Xinchang weekend getaway trip, Part I – One of the most peaceful places on earth

The view from the hill in Xinchang
The view from the hill in Xinchang

One of the most peaceful places on earth…Xinchang

As I was exploring Shanghai more and more everyday, I also wanted to go outside the city to see and experience the autumn colors. November is the best time to see all the changes in the nature.  So I asked my landlord whether he knew any economic tours that were going to take place at the weekends. Days later, he sent me the fall tour to Xinchang which is one of the most peaceful places on earth. You’re going to see why I call it like that in the coming lines and pictures..I made sure that with this article, in every picture you’ll feel as if you were literally there with me.

A little reminder: Don’t forget to click on the pictures below to see the details except the featured picture above.

I prepared my backpack on Friday evening and I was ready to the weekend getaway trip to Xinchang and hoping to catch the colors of autumn…

Preparing my back-pack for Xinchang weekend trip

Preparing my back-pack for Xinchang weekend trip

You have a message below that was recorded right after I left my apartment to catch the bus to Xinchang:

In front of Hilton hotel, I met the tour guide and my tour mates. My former neighbour also joined us so we were ready to go to Xinchang when everyone showed up.  Group tours can be really fun, especially if you have positive, open-minded and energetic people in the group. In our group, it was obvious that we had those kind of people, so we started to get along well from the first moment we met. Here is a shot of our group:

Our tour group at the weekend getaway trip to Xinchang

Our tour group at the weekend getaway trip to Xinchang

Faces from the tour group of Xinchang

Faces from the tour group of Xinchang

The Lunch in Xinchang

After 3,5 hours of bus drive to Xinchang, we arrived to one of the traditional restaurants. I was literally starving as I forgot to take some snacks with me…Let’s have a look at the food here…

Lunch in Xinchang

Lunch in Xinchang

In traditional Chinese restaurants, there are  round tables like the one below and there is a part on top of it which is made of glass. You can turn it round to get other dishes on the other side of the table.

Delicious food in Xinchang

Delicious food in Xinchang

You can see the yellow soup above, it is basically an egg soup. Well, I prefer eggs in the breakfast as an omelette or boiled rather than as a soup, but it was nice tasting it.  My favourite dishes were the beans with the beef and the potatoes above. It is really important to be open to new tastes when you’re travelling. You know, people generally say that for example “Ohh I don’t like the cauliflower dish”, but when you ask them why, they say “well, because how it looks, how it smells” or even they haven’t tried it before and just being judgemental, so this won’t help you while travelling. You should get rid of this habit if you have even a little. You see below, I am working on it…The food I was trying was kind of a vegetable, although it looked like a jelly fish, it tasted really good. By the way, I am like a Chinese kid while eating, you can see the “why” in the second frame, the pieces fell from my chop sticks pointed out within the yellow circle. Well, if you feel that you’re really slow in eating with chop sticks, they always have small spoons on the tables for everyone. Did I use spoon? Nope, I am improving and getting faster and faster in grabbing even a small piece of food. The other option is the shortcut and not traditional, at least for me.

Trying new tastes in Xinchang

Trying new tastes in Xinchang

While the dishes were coming to the table one by one, I was like “jende ma?”means “really?”..It was a real feast for me, especially after the bus trip in the morning…Happy faces, full stomaches.

Happy faces at lunch in Xinchang

Happy faces at lunch in Xinchang

As we were leaving the restaurant, I noticed big pots close to the door. One question, when you put frogs and snakes in the same pot, snakes eat frogs right? but what’s happening here? You tell us…And what about the poor turtle here…Nooo, don’t eat turtlessss pleaseee…..

Fishes and big pots in the restaurant in Xinchang

Fishes and big pots in the restaurant in Xinchang

Before getting on the bus, I took a short walk outside the restaurant. It is always great to be around locals.

