Shaoxing, as a beautiful city south of the Yangtze River, has experienced a splendid history of over 2500 years since the Yue Kingdom was built here in the Spring and Autumn Period (770 BC-476 BC). On this fertile land, many legends and stories about famous historical figures such as Xishi (one of the 'Four Beauties' in Chinese history) and Yu the Great (a legendary leader of the primitive society in China) have been passed down in an area rich in related relics. Moreover, the charming green hills and numerous clear waters endow Shaoxing with a kind of spirituality of peace which reveals the harmony between human and nature.
Romantic Charms of Age-old Towns
Shaoxing County boasts rich resources of tourist attractions. Its wealth of history, culture and landscape offers a fabulous appeal. Of numerous sightseeing sites, age-old towns present an overview of the lost stories of the past. The Taiping Bridge, Anchang and Dongpu are named Zhejiang’s cultural and cultural ancient towns. Old-fashioned architecture, rivers and piers, streets, rural folk customs, and sits of historical personages are well preserved and combine to constitute a unique sight for seers to enjoy.
The Kuaiji Mountains tower in the southeastern Shaoxing County. Peaks stand and stretch, showing layers upon layers of greens like a painting. The mountains house royal mausoleums, including the two legendary emperors in the dawning days of the Chinese nation. The Emperor Shun Memorial Temple is known for its grand structure and masterly scripture. The Mausoleum and the Memorial Temple for Yu the Great allure visitors with its grand compound in a stately style. In May 1995, President Jiang Zemin inscribed Mausoleum of Yu the Great for a newly built memorial archway. This inscription adds beauty to the famous historical site and spreads its name still further. The Six Emperors Mausoleums of the Song Dynasty, located in the southern slope of Zhuanguanbao Mountain, were the burial grounds for six emperors of the southern Song Dynasty. Though mausoleums are gone today, the sites still exist where aged pine woods bring back reminiscences of the past imperial glory and grandeur. Tourists can visit the sites and ponder the past there. A royal mausoleum of the Yue Kingdom was recently unearthed by archaeologists at the Yin Mountain. It is regarded as the biggest mausoleum in the area south of the Yangtze River. Experts say its archaeological values are comparable with the palace site of the Qin Dynasty in the northern China. In the archaeological circles, the royal mausoleum at the Yin Mountain is as important as the palace site of the Qin Dynasty.
Boating on the Jianhu Lake
Also known as the Mirror Lake, the Jianhu Lake is located in the southwestern Shaoxing County. The lake presents an expanse of waters extending to the horizon. In the ancient times, the lake was 358 li (one li is 0.5 kilometer) around while today the Jianhu Lake refers to the water system from the East Kuahu bridge west of Shaoxing City to the West Lake Bridge at Hutang, encompassing an area of 50 square kilometers. Since the Tang Dynasty (618-907) when the art of poetry matured and prospered, the Lake has been the subject of numerous poetic masterpieces.
The Sanshan Mountain (literally Three Mountains) is where Lu You, a Song poet, once lived. The patriotic poet retired to the mountain and wrote numerous poems and essays there. Though time has changed, the lake retains its natural and cultural charms. Today, green hills flank crystal-clear waters. A boat trip on the lake can introduce the visitor to the pleasure of sailing in a painting of a mirror-like lake.
East Lake East Lake is located in the east suburbs of Shaoxing city, three kilometers from the city center. Featuring an elegant landscape of lakes and mountains and fantastic stones, it, together with the West Lake in Hangzhou and Nanhu Lake in Jiaxing, are known as the Three Famous Lakes in Zhejiang Province.
The Lanzhu Mountain sits in the southwestern Shaoxing County. Legend has it that Goujian, the King of the Yue Kingdom, once planted orchids there. The Pavilion of Orchids, the Mecca of Chinese calligraphers, is located at the foot of the Lanzhu Mountain. According to history, on March 3, 353, the 9th year of the Yonghe Period of the Eastern Jin dynasty, Wang Xizhi met scholars and celebrites there on a spring party. They drank wine and wrote poems. The literary gathering produced 37 poems. Wang Xizhi wrote a prologue for the poetry collection. His Prologue to the Collection of Poems Written at the Pavilion of Orchids is not only a literary masterpiece but also a calligraphic tour de force. Wang’s handwriting shows a perfect combination of elegance, beauty, and masterly force, thus a wonder of art since that time. As Wang has been regarded the greatest calligrapher of ancient China, the pavilion has become the Mecca of Chinese calligraphic artists.
Across the Pavilion of Orchids stretches the Pavilion of Orchids State Forest Park. Inside the nature reserve are wooded peaks, bamboo groves, brooks, and a lake. Tourists can enjoy a boat trip and participate in water sports. Or they can fish or barbecue there. The park is equipped with a set of tourist services, which makes the nature reserve a leisure resort where tourists can enjoy landscape and experience the cultural tradition by visiting the pavilion nearby.
