If you are coming on the train, purchase your tickets in advance (passports required). The comfortable train ride takes about one hour from Shanghai. We also recommend to book a car transfer from the Hangzhou train stations (there are two, so check your tickets) because taxis can be hard to get in Hangzhou. It is an approx. 30-minute car journey from the train station to the scenic area.
This is an ideal two-day overnight trip (although you could cram it into one day). The road you have to walk from the Pins de La Brume Hotel to Lingyin Temple can be busy. Be cautious of road traffic as the sidewalk/pavement goes missing in some sections.
Hangzhou is a popular tourist destination, so try to avoid Chinese public holidays, as it gets very crowded (and expensive) during holidays. The shoulder seasons of April to May and September to November are great, as summer is very hot and humid, which makes walking around uncomfortable.
For kids under 120 cm (3.9 ft) height (such as our almost 7-year-old), admission is free for most public attractions (such as temples, museums, etc.).
How often do you get to wander around tea plantations, explore stunning Buddhist temples and ride a cable car to a mountaintop scenic spot? All within an hour train journey from busy Shanghai? Experience scenic Hangzhou with kids and visit the Lingyin Temple (Temple of Soul’s Retreat), as it is incredibly preserved and full of nature and history. Start your day with a beautiful and filling breakfast at Pins de la Brume Hotel, and then walk along tea plantations to the Lingyin Temple scenic area. Ride the cable car to Beigaofeng (North Peak) for an amazing vista of the West Lake. Afterward, visit the quaint Temple of Wealth and enjoy views of the perfect rows of surrounding tea plantations on the way down. Let the kids scoot up to the Lingyin Temple, sampling some local teas along the way. Then come back to the Pins de la Brume Hotel for a contemporary Chinese meal and a subsequent nap or a lap in the outdoor swimming pool.