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Hangzhou Ecotourism Areas Ready for City Dwellers as Birds Wing Their Way South

October 19, 2017 Destination North Asia No Comments Email Email

The beautiful, well-protected natural splendor of Hangzhou has earned the city the title of “Paradise on Earth”. For the fall and winter seasons, Hangzhou’s most popular ecotourism areas for city dwellers and lovers of nature to explore the diverse landscapes and wildlife in this modern city have been prepped for peak birdwatching season.A top ecotourism attraction is the birdwatching tour, which starts in the West Lake area and extends to the renowned Xixi wetlands.

As one of the few places in China where people can watch wild birds chirping in the downtown area, the West Lake’s wide berth and central location makes it easy for visitors to catch a glimpse of the birds flying over the spectacular skyline. Here, visitors can find common kingfishers, ashy drongos and oriental magpie-robins.

Next on the list is the Hangzhou Botanical Garden, an ideal site for both amateur and professional photographers who wish to take photos of the beautiful birds there, especially the Chinese bamboo partridge, a species native to the area that’s notable for its ground-dwelling ways and golden-brown plumage.

For more experienced twitchers, the Xixi National Wetland Park is a perfect place to study the waterfowl, herons in particular. Here, the most curious heron species is the Chinese pond heron, a specialized hunter of fish, insects and crustaceans. They are joined by egrets, including the Eastern cattle egret which is notable for its perfectly white plumage and yellowish mullet.

Finding the brown hawk-owl is the goal of many experienced birders who have come to Hangzhou from around the world. The great hunter with supernatural owl eyes and hawk-like body can be found in the Xixi wetlands.

The Xixi wetlands boast 180 bird species. It’s also a stopping point for birds that are migrating between Siberia and Australia twice per year. The wetlands’ biodiversity is most visible at the Underwater Ecological Observation Corridor where visitors can see the fish, snails and eels.

Another ecotourism route suitable for visitors of all ages is the blossom viewing tour around West Lake, as the osmanthus, the king of flowers in Hangzhou, is at its best from now through November.

Of the more than 100 varieties of osmanthus trees, one can find 67 in Hangzhou. One of the best areas for viewing osmanthus flowers is the Manjuelong Village where it’s regarded as one of the top 10 scenes around West Lake.

In winter, the plum blossoms of Hangzhou will add a splash of color to the dull, cold days. The perfect viewing time for plum blossoms is January and February, during which visitors can travel to Gushan Hill, the Hangzhou Botanical Garden, Xixi National Wetland Park and Lingfeng Peak to see the amazing sight of a forest of flowers covered in snow.

For hiking enthusiasts, the Bamboo-lined Path at Yunqi is a peaceful, calming destination that’s a blend of Chinese culture and historic heritage. Visitors can stroll down the main path paved with cobblestones to reach the top to get the most beautiful view of the city.

These seasonal ecotourism attractions also encompass destinations like the Qiantang River, a wide range of trails and parks as well as the iconic view of autumn full moons by Bai Causeway. As Hangzhou has a long history of man and nature living side by side, there’s always the connection between mankind and the wild.

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