A short trip from Shanghai for an injection of nature and calm that is a total contrast to the hectic megapolis. One hour on the bullet train and a short car ride take you to an unspoilt nature area, within walking distance to the famous Lingyin temple.

1- Hotel Pins de la Brume, Lingyin Road, Hangzhou.

This gem of a boutique hotel merges contemporary and traditional Chinese aesthetics, with plush large bedrooms. It is located in the midst of greenery, with beautiful landscaped grounds - all within walking distance to the Lingyin Temple scenic area. We were too early in the season to enjoy the outdoors pool, but the kids loved running around the garden. A fantastically copious buffet breakfast rounds off the experience!

2- Cable car to North Peak mountain and Lingshun Si (Temple of Wealth)

As you enter the Lingyin Temple scenic area, you will spot the cable car entrance on the right-hand side. The short trip to Hangzhou highest peak is a thrill for kids, with beautiful views on the perfect rows of the tea plantations. The temple at the top is stunning (and if you look closely to the sculpted wall at the far end of the temple, you can spot a seemingly surfing Buddha).

3- Lingyin Temple scenic area.

A rare (mostly) pedestrian area allowed the kids to roam free and zip around on their scooters. Nature is lush with multiple shades of green and the walk up to Lingyin temple is dotted with beautiful tea houses and traditional shops.

4- Lingyin temple.

We arrived at the temple at dusk, when the light turns blueish, making the green of the tea plantations truly magical. It was too late to make it inside (as every official tourist attraction in China, it closes at 5pm). The walk alone and peek into this large Buddhist monastery was worth it.

If you continue walking past the temple and turn right at the top, you can visit a beautiful classical garden, which is well worth exploring. It teems with red lanterns and small padogas, which offer red dots of contrast against the aquatic green background.