 RMB Mountain Bamboo Garden

Its a nice enough park with a nice incline up a rocky mountain road, good for running, but not trail. ;(
Following the park steps up to the Taoist Temple at the top is OK – but a bit hard for us mere mortals.

I followed a path near the peak at the rear of the mountain down. It lead to a road just past the tunnel exit for the
Jade Emperor Mountain. I followed that road straight and to the left and past the Hangzhou Zoo.
Past the zoo I saw a small tea farm and ascended beside a small tea field (this is slightly south of the Zoo, same road).

I climbed up through the tea field as it seemed like a trail, and when I got to the top – it was.
From there I followed the trail up and around some high voltage lines and got to some stone steps. Then I trotted around aimlessly looking at the picture postcard misty hills in the distance and enjoying the trails.

Postcard Chinese Misty Mountains

Misty Mountains Near Hangzhou

There were some semi-abandoned early 20th Century or 19th Century buildings that were quite intriguing (photos) , then I decided to follow the path back to where the stone step trail was leading – which took me through a lot of scenic territory and to a stream and a temple (Lin An Temple).
By this time it was well after midday and I needed to save some energy for a bit of work on my laptop back in the hotel room.  So – I tracked the path back as much as I could and ended up at the Tower of 6 Harmonies (Liu He Ta).

Getting back down to city level, I had a bowl of beef noodles  and a can of Coke near aforementioned tower and returned to hotel.  All in all, it was a great experience – as the pics testify.

Camelia Sinensis 龙井茶田

Beautiful Tea Fields - The famous Long Jing Tea

Best Bits:  Postcard Misty Mountain View and breathtaking tea-fields in the mountains.
Worst Bits: Wild roses and their less-than-delightful thorns ( can’t be helped) and insufficient planning (I should have planned better).

Recommend: Start from Tower of 6 Harmonies and go towards the Lin An Temple.  It will guarantee a better quality view, but more stone steps and less dirt/stone trail. If you are using an Android Smartphone, use the map cache function to pre-cache before leaving home. Also, use a tourist and local map. Don’t be stubborn like me and shun them!  The K4 bus will get you from Tower of 6 to West Lake.

I will be going back to Hangzhou to run in those hills again, when? I don’t know, but I’ll be back.

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