Hangzhou is the capital of Zhejiang
province and its political, economic and cultural
center. With its famous natural beauty and cultural
heritages, Hangzhou is one of China's most important
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
Ling Yin 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 Tea Museum.
Along with the other museums in Hangzhou, they provide
a fascinating insight into the history of Chinese traditional
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
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 visit here is certain to be a memorable