Hangzhou Travel Guide
Location: in the southeast of China
Area: 16,596 square kilometers
Hangzhou, a tourist destination praised by the Italian explorer Marco Polo as the most distinguished and beautiful city in the world, is famed for its spectacular natural beauty which can be fully demonstrated by West Lake and its renowned historical relics. The pleasant subtropical climate here makes this land of exceptional beauty a hot year-round tourist site.
As the capital of Zhejiang province, Hangzhou serves as its political, economic and cultural center. It also occupies an important status in Chinese history as an ancient city where the Grand Canal ends, a man-made waterway regarded as a great feat of engineering by Chinese people in ancient times.
What to see in Hangzhou
"There is paradise in heaven whereas on earth are Suzhou and Hangzhou." The beauty of Hangzhou is fully displayed by West Lake. And the impressive beauty of West Lake is forever associated with its poetic and picturesque charms all year around.
West Lake attracts thousands upon thousands of tourists and inspires a great number of men of letters to compose poems and write essays to express their great admiration. A poem by Su Dongpo, a Chinese poet master, goes," The glistening water with ripples is pretty on a fine day. The hills with vapor are exquisite on a rainy day. If West Lake is compared to the beauty Xi Zi, either with heavy make-up or a few light touches it is charming as ever."
Other attractions worth visiting are Solitary Hill, Six Harmonies Pagoda, Lin Yin Temple and Qiantang River Tide. Moreover, China National Silk Museum and China Tea Museum can provide you with a fascinating insight into the development of traditional Chinese culture represented by silk and tea.
Dining in Hangzhou
With literally thousands of fancy restaurants located all over the city, dining choices are practically unlimited. Beggar's chicken( a chicken roasted in clay) and West Lake Fish in Sweet Sour Sauce are sort of must if you want to taste the authentic Hangzhou cuisine. Other famous local delicacies are Dongpo Pork (braised pork), Fried Shrimps with Longjing Tea Leaves. Among a myriad of restaurants serving these famous and delicious dishes, the most well-established are Louwailou Restaurant and Zhiweiguan Restaurant.
Shopping in Hangzhou
Two world-renowned local products of Hangzhou are silk and tea. Hangzhou Silk City, the biggest silk wholesale and retail market in China, is the best place for silk purchase. There are more than 600 silk enterprises dealing a wide variety of pure silk fabrics, garments, handicrafts, scarves and ties.
Hangzhou Longjing Tea (Dragon Well Tea) is the representative of Chinese tea. If you are interested in tea culture and history, Meijiawu Village in West Lake District will be an ideal spot where you can have a cup of tea, enjoy the Tea-making Ritual, and purchase tea under professional guidance.
The best-known commercial street in Hangzhou is Yan'an Road. The road boasts an astonishing variety of shopping malls and unique stores dealing with all kinds of local products and souvenirs.
Hangzhou is linked to the outside world by Xiaoshan International Airport (HGH), which has both domestic and international flights, connecting the city with major cities in China and the rest of the world. It's also easy to get around to and from other cities all over China with the comprehensive national railways and convenient expressway network .
Come to experience the enchanting beauty of this poetic and picturesque land. The innumerable sights of gorgeous and varied natural scenery blended with splendid civilization here will never disappoint you.