I saw a lovely Chinese lady selling veggies beside her bicycle…

A Chinese lady selling veggies outside the restaurant in Xinchang

A Chinese lady selling veggies outside the restaurant in Xinchang

The Backstreet chefs were seen while texting…Smart phones are every where, even in small towns…The group leader looks like the one with the hat…

Backstreet chefs seen outside the restaurant in Xinchang

Backstreet chefs seen outside the restaurant in Xinchang

Let’s get on the bus and keep going right? The first place we were going to visit in Xinchang was Tianzhu Lake(天烛湖). On the way to Tianzhu Lake, it was getting really exciting to be in the nature more and more…

Getting closer to Tianzhu- Lake in Xinchang

Getting closer to Tianzhu- Lake in Xinchang

Tianzhu Wonderland Scenic Area

Finally,  we were in Tianzu Lake area..

A little warning: The pictures include many colors of green,yellow, orange, red which can set your soul free and can take you to the nature immediately…

Tianzhu Lake Wonderland Scenic Area in Xinchang

Tianzhu Lake Wonderland Scenic Area in Xinchang

Tianzhu Lake Wonderland Scenic Area in Xinchang

Tianzhu Lake Wonderland Scenic Area in Xinchang

It should be really nice to go fishing here  like the man in the picture…I am picturing myself sitting here with my canvas and oil paints, painting the view all around me. Now the nature was getting under my skin and starting to work on my imagination…

Fisherman in Tianzhu Wonderland Scenic Area in Xinchang

Fisherman in Tianzhu Wonderland Scenic Area in Xinchang

We were walking towards the boat on Tianzhu Lake in Xinchang and noticed this board…It was helpful, at least we got that it was an information  board for tourists shows that we were on the right track….

Great İnformation board for tourists in Tianzhu Wonderland Scenic Area in Xinchang

Great İnformation board for tourists in Tianzhu Wonderland Scenic Area in Xinchang

Here you can see our lovely boat that we took for a tour on Tianzhu Lake.

Our boat on Tianzhu Lake in Xinchang

Our boat on Tianzhu Lake in Xinchang

Our captain was so funny and asking girls whether they were single or not and then asking the ones who were single to marry him …

The captain of the boat on Tianzhu Lake in Xinchang

The captain of the boat on Tianzhu Lake in Xinchang

Background info about Tianzhu Lake, Xinchang

What do you know about Tianzhu Lake? It’s time to tell you a little bit more…

Tianzhu Lake Scenic Spot was a narrow and steep valley ten years ago. There are two mountains on both sides of the river, called Zhamengtou Mountain and Xiaotianlong Mountain. But, ten years ago,one of the local companies established a 73-meter-long 26-meter-high dam, which makes a lake out of the steep and narrow valley. They call the lake Tianzhu Lake which is longer than 3 km.  Besides, the aerial view of the lake is like a green winding ribbon which you’re gonna see in the coming pictures here.

Tianzhu Wonderland Scenic Area in Xinchang

Tianzhu Wonderland Scenic Area in Xinchang

On the left side of the lake, there is a solitary rock which you’re gonna see a little bit later here too. Initially, there was a temple beside the rock. It was named Red Lotus Temple. It is said that the temple was very famous because it endowed women with sons. So many women came to the temple to pray for a son. They stayed in the temple for one night and when they got home they soon got pregnant. But it turned out that some monks of the temple raped the women at night, and that’s why the women got pregnant. The victims were afraid of telling their husbands the truth. It is unknown how the truth was out. But the villagers were really angry. They set a fire and burned the temple into ashes. That’s a terrible thing that happened in such a peaceful place.

Well, after a little bit of history info, let’s keep going with our boat trip. As we were moving along the lake, I was totally amazed by the colors of the nature…Tell me what you think…

Tianzhu Wonderland Scenic Area in Xinchang

Tianzhu Wonderland Scenic Area in Xinchang

Tianzhu Wonderland Scenic Area in Xinchang

Tianzhu Wonderland Scenic Area in Xinchang

Red, green, blue…such a great combination here…

tianzhu-wonderland-scenic-area-in-xinchang

Tianzhu Wonderland Scenic Area in Xinchang

The reflection of the sun light on the water always gives me more energy…Everything is better with the light as you can see the details better and realize how beautiful they are, so why are some people afraid of shining a little bit more? Set yourself free and shine in your own way to show that life is more beautiful when you reflect your light on it..

