Hangzhou is known for its distinct seasonal views and sceneries all-year-round as spring is special because everything is made new in the season. It is certainly the most hopeful time of the year. When the tulips are pink-blossomed, when the mandarin ducks are paddling on the lake of shining ripples, and the air is full of the savour of tea fields, people are taking naps with a cup of tea brewed on the side. With kids' laughter fading away in a patchy drizzle, everyone knows that spring is here.
While there is no shortage of activities for you to enjoy in Hangzhou's spring, we have highlighted three things that locals would do to fully experience the season.
1. See Hangzhou's spring colours
What better way to see the spring colours than enjoy flower blossoms in different kinds? From the ancient Yulan magnolia in the Buddhist Temple to the cherry blossom at Prince Bay Park, there are a few places to take an outing in Hangzhou.
The Yulan Magnolia at Faxi Temple is one of the first flowers that bloomed. Accented by the brick wall, the magnolia trees have a long history that can be traced back to the Ming Dynasty (1368–1644).
Address: 239 Tianzhu Rd, Hangzhou
Get there by bus 103, 121, 122 or 324
Take a stroll and enjoy the Tianmu Magnolia, a magnolia species native to China, at the aquatic plant area of Hangzhou Botanical Garden.
Address: 1 Taoyuanling, Hangzhou
Get there by bus 28, 7, 21, 118 or 318
Do you know the cruciferous green vegetable Nanohana has the most bright and cheerful yellow flowers in the springtime? Hangzhou’s Octagonal Diagram Field Relic Park (Chinese: 八卦田) is a great place for candid family photos because of the natural background with warm shades of yellow.
Address: 41 Huyu Road, Hangzhou
Take Metro Line 4 to Shuicheng Qiao Station and walk 1 km from Exit B
Since the diverse array of flowers that Prince Bay Park offers, it is not surprising that it makes local news headlines all the time. Due to the high popularity, individuals are required to register before visiting. If the number of online registrants exceeds 60 percent of the maximum capacity, the park entrance will be closed the following day. People can register through the official WeChat account of 杭州西湖西溪景区. The majority of the flower blossom will last until April 18th.
Address: 5-1 Nanshan Rd
Get there by bus 49, 4B or 4
If you happen to be at Yang Causeway of the West Lake, why not go a few steps further to a secluded pond surrounded by the cherry blossom.
Address: Wugui Tan near the Yang Causeway Tourism
Get there by bus 51, 52, 194, 197, 318 or Y2
Since the West Lake Tourism area can get quite busy during the weekends, we have got two spots away from the city central but still accessible by public transportations.Baita Park is the origin of the Grand Canal Cultural Relic, a vivid expression of the cultural heritage. It is also the very first railway departure station in Hangzhou. Famous for its rustic suburban vibe, many people come here for wedding and graduation photos.
Address: 4 Old Fuxing St., Hangzhou
Get there by bus 190, 308 or 119
Except for the buzz of Hangzhou Liangzhu Village Cultural Art Centre designed by the Japanese architect Tadao Ando, the public space also features pear blossom.
Address: The intersection of Binghe Nan Rd and Yu’niao Rd
Take metro Line 2 to Liangzhu Station
2. Drink tea made of freshly picked tea leaves
Locals have a particular love for freshly picked tea from the Greater Hangzhou Area not just because of its mellow and tender taste but it makes a great reason to enjoy the warm weather with friends and family in tea planting villages. Some tea field owners in Hangzhou’s Manjuelong, Meijiawu and Longjing have tea houses open for the public.
3. Taste seasonal vegetables when they are available
Kalimeris indica (Chinese: 马兰头) and shepherd’s purse (Chinese: 荠菜) are dishes that are always on the table during springtime. Hangzhounese love to cook with what is abundant in the season. Recipes that passed from generation to generation make improvisation possible.
Bamboo shoots (Chinese: 竹笋) is another beloved ingredient that is wildly used in stews, soups and stir-fries. They have a mild flavour and crunchy texture that add a uniquely savour favour to dishes. Naturally, it is also rich in fiber, which requires a pre-boil to remove the bitter taste. These days, you can find Bamboo shoots in local farmer's markets in Hangzhou. Remember to ask the vendor for the youngest possible shoots that are the tenderest.
Hope you enjoy Hangzhou’s Spring. Take a deep breath of nice warm air, get out there, and have some fun.