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About Hangzhou

"In Heaven there is Paradise, on Earth, Suzhou and Hangzhou". This popular, traditional saying simply and delicately summarizes the extraordinary beauty of Hangzhou. It is an ancient city, one of the birthplaces of Chinese civilization and has a history that can be traced back to its settlement by the Aurora Liangzhu civilization, 4700 years ago! Today, Hangzhou is well known for its shopping and business opportunities, as well as its many scenic delights, namely West Lake. West Lake is a classical example of traditional Chinese landscape. The lake is lush with the natural beauty, elegance, and harmony associated with Chinese culture, offering luxuriant weeping willows, serenely scented temples and pagodas, art treasures, and numerous ideal spots for relaxation. The rich cultural history and magnificent scenery are perhaps the reason that Marco Polo, the noted Italian traveler in the 13th century, described Hangzhou as "the most splendid and luxurious city in the world."


The capital of Zhejiang Province, Hangzhou is located on the southern part of the Yangtze River Delta, a short, 150km train ride from its northern neighbour Shanghai. To the south lies the Qiantang River, and to the west, rolling hills that extend north into the mountain ranges of Anhui Province. Between these hills and the urban centre lies the breathtaking West Lake.

Climate and Environment

Hangzhou has a humid, subtropical climate with four distinct seasons that range from hot, sticky summers to chilly winters. The average seasonal temperatures range from 28.6°C in summer down to 3.8°C in winter, while the average annual rainfall is 1,435mm with an average relative humidity of 76%. While the city boasts a beautiful array of vegetative colours all year round, Spring sees the humidity at its lowest as the flora explodes and bathes the city in a brilliant green. Towards the end of September, the bronzed Autumn leaves, clear skies and comfortable temperatures provide the perfect setting to revel in the beauty of the full moon during the Mid-Autumn Festival.


Hangzhou is made up of eight districts - Shangcheng, Xiacheng, Gongshu, Xihu, Jianggan, Binjiang, Xiaoshan, and Yuhang, as well as five counties - Fuyang, Lin'an, Jiande, Tonglu, and Chun'an which are under the jurisdiction of Hangzhou. The total area of the city is 16,596km2 with a population of 6,663,100. 

  • Shengli River Food Street

    Located beside Shengli river, a section of the famous Hangzhou-Beijing Canal,  resides this popular food street dedicated to selling an assortment of Chinese cuisine.  Whether you choose to visit the street by day or by night there are a number of suitable eateries to choose from.  Constructed to replicate an ancient style setting, this street with its abundance of red lanterns will not only keep you warm and cosy at night, but will also satisfy a number of appetites by day. 

  • Zhejiang Kiln Park

    Zhejiang Kiln Park is restored from the former Hangzhou Port and Shipping Co., Ltd. Dock Repair Shop. This lesser-known gem tucked away in north Hangzhou, off the Grand Canal, is one of the best places to enjoy the glamour of ceramics and pottery in town. It hosts ceramic exhibitions, galleries and contemporary art shows regularly. Painters and artists, both the established and the emerging, settle down in this area, building studios, workshops, galleries and training centers. The majority of them fall into ceramic-themed ones. It is a cradle of the booming porcelain industry. Within walking distance, you can find stylish restaurants, bars and cafes. Zhejiang Kiln Park covers a land area of 57,000 square meters and overall floorage of 3,630 square meters. It was comprised of 7 single buildings and two pseudo-classic buildings. Now it has been turned into Creative Park specialized on “ceramic craft and porcelain art”. 
  • North Hangzhou: Grand Canal Frozen in...

