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Overview

This mountaintop retreat was created in 1898 by foreign businessmen and missionaries seeking to escape the sweltering summers in colonial Shanghai (about 100 miles to the east). European style villas, public halls, swimming pools and churches were built on bamboo terraces. Later, Moganshan served as a retreat for Shanghai's gangsters. Today, Moganshan serves as a retreat for tourists and weekend vacationers, its old villas having been restored as inns. Hiking the mountain paths is the leading diversion, followed by horseback riding and mountain biking. The Prodigy Outdoor Base in Houwu Village, with its wood-fired pizza oven and bikes for ...

This mountaintop retreat was created in 1898 by foreign businessmen and missionaries seeking to escape the sweltering summers in colonial Shanghai (about 100 miles to the east). European style villas, public halls, swimming pools and churches were built on bamboo terraces. Later, Moganshan served as a retreat for Shanghai's gangsters. Today, Moganshan serves as a retreat for tourists and weekend vacationers, its old villas having been restored as inns. Hiking the mountain paths is the leading diversion, followed by horseback riding and mountain biking. The Prodigy Outdoor Base in Houwu Village, with its wood-fired pizza oven and bikes for rent, is the main outpost for exploring the mountain, while the chief gathering point for visitors is the patio of Moganshan Lodge. Moganshan is a National Park, requiring an 80RMB entry fee. Two newly opened luxury resorts are making Moganshan into an upscale resort destination. Naked Stables, an eco-resort, features "earth huts" and horse stables, while Le Passage Moganshan is a "French luxury country house" complex with 40 rooms on an old tea plantation. Altogether, Moganshan is a weekend paradise blending colonial architecture with eco-tourism.

J.D. Brown
About the Expert

J.D. Brown is a contributor to Frommer's China and Frommer's Beijing, coauthor of Frommer's China: The 50 Most Memorable Trips, Berlitz Shanghai, Berlitz Singapore, and other books.

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J.D. Brown for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: 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.
  • Language: Wu Chinese and Mandarin
  • Currency: Chinese Yuan
  • Research: Mount Mogan | Wikitravel

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Summer months, when it heats up in Shanghai and Hangzhou, is the best time to escape to the milder terraces of Moganshan, but to avoid the crowds, spring and fall are also inviting. Expect some snow in winter.