Monday, 19 November 2012

S.T: The perfect get away: Moganshan

Hello hello,

One of the perks of living in China is China's Golden Weeks (we have three in total) and during a golden week, everyone gets a whole week off from work (7 days to be precise).

So, for this holiday (1-7 October), the Gorilla and I decided to escape the smoggy bustling city of Shanghai and set off to explore the mountains in Hangzhou, Moganshan. (莫干山)

View of a bridge at sword pond lake. 

We spent 3 days and 2 nights there and we returned with aching thighs and smiles on our faces. First discovered as a holiday destination by the Europeans who dotted the landscape with Victorian style houses, Moganshan is currently the quick weekend getaway for the residents of Shanghai. It is perfect for those who want to escape the city and be surrounded by the unspoiled beauty of nature. Here are some of the views we  took it.

                           (The Gorilla had to scale the rocks to get this shot. My fear of heights overwhelmed me and I couldn't join him on this climb.)

I definitely recommend going to Moganshan if you want to spend your days just wandering aimlessly and taking in the sights. 

Getting there: 
By train: 
If you are coming from Shanghai, its a 45 min train ride on the bullet train from Shanghai HongQiao Station to Hangzhou. Once at the train station, you can take a taxi that will drive you to Moganshan ( about 1.5hr ride if there is no traffic) or alternatively, you can ask the place you are staying at to arrange for a driver to pick you up at the station( which is what I did). 
By Bus: 
There is a public bus for you to take from either Shanghai or in Hangzhou itself. I honestly cannot vouch for this option but some do. I would suggest to check out trip advisor or google it thoroughly before going as schedules and numbers change frequently.

Places to stay:
We stayed at the Moganshan House 23 ( a villa that has 6 bedrooms, you can choose to rent one). Its beautiful and pricey. The staff is friendly and wonderfully tucked away.
Another place to check out ( for a more hostel feeling), check out Bamboo Guest House. Its on the other side of the mountain and its more for cycling and hiking).

Things to eat:
-The produce on Moganshan is fresh, organic and delicious. If you aren't fussed about hygiene( its China, come on), try eating at the local restaurants. 农家菜(Nong Jia Cai) is the cuisine of Moganshan and its delicious.
Fresh Bamboo Shoots with Broad Beans and Carrots

Deep Fried Potato Patties

Sweet and Sour Pork

Strange Beer that tastes like water and makes you wanna pee alot.
Note: All locally produced beer ( Moganshan Beer esp) is exceptionally light and makes you wanna pee. Not much taste.

The restaurant we ate at was on the roof of this building.

Another place to eat with cuisine closer to home ( think pastas, sandwiches and freshly baked cookies and cakes) is Moganshan Lodge. I didn't take any pictures but they made killer GIANT CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES! hehe. 

So do visit Moganshan, its really beautiful. A great resource is C-trip, its a go-to site if you intend to go to China.


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