    Hangzhou has a sense of grandeur, innovation, history and serenity which are too obvious to ignore. Once the least developed, it now ranks as the most promising. Strolling along Qiaoxi Historic Block, you will be plunged into an ancient world crammed with remnants ranging from one-century to several-thousand-years old. The past glory still lingers here, and is manifested in forms of millennium-old arched stone bridges, old silk factories, historical streets, nostalgic tea houses, a Traditional Chinese Medicine pharmacy as well as museums. 
    All of them, however, will pale in comparison with the Grand Canal, a feat of engineering and a cultural symbol frozen in time. Its timeless beauty can either be savored by walking leisurely along the banks, cruising past in luxurious or plain boats, as well as enjoyable cycling. To read its history and culture, you can head to Grand Canal Museum, which adjoins a five star hotel, an underground supermarket, the 1000-year-old Gongchen Bridge, Hangzhou Fan Museum, Scissors Museum, Blade and Swords Museum. 
  • Xiaohe Street Historic Block

    Xiaohe Street Historic Block is located at the confluence of the Grand Canal, Xiaohe River and Yuhangtang River, north of Hangzhou. It runs parallel to the Grand Canal in a straight line, that’s why it’s called Xiaohe Straight Street. Its history can be traced back to the Southern Song Dynasty (1127–1279). At that time it was the land and water transportation center for goods. 

  • Dadou Road Historic Block

    Dadou Road Historic Block lies along the Grand Canal, and refers to the area from Shixiang Road  to Daguan Road  which covers an area of 95,000 square meters. Its history can be traced back to the Song Dynasty (960-1279 AD), and it used to be Hangzhou’s trade center. Now it has developed into a historic culture and foods themed block which features a large number of Qing-style architecture, traditional life-style of Hangzhou people, and local refreshments. Flagstone walkways, tall phoenix trees on the roadside and red lanterns along the banks of the Grand Canal have increased the area's charm even more. 

  • China Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal Mus...

    As a large themed museum sitting in Grand Canal Culture Square, the China Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal Museum was built in 2002 for the purpose of collecting, protecting and researching the Grand Canal culture. It has been open to the public since its completion in September 2009, and it fully displays vicissitudes of the Grand Canal in history in the forms of material objects such as bridges, boats and ferries.

  • Tangqi

    Tangqi is located in the north of Hangzhou City, roughly twenty kilometers away from downtown Hangzhou. With the Grand Canal flowing through it, Tangqi has been the waterway portal of Hangzhou for centuries.Before the Northern Song Dynasty (960-1127 AD), Tangqi was no more than a fishing village. Later, in the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368 AD), Tangqi developed into a flourishing town because of the broadening of the Grand Canal. In the Ming (1368-1644 AD) and Qing (1644-1912 AD) Dynasties, Tangqi reached its height, and ranks first in the Ten Famous Towns of Jiangnan Region. This glorious history blessed this town with abundant cultural heritage and historical relics.

  • Xixing Guotangxing Wharf

    The Grand Canal consists of South North Grand Canal, also known as the Sui-Tang Grand Canal, the Beijing Hangzhou Grand Canal spanning the Yuan to Qing dynasties and the Zhedong Grand Canal.

  • Fengshan Water Gate

    Fengshan Water Gate straddles the Zhonghe River as an iconic landmark of Hangzhou. It is over 600 years old, Hangzhou’s only surviving old bridge dating over 6 centuries.

  • Fuyi Granary

    Fuyi Granary is located at No.8, Xiawan Lane, Hangzhou, Zhejiang, beside the Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal and intersection of Shengli River and the ancient canal and covers an area of about 2.36 hectares.

  • Qiaoxi Historic Block

    Located west of the old Gongchen Bridge, along the bank of the Grand Canal, stands this grand residential block featuring designs from the Ming and Qing dynasties.

  • Gongchen Bridge

    Built in the 4th year of Chongzhen reign in Ming Dynasty (1631), Gongchen Bridge is a stone three-arch bridge standing across the Beijing-Hangzhou Canal. In 1986, the bridge was included into the list of cultural relic under municipal protection by Hangzhou Municipal People’s Government. However, the bridge still is in use.

  • Guangji Bridge

    Shining like a rainbow across the Grand Canal, Guangji Bridge is the only surviving seven-arch stone bridge of its kind to mount the old canal.

  • Zhedong Canal Main Course

    Zhedong Canal Main Course(浙东运河主线) starts from Xixing Street of Binjiang and empties into the sea from Ningbo. It meanders for 239km.

  • Zhonghe River---Longshan River

    Zhonghe River---Longshan River is an integral part of the Jiangnan Canal. During the Northern Song Dynasty(960-1127), Zhonghe River---Longshan River was dredged to adjust flood.

