In the early part of the nineteenth century, Moganshan became a popular and exclusive retreat for the Shanghai elite. Today the bamboo clad slopes rising from Zhejiang plain are regaining their reputation as an escape from the noise of traffic and constant building works and arduous pace of life in Shanghai.
Moganshan, part of the Tianmu Mountain range, is located 60 kilometers from Hangzhou and 200 km from Shanghai (approx 2.5 hours drive). The village is now home to around small 40 guesthouses, villas and hotels. It is the perfect place to catch some much-needed fresh air after touring around the often polluted cities of China.
Just over 100 years ago a group of gentry, missionaries, foreign diplomats and businessmen pooled about 50 dollars and bought Moganshan Mountain top to use as their exclusive hideaway. They build villas, holiday homes, public halls, tennis courts, outdoor pools and churches. Many of these villas and houses have now been restored as hotels and guesthouses. Even Shanghai's notorious 1930s underworld spent the summer here, even being the favorite spot of Du Yuesheng, Shanghai's opium gangster king of the 1930s. His villa Du Yuesheng is a now a hostel with a decent pub. During the post-colonial era, the village was host to such big name visitors as former premier Zhou Enlai who met with Chiang Kai Shek in one of the villas to strategize on how the Communists and Kuomintang could work together against the Japanese. Chiang Kai-shek built himself a massive house on the mountain top. Mao Zedong is believed to have once had a power-nap in a building which is now commemorated as the Mao Museum.