Hangzhou is one of the most famous tourist destinations in China for domestic as well as international travellers. Its natural beauty, sightseeing spots both historical and modern, and the beautiful West Lake attract a large number of visitors every year. Hangzhou has also managed to maintain its ancient beauty and charm even in these modern times.
Marco Polo described this city as, “The most beautiful and magnificent city in the world” making it a must-visit place if you are traveling to China. Whether you are on a short or a long trip, it is wise to plan ahead and make a list of all the places that you want to visit and stick to your plan to get the most out of your vacation.
In order to help you plan your trip, here's a list of some of Hangzhou’s most popular attractions:
Hangzhou is a sub-provincial city located in the Yangtze River Delta in the People's Republic of China, and the capital of Zhejiang province. Located 180 kilometers (112 mi) southwest of Shanghai, as of 2004 the entire Hangzhou Region or Prefecture-level city had a registered population of 6.4 million people.
The City, the southern terminus of the Grand Canal, is located on the lower reaches of the Qiantang River in southeast China, a superior position in the Yangtze Delta and only 180 kilometers from Shanghai. Hangzhou has a subtropical monsoon type climate with four quite distinct seasons. However, it is neither too hot in summer nor too cold in winter making it a year round destination.
The West Lake is undoubtedly the most renowned feature of Hangzhou, noted for the scenic beauty that blends naturally with many famous historical and cultural sites. In this scenic area, Solitary Hill, the Mausoleum of General Yue Fei, the Six Harmonies Pagoda and the Linyin Temple are probably the most frequently visited attractions. The "Ten West Lake Prospects" have been specially selected to give the visitor outstanding views of the lake, mountains and monuments.
A number of national museums can be found in Hangzhou and are representative of Chinese culture. Fine examples are the National Silk Museum and National Tea Museum. Along with the other museums in Hangzhou, they provide a fascinating insight into the history of Chinese traditional products.
Dragon Well Tea
If you leave Hangzhou without a packet if Dragon Well (Longjing) Tea, you may not experience a complete tour in this city. Dragon Well Tea, as an important part of Hangzhou culture, expresses the living attitude of locals as well as the Chinese people
One of the most important parts of traveling is tasting the local delicacies. Hangzhou dishes are noted for their elaborate preparation, sophisticated cooking and refreshing taste. Many local specialties will be sure to make your trip a cultural experience. We recommend that you try Beggar's Chicken (a chicken baked in clay), West Lake Fish in Sweet Sour Source (vinegar coated fish fresh caught from the lake), Dongpo Pork (braised pork) and Fried Shrimps with Longjing Tea, etc.
The shopping environment in Hangzhou is exciting and convenient. Travelers and tourists like to go to Qing He Fang Street. It is one of the most famous and historic streets in the city and reflects many of the features of the Southern Song Dynasty (1127-1279). Shoppers will admire the antique buildings while purchasing items from a wide range of local goods such as silks, tea or maybe a silk parasol, brocade or a beautiful Hangzhou fan. These are just some of the items to be found but there are many more.
At night Hangzhou has much to offer and teahouses and various kinds of pubs are both plentiful and popular. Choosing one overlooking the West Lake for a pleasant chat over a cup of tea is sure to make you feel totally relaxed and refreshed.
While much of the ancient city that had been the capital of the Southern Song Dynasty was destroyed during the Taiping Rebellion in the mid-nineteenth century, today's Hangzhou is a modern and vibrant economical center. As such it provides a base for many talented and skilled people. Never the less, thanks to its unique setting by the West Lake it continues to enjoy the many benefits of the natural surroundings that have delighted visitors for centuries. Not only was it much vaunted in his writings by the 13 century explorer, Marco Polo but the Lake and its environs have inspired poets of great renown such as Bai Juyi and Su Dongpo down the ages. There can be no doubt that a visit here is certain to be a memorable one.