5 most scenic spots in Hangzhou

West Lake may be the pinnacle Hangzhou experience, but just outside the city are an assortment of camera- and hike-worthy views.

These local favorites are listed in order of nearest to furthest from the city center.

1.    Tianmu Mountain Scenic Area 天目山景区

The Simian Feng platform (四面峰观景平台) on Tianmu Mountain offers a panoramic view of the area's lush woodlands.

The closest thing in China to California’s Sequoia National Forest, Tianmu Mountain (or Tianmushan) is stacked with Japanese cedar trees that tower to dizzying heights.

Hikers here are consistently awed by this mystical, UNESCO-listed biosphere.

Amid Buddhist, Daoist and Confucian temples and graveyards hidden in the woods live hundreds of rare animal species, 39 of them endangered, such as the bizarre hairy-footed muntjac (黑鹿) and clouded leopard (云豹).

Tianmu Mountain Scenic Area, +86 571 6387 7008, 8 a.m.-4 p.m.

Admission: RMB 140 per ticket (adult), RMB 70 (children and seniors)

Getting there by bus: Buses depart every 15 minutes from Hangzhou West Bus Station (杭州汽车西站) to Lin’an (临安). From there take taxi to Tianmu Mountain (Tianmushan 天目山).

From Shanghai, take high-speed train from Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station (上海虹桥火车站) to Hangzhou City Railway Station (Cheng Zhan 杭州城站), then take taxi to Hangzhou West Bus Station and follow previous directions.

More on CNNGo: 10 mountains for every kind of climber

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