  • Hangzhoutang Section of the Beijing Ha...

    Hangzhoutang Section starts from the intersection of Jiangsu and Zhejiang province in the north and ends at Tangqi Water Town in the south.

  • Shangtang River Section of the Beijing...

    Shangtang River Section of the Beijing Hangzhou Grand Canal, a lesser-known gem in the crown of the Grand Canal, is noted for its antiquity and serenity. The water town and communities along its bank reminiscent to Zhouzhuang, will transport you back in time.

  • Grand Canal,Hangzhou Section

    Jiangnan Canal-Hangzhou Section is one of the oldest, best-preserved sections of the Beijing Hangzhou Grand Canal. It is still in use. From north to south, it passes along Shangtang River, Zhonghe River and Longshan River.


  • Cuisine Museum

    On the sunny side of the Fenghuang Hill (Phoenix Hill), the Hangzhou Cuisine Museum is open to visitors for free. The 12,470-square-meter museum consists of four sections and unlike other museums, it allows visitors to taste Hangzhou delicacies, take cooking lessons and enjoy other activities.

  • FuchunTaoyuan Scenic Area

    With convenient transportation to and from this area and its beautiful scenery, Fuchun Taoyuan Scenic Area is a pearl shining on the golden tourist route of Hangzhou’s Thousand Islet Lake, featuring massive color-lit caves of Jiuxiao Biyun, Taoyuan Village and XiaoyaoYanling Lake – all surrounded by lush forests and glorious lakes.

  • Chaoshan

    Mei in Chaoshan is noted for its old history, wide variety and unique qualities. Every February, mei in Chaoshan blooms vibrantly, with white flowers decorating every corner and fragrance permeating the air. From a distance, Chaoshan is just like a sea of fragrant snow. In China, there are five kinds of ancient mei: mei from the Jin Dynasty (265-420), mei from the Sui Dynasty (581-618), mei from the Tang Dynasty (618-907), mei from the Song Dynasty (960–1279) and mei from the Yuan Dynasty (1271–1368). And Chaoshan owns two kinds of them: mei from the Tang Dynasty and mei from the Song Dynasty. What’s even rare is that mei in Chaoshan has six petals rather than five.

  • Solitary Hill

    The Solitary Hill is actually an islet located in West Lake and surrounded by water on four sides. Since ancient times, it has been regarded as the best resort (not one of) to enjoy mei in Hangzhou. Mei in the Solitary Hill gained fame as early as the Tang Dynasty (618-907). Since then, the beauty of mei in the Solitary Hill has been praised in numerous poems by many famous poets, for example, Bai Juyi.

  • The Oldest Cuisine in Town: Louwailou

    Louwailou was built in 1840’s and has been serving traditional fare to the hungry mouths of Hangzhou since then. The inferior might be somewhat dated, but your palate will thank you for such a treat. The restaurant overlooks a lake and the prices are not as inflated as could be expected of one of Hangzhou’s culinary icons. Don’t miss out on a truly authentic dining experience such as this.

  • Dragon Well Spring

    The Dragon Well Spring is legendary for the pure waters and its depth. It is also well known for the imperial tea bushes growing nearby. The 1,000 year old temple, that shares the same name, has been converted into a teahouse amongst groves of bamboo, pine and wisteria. This serene setting has earned Dragon Well Spring a spot in the new ‘top 10’ scenic places of Hangzhou.

  • Jade Emperor Hall

    After a long climb up Jade Emperor Hill, the amazing view from the peak is sure to make up for your efforts. The history of this hill dates back more than 400 years and sadly, a teahouse have been built on the ruins of the old Taoist Temple. However, there is a restored section that still attracts worshippers. On a misty day, the surrounding hills disappear amid layers of white clouds, like a scene taken out of a traditional watercolor painting.

  • Zhejiang Provincial Museum

    This well designed museum houses fascinating permanent exhibitions of the Hemudu Culture on the first floor to the bronze sword displays of the Spring and Autumn Period and the Warring States Period on the second floor. The museum also displays celadon wares and porcelain from the Tang, Sui and Song dynasties. The 3rd floor takes their visitors into recent 19th and 20th century history, including evidence of the growth of foreign influence in China.

