Of all the travel spots commonly listed in Hangzhou, the Solitary Hill is the only one actually on the lake itself. Unlike the other travel spots, you do not need to buy a ticket to see Solitary Hill, there are no opening times and you can include it in your walk around West Lake.
The hill stands alone on the lake surrounded by water so it was called Solitary Hill. It is also a place of solitude for ancient poets and scholars.
The peak of Solitary Hill is 38 meters above sea level and easily scaled making Solitary Hill more of an island with a bump than a real hill. It is the only natural island in West Lake.
Points of Interest
There is (to me) no one particular point of interest on Solitary Hill that stands out as a must see. There are a number of points that are worth visiting as you make your way round the island.
Ancient Palaces – Solitary Hill was the home of three ancient imperial palaces. Emperor Lizhong of the Southern Song Dynasty (1127-1279) Emperors Kangxi and Qianlong of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) had there palaces on Solitary Hill. You can see the foundations of these palaces as you walk around the island and some of the older foundations have been enclosed in protective display cases.
Tomb of Qiu Jin – Qiu Jin was a famous female revolutionary at the end of the Qing Dynasty. Qiu Jin was a member of a revolutionary society dedicated to the overthrow of the corrupt Manchu government. She was caught and beheaded in 1907, only 5 years before the formation of the Republic of China in 1912.
Lin Bu’s Tomb – Lin Bu is one of the well known poets of the Northern Song Dynasty (960-1227) who chose to live at Solitary Hill in isolation. Ironically he was a poet of the reclusive school/field of poetry.
Crane Pavilion – Also called the Tending Crane Pavilion. Lin Heqing, a famous poet from the Song Dynasty lived in seclusion at Solitary Hill where he tended plum trees and a crane. The Crane Pavilion was built in his memory.
Solitary Hill is located at the northern end of West Lake and can be accessed from the eastern side by Bai Cause Way and from the western side by a bridge near the Temple of General Yue Fei and near the beginning of the Su Causeway.
You can ride onto the island and access most parts by bike and there are bike stations at the causeway entrance. You can also catch the K7, 81 and 850 public buses and the Y9 tourist bus.