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Xixi National Wetland Park

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  • Entrance of Xixi Wetland Park
    Entrance of Xixi Wetland Park
  • Xixi National Wetland Park
    Xixi National Wetland Park
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The Xixi National Wetland Park is situated in the west of Hangzhou, five kilometers (3 miles) from the West Lake, and is a precious example of a wetland in an urban area. It wasn't inhabited during the Han and Jin dynasties, but began sprawling during the Tang (618 - 907)and Song (960 - 1279) dynasties, and then thriving through the Ming (1368 - 1644) and Qing (1644 - 1911) dynasties. It became tranquil again in war times. Now, the Xixi wetland has regained its popularity, its value being recognized by the Chinese government and the international community as a whole in light of the current backdrop of environmental protection and ecological awareness.

Xixi is one of the three 'Xi's', along with the West Lake and the Xiling Seal Engravers' Society. It is rich in cultural heritage and is China's only national level wetland combining urban life, plowing, and culture. It is absolutely a good choice to go to this park on a clear day. Xixi wetland is a tranquil place, refreshingly remote from the crowded Hubin, Yongjinmen, Xintiandi and Huxinting.

Xixi was once a natural village with most inhabitants surnamed Jiang, thus its alternate name, 'Jiang Village'. It spans 60 square kilometers (23 sq mi). The first and second phases of the wetland park - covering 8 square kilometers (3 sq mi) - have already been fully developed, and were opened to the public in 2005. The third phase is still underway. When it is completed, the wetland park will span 10 square kilometers (3.9 sq mi).

Water is the soul of the Xixi Wetland, with 70% of its area covered by water. Six creeks weave through the park with numerous fish pools scattered between them, forming a unique scene. Looking from the sky, the wetland is like a chess board, where green plants fill the grids and the water surface shines.
Xixi is also a great getaway for dodging the city crowds. Throughout history, many artists and poets dwelt in Xixi, leaving behind a wealth of wonderful poems and prose. Beneath the century-old camphor tree at Shentankou is an old stage, said to be the debut place for the artists of Northern School of the Shaoxing Opera.

It is quite a pleasant way to take the sightseeing cruise to appreciate the nice scenery along the way. The beautiful scenes were like unfolding scrolls, the water surface reflects the colorful plants along the bank. There still stand a handful of old buildings like hotels, restaurants and souvenir shops. More than 10 of the old bridges that used to connect the different areas of the tiny oasis are still existent. The dam that was used for irrigation and flood sluice is preserved as a relic of the early agricultural civilization.   

Xixi is a place rich in fish and shrimps. Fishing in this region has always gone on through all four seasons, and this tradition was retained after the establishment of the park. Some tourism companies take the advantage of it and design specifically the fishing tour for their valued guests.

Xixi Wetland has also profusion of plum trees. There are over 3,000 plum trees across 200 square meters (239 square yards) in land area. Most of the trees were planted near the Plum House and the Xixi Plum House. The plum flower trees can be seen reflected in the water. The area around the Xixi Plum House is the best place to spot plum flowers, for the plum flower trees are gathered thickly there.

In addition to the plum trees, the persimmon trees are widely growing here. When Autumn comes, over 6,000 persimmon trees are in full blossom. Thus, it is quite common for the birds to eat the persimmons.

Xixi is also a heaven for birds. There are many bird watching pavilions in the park. The estimate is that the number of birds has reached up to 126 or roughly 50 percent of the total species in the city. It is their long-run aim to attract 20,000 birds to the Xixi Wetland, which is an important benchmark for being admitted onto the list of internationally recognized wetlands.

The Xixi wetland is a beautifully tranquil rural water town, as well as a tourist attraction steeped in history. It is fresh and airy, a healthy respite from hectic city life. 

 More Top Tourist Atttractoions in Hangzhou:         West Lake             Lingyin Temple 

Entrance Fee: CNY 80
Sightseeing Cruise: CNY 60
A. Take Bus No. K506, K193 or K310 and get off at Xixi National Wetland Park;
B. From Lingyin Temple: Take Bus No. Y13 and get off at Xixi National Wetland Park;
C. Take Sightseeing Bus No. 1 from Huanglong Tourists Dispatch Center to the Xixi.

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