  • King Qian’s Memorial

    The Qianwang temple complex is situated on the Eastern Shores of West Lake – home to King Qian Liu’s tomb – the founder of Wuyue Kingdom. A bronze statue stands outside the temple – depicting the man who protected Buddhist Hangzhou during the 10th century. Expect traditional Chinese landscaping methods inside the temple grounds along with ancient artifacts and historical sculptures in the courtyards.

  • Lesser Yingzhou Island

    This Island accessible by boat is shaped like a circle, with a lagoon in its bounds. At the center of the small lake is another island, connected to the outer ring by bridges. Lesser Yingzhou Island is home to a zigzag garden path with many pavilions created for the appreciation of the view. Songbirds hang in wooden cages from the roofs of some of the buildings.

  • National Tea Museum – Hangzhou

    China is a country well-known for its tea and the culture that it embodies and represents. The tea museum houses its exhibition halls in a modern building among ponds and gardens and opened in 1990 for the very first time. The museum is home to 6 tearooms in various regional styles where visitors can sample different kinds of tea after viewing exhibitions about the detailed history of tea culture in China.

  • Southern Song Dynasty Imperial Kiln Mu...

    Tucked away at the Western foot of Wugui (Turtle) Hill, this museum is situated on the ruins of one of the original imperial kiln sites, with two display rooms encompassing the exposed dirt and remnants of where it all used to happen. The museum also houses an ancient collection of porcelain and well-preserved relics and visitors can make their own ceramic creations in the on-site workshop.

  • Longmen Village – Hangzhou

    10 kilometers outside the city, along the Fuchun River, lays a small village named Longmen (Dragon Gate). Walk along the narrow streets, under ancient archways, passing decayed buildings dating back to the Ming and Qing Dynasty. Explore this ancient, weathered treasure where time seems to have come to a halt. Make sure to bring your camera along and to stop for some local dumplings.

  • Tianzhu Temples – Hangzhou

    Hangzhou has long been reputed for being a devout center of Buddhist worship and these days residents of Hangzhou make their way up the hillside to this temple for prayers. Expect a tranquil setting in sharp contrast to the overwhelming crowd of tourists and noise in other sites. The 2 complexes are worth visiting for their inherent beauty and tourists are welcome to join Buddhist visitors in their offerings.

  • Qiantang Tidal Bore – Hangzhou

    Imagine facing a giant tidal wave on a viewing platform in the suburb of Xiaoshan. Watching a tidal bore in Hangzhou is as spectacular and entertaining as it was 2000 years ago in the Southern Song Dynasty. Join a large crowd of thrill-seekers in Yuguan and get ready to be amazed by a 30 foot wave that sweeps past the township. This natural phenomenon is at its largest on the 18th day of the 8th lunar month and promises to blow your mind.

  • Wansong Academy – Hangzhou

    On the tranquil Northeastern Slopes of Phoenix Hill, a once prosperous scholarship center in ancient Hangzhou was home to the “Butterfly Lovers” – the Chinese equivalent of Romeo and Juliet. Influential during both Ming and Qing Dynasties, many parents make a pilgrimage on Saturday Mornings in hopes to find a suitable match for their son or daughter. Expect a glimpse into campus life of more than 1,600 years ago and quiet place for contemplation.

  • Six Harmonies Pagoda

    South of West Lake on Yuelun Hill sits the Six Harmonies Pagoda. This impressive pagoda has come to symbolize the six harmonies found within Buddhism and should not be missed on your trip to Hangzhou. Each of the 13 stories commands a spectacular 360 degree panorama comprising green hills, rivers and cityscape. This makes it a hotspot for Chinese couples, who frequently sit gazing from the open windows, taking in the view. While the pagoda has been refurbished and renovated throughout its history, its interior has generally been left to decay with dignity and boasts and large collection of genuine, ancient Chinese artifacts. If time permits you should also have a stroll through the scenic area surrounding the Six Harmonies Pagoda. The park contains numerous replica models of different Chinese pagodas, and while the walk alone is very pleasant, it can also prove to be surprisingly educational.

