Polo rightly referred Hangzhou as, the finest and most splendid city
in the world.
The history of Hangzhou can be traced back to 2200 BC. It came to
prominence when the Grand Canal was built (581-618 AD) with Beijing as the
northern terminus and Hangzhou as the southern terminus. The canal, which
operates till today, gave immense impetus to trade and as a result Hangzhou
boomed as a major economic, political and cultural center. Thus, Hangzhou is
one of those seven cities in China that have served as capital cities
throughout Chinese history. Hangzhou became the capital of Zhejiang province
after the People's Republic of China came to existence. Toady the city
functions as the political, economic and cultural center, as well as a
transportation hub in the region.
The city is bequeathed with the magnificence of the Lake and a natural
lagoon dating back to around 2000 years. The lake is girdled by hills on the
three sides and dotted with ravishing gardens and shrines. With the
potentials of the West Lake being harnessed on a massive scale, Hangzhou
enjoys worldwide renown as a city for scenery tourism.
Hangzhou is an ideal destination, most preferred as a sumptuous panoramic
sight in China.
It is the biggest island amidst the lake and an exquisite region to meander
and explore. It also offers some amazing panorama over the lake. The island
houses some of the historical sights like the tomb of Qiu Jin and the
Zhejiang provincial museum. To wards the north lies the booming Zhongshan
Park, the main attraction of the park is the Huagang fishpond bestowed with
resplendent fishes. The Bai Causeway connectind the island to the mainland
is the city's bustling hang out zone.
Creeks and Gullies
9 Creeks and 18 Gullies is an exquisite area actually comprising of many
paths, which constitution a bizarre walkway, placid and gracious. It makes a
magnificent departure from the lake as one come across tea terraces en-route
the Dragon Spring.
Longjing Tea Plantation
Another worth a visit site is the Longjing tea plantation. Longjing village
is about half and hour cycle rides from the city and is embellished by tea
terraces on either side of the road. It makes an ideal location for those
who want to strolls down the streets and watch the locals at work. Normally
tourist go for purchasing their favorite flavor of tea brand that is easily
available on every corner.
Xiaoying Island and the Three Pools
A boat cruise to this far-flung island is a wonderful adventure. The island
is a store of many smaller lakes inside the big West Lake and also stores
many smaller island inside Xiaoying Island. Bridges and railings link the
Lingyin Temple is the largest Buddhist temple in China. It was built in AD
326, during the Jin Dynasty. The present structure of the temple is the
restoration made during the time of the Qing dynasty. The main attraction of
the temple lies in its enchanting accumulation of stone-carved Buddha who
sits in the nook of the cliff. The most impressive of these is a huge, fat "Laughing
Buddha". The temples also store various gold statues of Buddha, posing
in different positions and adopting a warrior mannerism.
Mode of Transportation
Regular flights from Hangzhou connect the other parts of China to the city.
The airport is just 15kms north of town. There are regular bus and taxi
services from the airport to the city center.
The Hangzhou railway station is located to the east of the city center.
Many trains operate from this station between Hangzhou and other parts of
There is proper road connectivity between Hangzhou and other parts of the
country. The main bus terminus lies in the north of Hushu Nan Lu town. Most
of the long distance buses arrive at this station.
The harbor is on the Grand Canal towards the northeast of town. There are
daily passenger services connecting Hangzhou with Suzhou and Wuxi, both
arriving in the morning and leaving in the early evening. Hangzhou is also
connected with Huangshan via Xin'an River and Thousand Island Lake through
Moving in and around the City
Taxis and buses are the best modes of transport for travelling inside the
city. Normally, buses run along fixed routes throughout Hangzhou, where as
you can hire a meter taxi up to your desired destination.
Shopping in Hangzhou
Hangzhou is yet another shopping paradise. The city offers an extraordinary
variety of local crafts, rare arts and other souvenirs. Hangzhou also has an
astounding silk market called the China Silk City on Fengqi Road. Most of
the silk sold here is artificial, but some shops also keep real silk as
Most demanded items:
Silk, embroidery, silk umbrellas,
Bamboo chopsticks, White Chrysanthemum Tea and Longjing tea.
Main Shopping Hubs:
Evening market on Wushan Road, China
Silk City (Zhongguo Sichou Cheng) on Fengqi Lu, and the shops along Jiefang
Road or Yan'an Road.
Eating and Hanging out Joints
Hangzhou offers a wide variety of choices in the local delicacies. The
lakeside of Wushan Lu, Yanan Lu, Huabin Lu and Pinghai Lu offers
sumptuous Yangzi and Northern Zhejiang cuisines. Try out some local
delicacies at Louwailou, on Gu Shan Island, and Tianwaitian more known as Sky
Beyond Sky, near Lingyin Si. Bafangyuan, Pinghai Lu, is a good place
to try some drinks like the delicious Taiwanese Naizhu Cha (milk
Entertainment and Freaking out Zones
Nightlife in Hangzhou is quite engaging. The most popular evening past time
remains, however, walking and strolling around or across the West Lake. The
city's nightlife revolves around the Paradise Rock Bar-- drinks,
delicious cuisine, an appropriate adornment and the light music making it a
preferred hang out for the night. The Lake of Dreams on the
southeast corner of the lake and the New L.A. Disco on Qing Chun Lu are the
other renowned restaurants of the city. Other entertainments of the
city are the sports. There are the 2 championship level tennis courts and a
Golf club in Hanhzhou, normally occupied with some or the other events