Overview & Things You Should Know About Hangzhou. Hangzhou is a beautiful city, and has been a famous city for thousands of years. In ancient time, it was a rich city, with beautiful scenery, and brilliant literati, and successful businessmen. In nowadays, it is still a famous city and a hub for e-commerce. For the beauty of Hangzhou, a proverb in China goes:” Up above there is heaven, down below there are Suzhou and Hangzhou”, and it is also praised as “ Hangzhou is a successful model of urban aesthetics” by Yu Qiuyu(modern writer) and as “Heaven City” by Marco Polo. Hangzhou, this beautiful city, is totally worthy your visiting. In the below, I am about to tell 9 reasons why you should visit Hangzhou.
Needless to say, West Lake is a must visit in Hangzhou. West Lake is the representative of Hangzhou beauty, and people has never stopped to praise it, in 2011, it has become a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
West Lake as one of the highlights of South China natural scenery has sceneries like mountain, islet, causeway, lake, and ancient buildings, and the most famous is Top Ten Scenes of West Lake. West Lake is a big freshwater lake, about 2.8 km wide and 3.2 km long, covering an area of 6.4 square kilometers. It consists of five waters which are separated by islets, and causeways.
► What to do in West Lake?
West Lake is the perfect place to enjoy a great day, where tourists could see superior sceneries, visit ancient buildings, take a boat on the lake, walk along the causeways, or take bike around the lake.
► Where is West Lake?
West Lake is located in Xihu district, only 4 km from Hangzhou Railway Station and 30 km from Hangzhou Airport.
Lingyin Temple, a famous temple in China, was first built in 326, with a history of more than one thousand years, and it is the oldest temple in Hangzhou, located in Feilai Mountain. Lingyin Temple has great significance in Buddhism, history and culture. The board of the front door of Hall of Heavenly Kings are written by Emperor Qianlong.
Tourists could go to Lingyin Temple, visit the old buildings, see Buddhism scriptures, and valuable paintings housed in Linyin Temple, and climb Feilai Mountain.
China Grand Canal is a man-made canal, completely excavated in the end of the 6 century, with a total length of 1797 km from Hangzhou to Beijing, and it is the world’s longest ancient canal, and also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Grand Canal Hangzhou is from Yuhang to Qiantang River, with a length of 39 km.
► Where to Take Grand Canal Cruise in Hangzhou?
Tourists could take cruise in day time and night time to enjoy its beauty. Take cruise from Wulinmen Wharf to Gongchen Bridge. In Gonchen Bridge, Grand Canal historical area is set up, with museums, and shopping streets. Tourist could buy handcrafts and souvenir in here. Or take cruise from Wulinmen Wharf to Qiantang River. Except cruise, tourists could have a walk from West Lake Cultural Square to Gongcheng Bridge, or take bus to Grand Canal Cultural Square.
(Above picture/Nanxun Water Town)
Nanxun Water Town is one of the famous water towns and ancient towns in Zhejiang province, located in Nanxun distict, Huzhou, about 95 km from Hangzhou and within 2 hours driving. Nanxun Water Town is the only ancient town built with Chinese and Western styles, occupies an are of about 45 square kilometers, and consists of 9 parts which are mainly ancient private houses and gardens of the rich.
Tourist could see lots of water lilies in Xiaolianzhuang which is an ancient private garden, visit Jiayetang Library, a private library close to Xiaoliangzhaung and a building of Chinese and Western styles, with gardens, ponds and rockery outside the buildings, walk along Baijianlou to see over 100 ancient residential buildings along the river and visit Jili Huzhou Silk Museum to learn how Huzhou Silk is made.
(Above picture/ Xitang Water Town)
Xitang Water Town is located in Jianshang county of Jianxing, about 120 km from Hangzhou and 2 hours driving. Xitang Water Town is like other water town in Suzhou, Shanghai and Zhejiang, 9 rivers flowing through the town and dividing the town into several parts, with 24 bridges connecting every parts together. In Xitang Water Town, tourists could walk along stone-paved paths, visit old buildings, see ancient wood carvings, and take a boat along the rivers.
(Above picture/ Wuzhen Water Town)
Except Nanxun Water Town and Xitang Water Town, other water towns surrounding Hangzhou are Wuzhen Water Town, and Tangxi Water Town. Wuzhen Water Town is the most famous water town in Zhejiang, well-trodden by tourists, located in Tongxiang, Jiaxing, about 80 km from Zhangshou and 1.5 hours driving. Tangxi Water Town is located in Yuhang district, Hangzhou, about 30 km from Hangzhou Railway Station.
(Above picture/ Map from Hangzhou to Water Towns)
(Above picture/Xixi National Wetland Park )
Xixi National Wetland Park has tranquil environment and beautiful scenery for its wetland landscape. Qiandao Lake is a big lake with lots of islets, and always praised as a perfect place to enjoy lake scenery. Xixi National Wetland Park and Qiandao Lake are suitable for a leisure tour, and tourists could take a cruise, see birds and animals in this wonderful places.