tianzhu-wonderland-scenic-area-in-xinchang

Tianzhu Wonderland Scenic Area in Xinchang

tianzhu-wonderland-scenic-area-in-xinchang

Tianzhu Wonderland Scenic Area in Xinchang

Fishermen in Tianzhu Wonderland Scenic Area in Xinchang

Fishermen in Tianzhu Wonderland Scenic Area in Xinchang

tianzhu-wonderland-scenic-area-in-xinchang

Tianzhu Wonderland Scenic Area in Xinchang

A shot with friends who joined me by sitting on the floor of the boat to enjoy the waterscape more…

Tianzhu Wonderland Scenic Area in Xinchang with friends

Tianzhu Wonderland Scenic Area in Xinchang with friends

After the short boat trip we got off on the other side of the way to discover more of Tianzhu Lake.

Tianzhu Wonderland Scenic Area in Xinchang

Tianzhu Wonderland Scenic Area in Xinchang

Here is our group, trying to decide which way to go…Our tour leader let us explore the area without getting ourselves into any kind of trouble.

Tianzhu Wonderland Scenic Area in Xinchang

Tianzhu Wonderland Scenic Area in Xinchang

Luckily, I decided to go with these two positive and adventurous people. We had such fun while climbing and taking the unknown paths covered with long grasses, many steps and roots.

Adventurous people in Tianzhu Wonderland Scenic Area in Xinchang

Adventurous people in Tianzhu Wonderland Scenic Area in Xinchang

While climbing, the view got better and better with in every step…As you can see, the view makes you stop and stay at the same spot for a while as it did to Sebastian.

Tianzhu Wonderland Scenic Area in Xinchang

Tianzhu Wonderland Scenic Area in Xinchang

Here is one of the breath taking views…

Tianzhu Wonderland Scenic Area in Xinchang

Tianzhu Wonderland Scenic Area in Xinchang

The cliffs always make me a little bit freaked out but it was the time to break it and go to the edge…It was really high but also great to see the world from the top…You know what they say:

“Climb mountains not so the world can see you, but so you can see the world” -Unknown

Tianzhu Wonderland Scenic Area in Xinchang

Tianzhu Wonderland Scenic Area in Xinchang

Tianzhu Wonderland Scenic Area in Xinchang

Tianzhu Wonderland Scenic Area in Xinchang

Peace in Tianzhu Wonderland Scenic Area in Xinchang

Peace in Tianzhu Wonderland Scenic Area in Xinchang

Enjoying the view with friends in a complete silence for a while…

Enjoying the view with friends in Tianzhu Wonderland Scenic Area in Xinchang

Enjoying the view with friends in Tianzhu Wonderland Scenic Area in Xinchang

Here is the place where everyone one met up. When I offered to have a jumping pic altogether, everyone was like “yeahh, let’s do it” and we started practicing jumping at the same time at least 20 times…Everytime we got closer and closer to the edge but it was so much fun…

Jumping with friends in Tianzhu Wonderland Scenic Area in Xinchang

Jumping with friends in Tianzhu Wonderland Scenic Area in Xinchang

Finally, here we go…

Jumping with friends in Tianzhu Wonderland Scenic Area in Xinchang

Jumping with friends in Tianzhu Wonderland Scenic Area in Xinchang

Thanks to Sebastian I have a picture with this great view while jumping…

Jumping at the top of the mountain in Tianzhu Wonderland Scenic Area in Xinchang

Jumping at the top of the mountain in Tianzhu Wonderland Scenic Area in Xinchang

The view from the top…

The view from the top in Tianzhu Wonderland Scenic Area in Xinchang

The view from the top in Tianzhu Wonderland Scenic Area in Xinchang

Here is the ribbon I was telling you about above.

The view from the top in Tianzhu Wonderland Scenic Area in Xinchang

The view from the top in Tianzhu Wonderland Scenic Area in Xinchang

As there were more things to explore, we had to keep going but this spot definitely has a different place in my heart…Isn’t it stunning?

