Article by: Yan Hua
Photos by: Trip members
Okdeal Siming Mountain Hiking Trip in 10 June 2017
This time OK,Deal Club! has brought us on a one-day trip to Tan Xianling, which is located in the middle of North and South Lake (南北湖) of Haining, a 3-hour bus drive away from Shanghai.
The day’s itinerary includes a hiking routine in the mountains, a relaxing lunch in a quaint pavilion, afterwards more hiking followed by a stroll around the lakes.
Just enough activities for a day – not too idle, but not too cramped as well.
Tan Xianling is a quiet retreat that is much less visited than many of its famed counterparts but no less a treat of the eye.
Greeneries abound. For a start, the hiking trail in the mountain is refreshingly unpopulated, with a decent combination of both stony, muddy paths and concrete, asphalt roads.
This is somewhere that you can really take a deep breath and just enjoy the country quietude, while strengthening you muscles and stretching your legs a bit.
Don’t be surprised when you spot some odd mandarin or berry trees along the way,they are often followed by fields of the same kind.
Besides fruit-bearing plants, forestry of all kinds dots the trail, shielding the hikers away from the sun, no matter how cruelly scorching it might intend to be.
Different shades of green not only treat the eye, they also help to relax the mood so for a moment you no longer feel like a metropolitan livestock, but a living breathing being of nature.
Yet Tan Xianling is much more than just an underrated work of nature. Its beauty extends to the many architectural installations hidden in its obscure locales as well. Several pavilions that one encounters along the hiking trail are quaint and contained, somehow blending themselves to their surroundings and speaking for the precious but rare harmony that one, often vainly, strives for in the urban setting.
There are also some ancient courtyards, towers, lodgings and even a monastery to be found in the area. They were all built in different eras in the long history of the place, reflecting very different architectural styles and dynastic aesthetics. It is fascinating just how such a seemingly secluded hideout has in fact always been intrinsically linked to the outside world for centuries and ages. You will definitely appreciate them all the more for the relaxation they offer along your quite strenuous hiking routine.
The one-day trip ends by a relaxed stroll along the lake, a pure work of art, especially on a cool and clear day. The water is bloused in emerald and shrouded in a perfect peace.
The noises of this world are all gone, the only sound remains is that of your heart thumping, as if singing in elation a praise of this splendid nature.
You can feel the wind coming from the centre of the lake, caressing every inch of your skin, which, by now has already been burning from exhaustion.
The wind kisses good-bye your weariness, and ushers in a renewed cycle of energy. Such is the wonder of this magical body of water.
Thanks to OK Deal for bringing us back to the nature on this one-day trip, leaving us with beautiful memories of this pretty place. Hope to have more such enjoyable weekends with you. See you next time! :)