Hangzhou Silk is a famous silk in China, famous for light, soft, bright, and colorful. Hangzhou Silk has a long history for thousands of years, proven by unearthed silks with 4,700 years. Hangzhou Silk has over 10 categories, with several famous brands like Wensli Silk and Du Jinsheng Silk.
China National Silk Museum is the world’s biggest silk museum, with a display are of 3,000 square meters, with several exhibition halls. China National Silk Museum exhibit lots of silk products, like fine and elegant ancient silk clothes, and those exhibiting silk products will be eye-open to everyone. In China National Silk Museum , tourists and visitors can see silk products made at different time periods like unearthed ancient silk products, how silk is made and how silk is dyed.
China National Silk Museum is totally a worthy tour to tourists who are fans to Hangzhou Silk and China Silk. China National Silk Museum is located in Yuhangshan Road, Hangzhou, close to the southeast side of West Lake.
► Where to buy silk in Hangzhou?
In Hangzhou, tourists and visitors could see lots of silk stores and silk markets, and do not know which are better in quality and price, therefore here recommends some for you.
China National Silk Museum has silk products on sale, needless to say, those silk products are 100 percent true China silk, with superior quality, but they may be a bit expensive.
Du Jinsheng Silk is highly recommended to tourists, because of its good quality and reasonable price. It has several physical stores in Hangzhou, and some of them are close to West Lake. Tourist visit West Lake should not miss it.
Hangzhou Silk Market or Hangzhou China Silk Town. Silk products are more reasonable in price, but tourists should check its quality. Hangzhou China Silk Town is located in West Jiankang Road, Xicheng district.
Longjing Tea is a famous green tea in Zhejiang province, and loved by Chinese and friends from all over the world. Longjing Tea has a long planting history in Hangzhou due to its climate good to Longjing Tea, and Chinese people love to drink Longjing Tea, especially West Lake Longjing Tea. West Lake Longjing Tea is picked up from tea trees planted in mountains around West Lake, regarded as “ Queen of Green Tea” and famous for its fragrance and green color. West Lake Longjing Tea is so famous that it was praised by Emperor Qianlong.
(Above picture/ Meijiawu Tea Village)
China National Tea Museum is a national museum specially set up to tea, with several exhibition halls, and it has collected ancient tea pots and tea sets, great paintings and calligraphies about tea. In China National Tea Museum, tourists and visitors could learn tea history, see tea sets made at different times, drink cups of tea and have activities like picking up tea leaves from tea farms and making tea. China Nation Tea Museum is open to public at 09:00-17:00(1st, May-7th, October), and 08:30-16:30(8th, October-30th, April), and it closes on Monday.
(Above picture/ China National Tea Museum)
► Where to buy Longjing Tea in Hangzhou?
Tourists could go to supermarkets, tea stores, and China National Tea Museum. China National Tea Museum is our first recommendation, because its quality and credit.
(Above picture/ Longjing Shrimp Meat)
West Lake Fish in Vinegar Gravy(西湖醋鱼) is a landmark dish in Hangzhou, and it tastes a bit sour and a bit sweet, because of the gravy vinegar made from vinegar and white sugar. Longjing Shrimp Meat(龙井虾仁) is another landmark-like dish, made from Longjing Tea and shrimp meat. Dongpo Pork(东坡肉) is a delicious dish in Hangzhou, made from pork.
Recommended Hangzhou snacks are Xiaolongbao(小笼包), Shallo Stuffed Pancake(Cong Bao Hui/葱包烩), Crisp Cake(酥油饼)，Pian Er Chuan(片儿川/local noodles), and etc.
(Above picture/ Qinghefang Street)
Recommended Food Street is Qing He Fang Street(清河坊). Qing He Fang Street is the most popular food street in Hangzhou, and it has a history of hundreds of years, with its stores rebuilt from old buildings. Tourists in Qing He Fang could eat various Hangzhou local food and snacks, and buy souvenirs and handicrafts.
(Above picture/Map of Hangzhou)
Hangzhou is a big city in Zhejiang province, close to Suzhou, Huangshan and Shanghai, and it is about 180 km from Shanghai, 150 km from Suzhou, and 300 km from Huangshan. Tourists could see Yuyuan Garden in Shanghai, Humble Administration Garden in Suzhou, and Mount Huangshan in Huangshan.
(Above picture/ Hangzhou transport)
Tourists and visitors entering Hangzhou through Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport are eligible for 144 hours visa free transit, as long as they have a connecting international flight to the third country. Tourists and visitors enjoying 144 hours visa free transit could stay 6 days in Zhejiang province(Hangzhou), Jiangsu province(Suzhou), and Shanghai.
Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport has lots of international flights, and tourists from many countries like America, and Canada, could take nonstop flights to Hangzhou. Hangzhou Airport also has domestic flights to most cities in China, which is very convenient. Except airport, Hangzhou has three railway stations available to tourists and visitors, Hangzhou Railway Station, Hangzhou East Railway Station and Hangzhou South Railway Station.