On our way, here are two things that caught my eye…Love the white one…It is like a star plant…

Branches&plants in Tianzhu Wonderland Scenic Area in Xinchang

Branches&plants in Tianzhu Wonderland Scenic Area in Xinchang

On the Bailidanxia Tourist road, I saw a temple but it was so hard to call it a temple as it was almost ruined…Let’s have a closer look at this temple.

Old temple in Tianzhu Wonderland Scenic Area in Xinchang

Old temple in Tianzhu Wonderland Scenic Area in Xinchang

This is the keeper of the temple with his stylish hat.

The keeper of the old temple in Tianzhu Wonderland Scenic Area in Xinchang

The keeper of the old temple in Tianzhu Wonderland Scenic Area in Xinchang

As you can see, it was not a regular temple…I was really suprised to see the dogs in the temple cause normally it is not allowed.

Inside the old temple in Tianzhu Wonderland Scenic Area in Xinchang

Inside the old temple in Tianzhu Wonderland Scenic Area in Xinchang

Inside the old temple in Tianzhu Wonderland Scenic Area in Xinchang

Inside the old temple in Tianzhu Wonderland Scenic Area in Xinchang

One of the dogs was so uncomfortable because of me and he was barking all the time…but I was kind of comfortable as he was tied, but think about it, it would have been so bad if somehow he had been free from his collar, yeah don’t wanna imagine…

Angry but sweet dog in the old temple in Tianzhu Wonderland Scenic Area in Xinchang

Angry but sweet dog in the old temple in Tianzhu Wonderland Scenic Area in Xinchang

Inside the old temple in Tianzhu Wonderland Scenic Area in Xinchang

Inside the old temple in Tianzhu Wonderland Scenic Area in Xinchang

Inside the old temple in Tianzhu Wonderland Scenic Area in Xinchang

Inside the old temple in Tianzhu Wonderland Scenic Area in Xinchang

As the dog got louder and louder, it was time to go…At the back of the temple, there was a whole different world…

The back door of the old temple in Tianzhu Wonderland Scenic Area in Xinchang

The back door of the old temple in Tianzhu Wonderland Scenic Area in Xinchang

Tianzhu Wonderland Scenic Area in Xinchang

Tianzhu Wonderland Scenic Area in Xinchang

At some point we got lost and ended up shouting the names of  our friends in the tour to figure out whether they were close to us or not…

Trying to find the right way in Tianzhu Wonderland Scenic Area in Xinchang

Trying to find the right way in Tianzhu Wonderland Scenic Area in Xinchang

This is the heaven for worms, isn’t it?

Wormland in Tianzhu Wonderland Scenic Area in Xinchang

Wormland in Tianzhu Wonderland Scenic Area in Xinchang

Finally we found them…

Tianzhu Wonderland Scenic Area in Xinchang

Tianzhu Wonderland Scenic Area in Xinchang

We kept climbing to see one of the villages on the otherside of the mountains…

View from the village in Tianzhu Wonderland Scenic Area in Xinchang

View from the village in Tianzhu Wonderland Scenic Area in Xinchang

Here is the village…The sign on the door means that there is a newly married couple living there…

The village in Tianzhu Wonderland Scenic Area in Xinchang

The village in Tianzhu Wonderland Scenic Area in Xinchang

The village in Tianzhu Wonderland Scenic Area in Xinchang

The village in Tianzhu Wonderland Scenic Area in Xinchang

This plant is so common in country sides…

The beautiful flower in the village in Tianzhu Wonderland Scenic Area in Xinchang

The beautiful flower in the village in Tianzhu Wonderland Scenic Area in Xinchang

The village in Tianzhu Wonderland Scenic Area in Xinchang

The village in Tianzhu Wonderland Scenic Area in Xinchang

You know what, we got lost, again, but this was the fun part, we got to see the back routes of the village…

