Looking for a chance to escape the big smoke and explore the countryside around Shanghai?
Retreat to the scenic mountaintop village of Moganshan, only two and a half hours drive from the city – once home to British missionaries, Chinese gangsters and interesting expats like Mark Kitto who wrote a delightful autobiography about how he lost a fortune and found a life in China in the mid-Nineties, called “China Cuckoo“. A fascinating read for anyone curious about the inner workings of building a business in China and with great insight into life in rural China, specifically Moganshan with it’s intriguing history.
Mark and his wife Joanne now run a B&B called Moganshan House 23, 25 and 2 and the Moganshan Lodge. Le Passage Mohkan Shan is a charming French retreat located in the middle of a tea plantation or stay at the recently opened Naked Stables Reserve (no, it’s not a nudist horseback colony!) and enjoy breathtaking views of bamboo forests and fresh mountain air. There are no motorised vehicles allowed and access is only be foot or golf buggy, so if you are looking for some peace and quite after the hustle and bustle of Shanghai, this is the place to come.
Round-trip tickets on the high-speed train between Shanghai and Hangzhou start at 154 renminbi ($24 at 6.45 renminbi to the dollar). Naked Stables also has a weekend shuttle service between Shanghai and Moganshan for 230 renminbi each way. There is an 80 renminbi entrance fee to the mountain. Drivers can also be arranged between Hangzhou and Moganshan for 250 renminbi each way.
Moganshan House 23, 25 and 2 (Ph: 86-572-803-3822). Doubles from 650 renminbi per night.
Moganshan Lodge (Ph: 86-572-803-3011). Offers breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Le Passage Mohkan Shan (Ph: 86-1865-728-5900). Doubles from 1,500 renminbi a person, per night, including all meals.
Naked Stables Reserve (Ph: 86-21-6431-8901). Earth huts from 1,725 renminbi per night; tree-top villas (with two bedrooms) from 5,290 renminbi per night. A sister property, Naked Home Village, has doubles from 1,219 renminbi per night.