  • Qinghefang Historical Street

    A hot spot for locals and tourists alike, Qinghefang Historic Street is the best place in Hangzhou to get your hands on the city's traditional delights. The many Ming and Qing era shops, some of whom have been in business for over 100 years, sell an abundance of traditional Chinese wares such as medicine, scissors, tobacco and clothing. Qinghefang has plenty to see and you will be kept well entertained by the variety of street performers as you duck from shop to shop through this hive of activity. The more adventurous traveler may even fancy a traditional, dried seafood snack from the hawkers that set up at the base of Wu Hill. Leave yourself at least half a day to make sure you experience all that Qinghefang has to offer!

  • National Silk Museum

    On the southern bank of the West Lake stands The National Silk Museum of China, a magnificent shrine to China's proud sericultural history. Open since 1992 and now free to the public, this museum is the largest silk museum in the world and has eight exhibitions containing everything from ancient looms, to authentic silk garments worn by the emperors of old. The superb English language descriptions, videos and displays guide you through this world of silk and history. Take the chance to stand right beside one of the highly skilled weavers and watch a silk garment unfold before your eyes... or have a try yourself!

  • Xixi Wetlands

    Xixi National Wetland Park contains a unique blend of Chinese urban life and farming culture. Known as one of the three "Xi's", along with Xihu(West Lake)and Xiling(the Seal Engravers' Society), the Xixi wetlands are the last remaining example of the traditional water towns that once extended across the West Lake basin.The national park was established in 2005 to protect the wetlands from the turmoil of the great urban sprawl. A maximum of 3000 visitors per day are allowed to enter the park, with even the 300 odd residents being slowly relocated in an attempt to preserve this unique and fragile environment. The wetlands feature a vast maze of waterways, the banks of which are littered with bridges, walkways, restaurants and teahouses. Visitors are free to roam through the park on foot, the must sees including the Zhoujiacun village, Plum and Bamboo Cottage, the Fog and Water fishing village and the Xixi Plum Villa. However, a trip to the wetlands is not complete without a boat ride through the marshlands. Choose either an electric boat, or row one by yourself and get a close up look at these picturesque waters and experience the wetlands like a true local!

  • West Lake

    The lake's dazzling scenery has influenced poets, painters and scholars for over a thousand years and today remains a beautifully preserved tribute to China's long history and one of China's most loved scenic spots. Covering an area of 5.6km2, the famous West Lake sits like a beautiful mirror amongst its surrounding hills. It was made a cultural heritage site by UNESCO in August 2011, who highlighted its profound influence on Chinese, Japanese and Korean garden design over the centuries because it reflected "an idealized fusion between humans and nature." Surrounded by hills on three sides and by the downtown area on the other, the lake is divided into five areas by the Bai, GuShan, Su and Yanggong Causeways. These five areas share an assortment of breathtaking views, some of which have been famously selected and listed as the Top Ten Scenes of West Lake. Spring Dawn at Su Causeway, Breeze-ruffled Lotus and Quyuan Garden, Autumn Moon over the Calm Lake, Lingering Snow on the Broken Bridge, Orioles Singing in the Willows, Viewing Fish at the Flower Pond, Three Pools Mirroring the Moon, Twin Peaks Piercing the Clouds, Evening Bell Ringing at Nanping Hill and Leifeng Pagoda in the Evening Glow are considered must sees should your visit fall in the appropriate season!

  • Impression West Lake

    Impression West Lake is a unique outdoor performance staged on the West Lake itself. The play employs the clever use of a stage sunk 3 centimeters below the water to give the impression of the actors gliding across the lake. The performance appears makes use of the various traditions of Chinese theatre, most notably dance, costume and opera to comprise a vivid and incredibly beautiful show takes the form of the different myths and legends of the past 1000 years of West Lake history. The special concealable auditorium ensures each member of the audience a wonder view to enjoy the dazzling show. The state-of-the-art sound system provides a resounding soundtrack to accompany the play.

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