玉泉 Campus is surrounded by hills. The entrance of the campus has a small gate that will lead you to a flight of stairs, taking you towards the ridge-line of the hills. The views from the peak are remarkably stunning, showing the entirety of 西湖 and the surrounding city of 杭州 on a clear day. When the city lights start glowing at night, the view turns surreal. You feel like you are looking down upon a city that far away in the distance.
大明山 is about 2-3 hours away from 杭州汽车西站 by bus. It takes about 2 hours to climb to the top of the mountain, but tourists usually take longer due the amount of photos that they take on the way up the mountain. Although steep, the climb is not difficult at all due to the stairs built all the way up to the peak of the mountain. If you decide not to climb, there is also a cable car that will bring you to the peak of the mountain. Our group was lucky as the weather cleared when we neared the top, allowing us to catch some magnificent views of the surrounding mountain ranges and all the way to the valley floor. If you like scenic views and won’t mind to take up a small challenge, 大明山 is not to be missed.
Photos and write-up by Shaun Yee