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Travel Report: Wushan Hill, Hangzhou.

City God Pavilion Wushan Hill Hangzhou China

Wushan Hill, Hangzhou.

October 2017. Some people will tell you there’s little to see in Hangzhou outside the main draw of West Lake. Those people are wrong. In fact, one of the many highlights of my Hangzhou trip was a visit to Wushan Hill and its striking City God Pavilion and City God Temple. This shot of the hill comes from the top-floor viewing terrace of the equally impressive Leifeng Pagoda.

Wushan Hill Hangzhou China.

Wushan Hill, Hangzhou.

It’s a mercifully short ten minute walk up to City God Pavilion, Wushan Hill’s premier attraction. It was National Holiday Golden Week during our visit, which meant Wonderboy and I got to spin a festive Wheel of Fortune at the main entrance across from the ticket office. My travel buddy was first to step up and, much to his delight, he won a fancy map of the hill! 

Wushan Hill, Hangzhou.

Visit Wushan Hill Hangzhou China.

Wushan Hill, Hangzhou.

I wasn’t going to bother spinning myself, but the little old ladies manning the wheel goaded me into it. I’d been half hoping for a map of my own, but in the end had to make do with a plastic flag. Go, China!

City God Pavilion, Hangzhou.

City God Pavilion Wu Hill Hangzhou China.

The entrance to City God Pavilion, Wushan Hill.

With our wheely shenanigans out of the way, we pushed on up Wushan Hill’s winding path towards City God Pavilion. The structure got its name from former Hangzhou administrator of justice Zhou Xin. According to the history books, he was an admired and much-loved man in Hangzhou. Known for being “sharp-sighted and impartial”, Xin built up such a reputation he was eventually crowned City God by imperial order following his death in 1412!

City God Temple, Hangzhou.

City God Temple Wushan Hill Hangzhou.

I’m always up for an injection of good health and finances.

The pavilion stands next to the pretty City God Temple. As with many Chinese temples, it’s good form to ring the bell in order to boost your luck in the areas of health and finance. This was my second time actively participating in the tradition following my visit to the tiny village of Zhujiayu in Shandong Province back in 2009.

City God Temple Wushan Hill Hangzhou.

Inside City God Temple, Wushan Hill.

Inside the temple there are a number of gorgeous carvings, sculptures and murals depicting traditional local life and the area’s rich history. 

Inside City God Temple Wushan Hill.

Wonderboy discovering what his name looks like in Chinese.

Wonderboy marked his visit here by buying his first Chinese prayer tablet. Moreover, there was a helpful custodian on hand to write his name in Chinese. You’re supposed to leave the tablet in the temple. However, Wonderboy felt so taken with it he decided to keep it. We’ve all been there. 

Wushan Hill, Hangzhou.

Visit Wushan Hill Hangzhou China.

Wushan Hill, Hangzhou.

From the temple, we headed across to City God Pavilion for the climb to its top floor. Here, there are fine views across the city and its surrounding countryside. How fine these views turn out depends on the weather of course. That day we were met with some thick mist and persistent drizzle. 

Chinese family City God Pavilion Wushan Hill Hangzhou.

City God Pavilion, Wushan Hill.

On our way back down the stairs we bumped into this Chinese family. Despite the language barrier we managed to exchange some good natured holiday cheer. Furthermore, they even agreed to pose for a photo! Spot the person clearly NOT up for being photographed!

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For more on Wushan Hill, check out this excellent article from Sailingstone Travel. 

For more on my time in the city, check out my other articles on Hangzhou.

For more on the region, have a look at my travel reports from around Zhejiang Province.

Like these? Then why not leaf through my many other reports from across China.

I’ve also written a short story series called Challenged in China.

I’ve been living, working and traveling all over the world since 2001. So why not check out my huge library of travel reports from over 30 countries.

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1 Comment

  • Memo

    As always, you make me want to be there. I also realized that you trained Wonder Boy well in photography.

    June 2, 2020 - 9:51 pm Reply

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