Hangzhou Adventures - Part 5


It gets stifling when you're perpetually surrounded by concrete buildings and skyscrapers in cities.

A welcome change of environment would mean clear skies, fresh air and green waters. :)

Fu Chun Peach Garden (富春桃源) National Park lies in Tong lu County, and it has clear mountains, beautiful rivers, luxuriant forests, unique caves and quiet villages.

We took a cool "tram" ride up the hill.

And there's the amazing scenery! 

Climbing up the stairs left my gluteus maximus muscles aching. I'm so unfit.

Finally, someplace to rest.

We entered the Sky Cloud cave (九霄碧云洞), which is reputed as the biggest cave in the Asian-Pacific region. Throughout the year, the temperature within the caves are maintained at 17 degrees celcius. If I were a hermit, I would have resided there.

Natural beauty at its very best. Gorgeous stalagmites and stalactites, with their reflections in the pools of water that drained down from the mountain springs above.

Some of these structures even resembled animals and humans. 

Next, we headed to the Oak Woods (天成野潴林) via this curious go-kart-roller-coaster-hybrid.

It's like Sentosa Luge, just that you're on a track and in a forest.

Reckless speeding driver alert! >.<

When we got off the ride, we saw some pretty neat tree houses. 

We went for a quick raft ride around the Xiao Yao Yan Ling Lake (逍遥岩岭湖). Due to the summer rains and soil erosion, the lake's waters were murky when we went. 

My sis and I had an unglam wefie while we waited for our tour guide to get us tickets to Qinxi (琴溪香谷).

Exterior of the place.

The spray from the mini waterfall was cooling under the blazing summer sun.

I was so scared of slipping and falling into the stream!

Exploring the Scholar's Cave (状元洞). 

They discriminate against plus-sized people for visitors above 150kg are not allowed entry. 

It was pitch-black inside and if you unfortunately slip into the cold stream that runs in the cave, you could just bid farewell to your shoes. 

Once you enter the cave, there's no backing out. The trails were so narrow and the path so slippery that you had to grab onto the slimy freezing railings for your dear life. I swear my heart was in my mouth throughout the entire journey. 

Then, you'll have to climb up a series of metal ladders in the tunnels. It was kind of traumatic for me because the walls of the cave were so close together and the roof was so low that I felt claustrophobic at one point. I thought I was going to be stuck in the cave. I kept imagining that huge hairy spiders or pink fleshy worms were lying in wait in the nooks and crannies of the cave, waiting to nick a bite off my fingers. O___O

FINALLY, I left the darkness and saw the light!

Imagine my relief when I was out in the open once again!

We visited the Scholar's Temple (状元庙) in hopes of attaining good grades.

And we concluded our visit with a thrilling slide down a rubber raft! 

My sibs were so addicted to it they ran up the hill again to have a second ride.

What I would give for the feeling of being surrounded by nature once again! I miss the trickling streams, the cool mountain breeze and the warm rays of sunlight that shone through the forest canopy. 

Our hotel room with an amazing view of the Thousand Islet Lake. :)

The sunrise was absolutely breathtaking! I was so fixated I forgot to take a photo of it.

A visit to Thousand Islet Lake would not be complete without tasting their seafood.

This restaurant may not look very impressive from the outside but apparently it was the most recommended restaurant by locals for authentic Qian Dao Hu (千岛湖) seafood.

Interior of the restaurant.

OMNOMZ. The fish was unbelievably tender and smooth! I loved the fish soup. I swear it's the best soup I've ever had!

The next morning, we went to cruise around the lake itself. 

The Thousand Islet Lake has 1078 islets in total, and is the largest artificial lake in China with an average depth of 34 meters. The lake was formed when the Chinese government built a dam to cater to the rising electrical needs of its people. Besides the ancient cities of He Cheng and Shi Cheng (built in AD 208 and AD 621 respectively), 27 towns, more than 1,000 villages, 50,000 acres of farmland and thousands of houses were left at the bottom of the lake.

Famed for its picturesque scenery, crystal-clear waters and underwater cities, hordes of tourists flock there annually. 

In other words, it's a tourist trap. The entrance fees are exorbitant, the cruise tickets are preposterously expensive, and every other form of entertainment or food requires money. Loads and loads of moolah. -.-

First island: Plum Peak Island (梅峰岛)

We took a cable car ride up the hill, but honestly speaking, we should have made the short climb up by ourselves. The ticket price was ridiculous.

A mandatory tourist shot! (Please try to ignore the hideous tour group sticker on my arm)

Second stop: Ostrich Island or Entertainment Island (渔乐岛). I think it's a wordplay on 娱乐, entertainment.

They had African drum performances and Thailand Ladyboys' performances (for a fee, of course).

You get to feed koi fishes in a pool. (After you purchase your own packet of fish food)

I was intrigued by the huge pot. No idea what was boiling in it. 

The snacks on the island were mehhhh~ Not exceptionally impressionable. 

 Last stop: Dragon Mountain Island (龙山岛)

Bamboo forest!

A candid shot. :)

A pond filled with lotus leaves on the island.

And the temple built in remembrance of the filial son, Hai Rui. 

The cruise wasn't very interesting, and I have to admit that I fell asleep on the cruise. 

That visit around Thousand Islet Lake wasn't worth sacrificing my sleep for. 

So, if anyone wants to go to Thousand Islet Lake, just go there for their fish soup. That's the only thing that was worth the trip. 

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