The village in Tianzhu Wonderland Scenic Area in Xinchang

The village in Tianzhu Wonderland Scenic Area in Xinchang

The back routes of the village in Tianzhu Wonderland Scenic Area in Xinchang

The back routes of the village in Tianzhu Wonderland Scenic Area in Xinchang

Yayyy, we made it to see Tianzhu Lake again, before the sun set…

Tianzhu Wonderland Scenic Area in Xinchang

Tianzhu Wonderland Scenic Area in Xinchang

Tianzhu Wonderland Scenic Area in Xinchang

Tianzhu Wonderland Scenic Area in Xinchang

Chinese characters on the walls make it more interesting…

Tianzhu Wonderland Scenic Area in Xinchang

Tianzhu Wonderland Scenic Area in Xinchang

Look at these green, red, orange colors…so beautiful…

Tianzhu Wonderland Scenic Area in Xinchang

Tianzhu Wonderland Scenic Area in Xinchang

Sunset in Tianzhu Wonderland Scenic Area in Xinchang

Sunset in Tianzhu Wonderland Scenic Area in Xinchang

Sunset in Tianzhu Wonderland Scenic Area in Xinchang

Sunset in Tianzhu Wonderland Scenic Area in Xinchang

Next mission was to reach the wooden bridge…

Sunset in Tianzhu Wonderland Scenic Area in Xinchang

Sunset in Tianzhu Wonderland Scenic Area in Xinchang

Here is the penguin rock…

Penguin rock and the path to the wooden bridge in Tianzhu Wonderland Scenic Area in Xinchang

Penguin rock and the path to the wooden bridge in Tianzhu Wonderland Scenic Area in Xinchang

My neighbour and friends were trying to decode the Chinese characters…

Penguin rock sign in Tianzhu Wonderland Scenic Area in Xinchang

Penguin rock sign in Tianzhu Wonderland Scenic Area in Xinchang

The path to the wooden bridge in Tianzhu Wonderland Scenic Area in Xinchang

The path to the wooden bridge in Tianzhu Wonderland Scenic Area in Xinchang

The photo in front of the wooden bridge in Tianzhu Wonderland Scenic Area in Xinchang

The photo in front of the wooden bridge in Tianzhu Wonderland Scenic Area in Xinchang

Here is the wooden bridge…

The wooden bridge in Tianzhu Wonderland Scenic Area in Xinchang

The wooden bridge in Tianzhu Wonderland Scenic Area in Xinchang

The wooden bridge in Tianzhu Wonderland Scenic Area in Xinchang

The wooden bridge in Tianzhu Wonderland Scenic Area in Xinchang

After reaching to the other side of the bridge, we gave a break…

Tianzhu Wonderland Scenic Area in Xinchang

Tianzhu Wonderland Scenic Area in Xinchang

We had to get back to the bus and so we crossed the bridge again but looked what happened and look at how the crazy ladies dressed, were they hiking too?

Here is a last shot from Tianzhu Lake as we were leaving…

Sunset in Tianzhu Wonderland Scenic Area in Xinchang

Sunset in Tianzhu Wonderland Scenic Area in Xinchang

When we arrived to our hotel and got off the bus, these cute kids started to follow us to our hotel.

Cute Chinese kids following us in front of our hotel in Xinchang

Cute Chinese kids following us in front of our hotel in Xinchang

Our hotel was a nice, clean and a convenient one.

Our hotel in Xinchang

Our hotel in Xinchang

After a day-long hiking, this was the second feast, dinner…My favourite dishes…

Dinner at our hotel in Xinchang

Dinner at our hotel in Xinchang

After dinner, we were off to the campfire party…

Full moon in Xinchang

Full moon in Xinchang

Here is our campfire…

Campfire in Xinchang

Campfire in Xinchang

It was a great treat to have the s’mores…

Having s'mores around the campfire in Xinchang

Having s’mores around the campfire in Xinchang

I really missed s’mores…The last time I had them was 9 months ago while camping in Ağva, close to Istanbul, Turkey.

tianzhu-wonderland-scenic-area-134

We had a great time with our friends….

tianzhu-wonderland-scenic-area-131

We had such a great first day in Xinchang…Great places…great people…

“A journey is best measured in friends, rather than miles.” – Tim Cahill

Guys, if you ever come to Shanghai, this is one of the best places around the city to visit..You’ll feel completely resfreshed…Highly recommended place…Let me know what you think about Xinchang by leaving a comment down here. I’ll be happy to hear from you.

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