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Hangzhou Solitary Hill

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A Brief Introdution
Solitary Hill, situated at the northwestern corner of West Lake, is 38 meters (about 125 feet) above sea-level, and covers an area of 300 mu (nearly 50 acres). It is the lowest summit, compared to other hills around West Lake, but it is also the biggest island in the lake, and the only natural island as well. The Solitary Hill is eulogized as the "Best part of the Landscape" A number of historic sites can be found on the 38m high hill. Covered with exuberant trees.

As the most famous area for its dense cultural sites and humanistic surroundings, the Solitary Hill is the admirable ideal destination of Chinese traditional scholars to study and live all the time. People who want to have a deep or all-sided visit or understanding tothe West Lake Scenic Area, the Solitary Hill is an unavoidable place to have an elegant and humanistic enjoyment in West Lake Scenic Area. 

History & Background
Ancient people used to say that the best place of Hangzhou is West Lake, and the best place of West Lake is the Solitary Hill. The Solitary Hill is not a high one but the best place to appreciate the landscape of West Lake. It has not only the famous natural scene but a large number of cultural and historical sites. In Southern Song Dynasty, it was the location of West Taiyi Palace, the Imperial Garden of Emperor Lizong , and it turned to be Zhongshan Park (West Lake Temporary Imperial Palace) of Emperors Kangxi and Qianlong in Qing Dynasty.

Bai Juyi, the famous poet and governor of Hangzhou in Tang Dynasty, once highly spoke of the Solitary Hill and commented it as Palace of Penglai(蓬莱宫), and Penglai in Chinese philosophy, history and culture, is the name of a fairyland or fantastic hill that the immortals live in, and it could be briefly considered as the legendary paradise in tale or myth. In short, The Solitary Hill is a combination of natural beauty and artistic charm, aside from its fascination of humanity and history.

What to see in Solitary Hill
It is bordered by Bai Causeway on the east, Xi Ling Bridge on the west, the Outer West Lake on the south, and the Inner West Lake on the north. Autumn Moon over the Calm Lake, one of the ten scenes of the West Lake; is formed on the boundary of Solitary Hill and Bai Causeway. Solitary Hill is an ideal place to enjoy the beauty of West Lake.

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There are a lot of cultural relics in the scenic area. At the south foot lies Zhejiang Museum, Wen Lan Pavilion (attracting many literati), and Zhongshan Park in the middle of the hill. At the west foot is Fang He Pavilion, which is related to Lin Bu and his story 'Plum wife and crane son', and the Tomb of Qiu Jin, a great female revolutionist at the end of the Qing Dynasty. On the top of the hill, there is Xi Ling Seal Society, dedicated to the study of seals. This area also includes Cypress Hall, Bamboo Pavilion and Si Zhao Pavilion.

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The best time to visit Solitary Hill is in winter or in early spring, for at this time, you can enjoy the plum blossom as well as the usual sights.

Information
Location: Gushan Road, Xihu District, Hangzhou

Opening Hour: all day long

Recommended duration of visit: 3 hours

Admission fee: free

Transport: Take bus 10 or y10 and get off atXileng Bridge (Xi LengQiao) station. Or, take bus 7, 51, 52 and get off at Duan Bridge station, and then walk through Bai Causeway to get to the entrance of Autumn Moon on Calm Lake.

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