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Hangzhou Qiandaohu Stone Forest

Chun'an County, China
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Hangzhou Qiandaohu Stone Forest
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SMW_718 wrote a review May 2014
New York52 contributions30 helpful votes
Hangzhou has some of the cleanest natural water in China and they made an extra effort to keep it clean because the famous Farmer's Mountain Spring Water comes from here and Chef Kang also purchased water reserves here for their bottle water. Qiandaohu translated literally is Thousand Island Lake and this is a huge tourist locale. Every street has several restaurants specializing in the local special of Fish Head soup or hot pot. I was alone traveling with a tour group so the food choice was limited to the pre-planned lunch/dinner. I paid $170 rmb extra to stay alone in a 5-star hotel room. Only complaints were that the carpet had burnt stains and there was no hot water. I was hoping to soak in a hot tub of the local spring water and had to settle for a lukewarm shower. The buffet breakfast was probably better quality than my tour mates, but I didn't dare eat that much since the bus drive to the Stone Forest took 2 hours. I was so glad I ate a very lite breakfast because the trip up to the Stone Forest and the trip back down was like riding a very slow roller coaster. The roads were winding and twisty, 2 of the older ladies sitting up front tossed their cookies upon arrival and after we reached the bottom. To ride to the top of the starting point by tram is an additional $10rmb which is not included in the admission price. The group I was with were old people and middle class moms who made a big stink about this and settled to walk in. It's about 30 minutes if you walk briskly, I didn't mind since I consider it exercise from sitting for 4 hours by bus to reach Hangzhou. You need to wear slip proof sneakers or walking shoes to get through the stone maze. It was rainy during my visit so some of the stone steps were slippery. The maze you are guided through is nicknamed "Journey to the west" since you have to walk through some scary steps up and down. If your waistline is more than 34 inches, you should not even attempt this since some of the stone fixtures you are guided through is very narrow. You really need to use your imagination to see why some of the fixtures are named as such. Sometimes it's very obvious, sometimes not. Bathroom alert for ladies - this is the hole in the floor type of toilet. And always keep packs of tissues with you when traveling in China.
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Date of experience: April 2014
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