Lizhu, a flower farming powerhouse in close vicinity of the state forest park, is home to orchids in China. Lizhu breeds a complete series of flowers and saplings. In particular, rare and valuable orchids produced there enjoy a high reputation both at home and abroad. If tourists want to look at flowers, then Lizhu is an interesting place to visit. Flower industry is one of the local industries Shaoxing wants to boost.
Capital of Bridges
Shaoxing, famed for its variety of bridges, has been known as the capital of bridges or the town of bridges. Most of the bridges in the area are made of blue stones. Most bridges are either arch-span bridges or beam bridges. Some, though, combine spans and beams. Bridges present a great variety of styles and glamour. Bazi Bridge, a bridge built before the Jiatai Period of the southern Song Dynasty and rebuilt in 1256, was named after its shape that looks like 八. The bridge is not only very old but also regarded as China’s earliest fly-over bridge. The 96.4-meter Qiulong Bridge at the Jianhu Lake is composed of three spans and 16 beams. It looks like a dragon sleeping on the water if one looks at it from afar. Bridges in Shaoxing are also carriers of legends, folk stories and history.
Exploring the Quietude on Ruoye Stream
The Ruoye Stream traverses the southeastern part of Shaoxing County. The stream starts at the Ruoye Mountain. Legend has it that there was a deep pound at the source head. Today, the pound is in the Kuaiji Lake (Pingshuijiang Reservoir).
The stream has been known for hundreds of years for a fabulous boat trip to explore the natural wonders. Poets were the best known explorers, for they poeticize what they see and feel there in masterpieces. Li Bai, the greatest poet of the Tang Dynasty, once wrote in a poem, "Girls are picking lotuses on the Ruoye stream. When they see visitors, they stop singing. They giggle and go to hiding in the lotus flowers. Feeling shy, they refuse to come out."
In recent years, the Kuaiji Lake Holiday Resort and water sports area have been built and enjoy a good reputation. The Yunmen Temple and Pingyang Temple in neighboring areas are the best of the temples scattered in Shaoxing County. The Pingyang Temple is well known as a "dustless" Buddhist sanctuary.
Today the stream retains its natural charm. The lake and the surrounding hills are like a piece of silk embroidery. Visitors can enjoy the natural beauties during their leisurely stay there.
Shaoxing has sightseeing wonders of rocks. The Hou Peak presents a natural view of a solitary cliff, strange-looking rocks, caves, and a deep pond. In the spring, visitors hike to enjoy peach blossoms and wonderful rocky formations. The Sheep Peak integrates the peak, rocks, streams and the temple. The Buddhist sits in a place surrounded by water, the rocks are immersed in the water and the water is inside the Mountain. The City God Peak and Golden Eagle Peak have inscriptions of various dynasties on rocks done. These stone inscriptions are the best in Zhejiang Province.
Keyan is the centerpiece of the Keyan Scenic Zone, a provincial level tourist attraction. Keyan has now become a landscape garden featuring the rocky wonder together with the ancient Yue culture. The park combines the features of nature, religion and landscaping art. Inside the park are sections such as Buddha statues, the Mirror Water Bay, Historical Personages of the ancient Yue, and the Yuanshan Garden.
The rocky wonders in Shaoxing are all artificially made as a result of quarrying over hundreds of years. What’s left by stone cutters are steep cliffs and solitary rock pillars. Many leftover rocks have Buddhas carved. The most famed of these quarry sites are the East Lake, Keyan, the Hou Peak and the Sheep Peak. They present a great variety of shapes.
Zhuji City is the hometown of Xishi, the famous beauty in Spring and Autumn Period. Her story of devotion to her country has been passed down generation to generation and, to commemorate her, local people built a temple. Nowadays, based on the original temple, a brand new Xishi Hometown Tourist Zone has been built up along the Huansha River to revive the custom as well as the beautiful scenery of this town in ancient times.
In addition to the human landscape, the famous Wuxie Scenic Spot betrays an attractive and natural scenery lying, as it does, in the west of Zhuji. The Wuxie Scenic Spot is renowned for its various waterfalls.
-- Related Link --
Famed for its natural scenery, Hangzhou and its West Lake have been immortalized by countless poets and artists. It is one of the most important cultural centers of China.>>>Hangzhou Attraction
Ningbo, with its beautiful natural scenery and wealth of historical attractions throughout its 7000-year history, draws tourists from all over China and also abroad.>>>Ningbo Attraction
Hangzhou tours| hangzhou Private Tour | hangzhou Things To Do | hangzhou Attraction |Hangzhou Hotel | Hangzhou Shopping | Hangzhou Cuisine |Night life in Hangzhou |Hangzhou Trave Tips| Hangzhou Traffic |Chinese Food Guide