Moganshan is a mountain top tourist region near Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China. It is a good weekend retreat from Shanghai, as it is only a 2.5 hour drive west. It is busiest in July and August, when the weather in the cities and valleys below is much hotter. It is also very nice in the shoulder periods when the cooler weather makes for more pleasant hiking. This contributor has also visited after heavy snowfall in February. The mountain sells half price tickets in the winter, since it is less popular to visit. You can either drive or hike to the summit along the foot paths through the bamboo. In winter it can be lonely and beautiful, well worth the effort.
The most convenient way is by private car, about a 2.5 hour drive from Shanghai. Or, there is a direct 4 hour bus from Shanghai which leaves 3 times in the morning from the Old North Bus Station. Or, you can take the high speed train to Hangzhou, and take Taxi or bus from there.
The tourist area on top of the mountain is relatively small; there are numerous meandering footpaths that pass by bamboo forests, tea fields, and old stone houses.
There is a nice park with walking trails at the very top of the mountain. Half way up is the center of the quaint village, made mainly of stone houses, many of which were built in the early 1900s. Below the village is a series of pools and waterfalls that go down a steep canyon. You will need your Moganshan entry ticket to go all the way in.
Enjoy the fresh air and beautiful views. Read a book, go for a hike, sit in a hammock, or try some delicious local beer and cuisine. Be at one with the forest.
Visitors must pay ¥80 to enter the scenic area. Do not lose this ticket, or you may have to buy it again!
Moganshan Beer is quite good, and comes in an attractive bottle.
Prodigy Outdoor base is the latest to renovate local buildings for Shanghai and Hangzhou visitors to stay in more style than the local nongjiale guesthouses. It has capacity for groups up to 28, with exclusive hire per night at the weekend at just ¥4,000.
Naked Retreats are beautiful old farmhouses renovated in a truly quaint style. A mix of rustic and luxury. The price is around ¥500pp (Weekdays) and ¥700pp (Weekends). Book in advance is advised. Nothing on the mountain truly compares. http://www.nakedretreats.cn/ +86 21 6431 8901
Miss Xu's hotel located in a beautiful old stone mansion is right near town, but with plenty of privacy. 13645725033
A similar hotel nearby with the largest Japanese (small leaf) maple tree I have ever seen can be reached at 13567229790 (cell), 0572-8033495, or 0572-8033493
The villages boast many small and inexpensive guest houses that offer nice rooms with en suite and full board if required. The non-Chinese speaker will find communication difficult, but be brave, use the "phone a friend" system and it will be OK. The multi-story homes with large signs are usually guest houses.
Moganshan House 23 is run by the same family that operates the Lodge and is a lovely choice. The restored house is charming and the staff is eager to please. Its location is very convenient whether your looking for a place that's close to the trails or close to the town and the Lodge. http://moganshanhouse23.com/