Hangzhou is the capital and largest city of Zhejiang Province, situated about 170 km south of Shanghai.

As one of China’s seven ancient capitals, Hangzhou was the seat of power for Southern Song Dynasty from 1127 to 1276. Hangzhou was described by Marco Polo as “the finest and most splendid city in the world.

Hangzhou is now a thriving economic and e-commerce hub, second only to Shanghai in the Yangtze Delta region. Despite its modern developments, Hangzhou retains its rich cultural heritage and natural beauty, making it the perfect blend of history and modernity, nature and culture, attracting visitors from all over the world.

When in Hangzhou, be sure to visit West Lake, its most iconic attraction. The West Lake is renowned for its blend of natural beauty and historical and cultural significance, and in 2021, it was recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Close to West Lake lies the historic Lingyin Temple, a true sanctuary that lives up to its name, meaning “heart of the soul’s retreat.” With forested hills surrounding it on three sides, Lingyin Temple provides a peaceful refuge.

Additionally, nearby you’ll find the Feilai Feng, a collection of Buddhist statues and niches carved into cliffs dating back to the 10th century.

Located 3 km southwest of West Lake stands the Six Harmonies Pagoda, a towering landmark with a rich history spanning over 1000 years. When you climb to the top of the pagoda, you’ll be rewarded with a breathtaking view of the Qiantang River and Hangzhou City.

Located just a short distance from West Lake, Hefang Old Street is a microcosm of the city’s rich history. Here are some famous century-old shops and historic buildings such as the Former Residence of Hu Xueyan, Huqingyutang Pharmacy, Baohetang Pharmacy, Wangxingji Fan Store, and Zhangxiaoquan Scissors. Hefang Street is a good choice for spending one day in Hangzhou.

Hangzhou is famous for its Longjing green tea and 10 km away from the bustling city center is the 600-year-old Meijiawu village, a prime production base for Longjing green tea in China. It’s a delightful escape from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Tian Mu Shan National Park, located 60 kilometers from Hangzhou and accessible by bus in just 2 hours, promises a breathtaking experience surrounded by its lush subtropical vegetation, serene bamboo forests, and ancient Ginko trees over a thousand years old.

Another option for those seeking a fabulous summer destination is the misty and wooded Moganshan Mountains, located close to Hangzhou.

Useful Information

Area: 16,853 km²
Average annual temperature: 18°C
Geography: Located in east China
Population: 12,204,000 habs. (2021)
Altitude: 19 m
Economy: electromechanical industries, tea, tourism and textile, Alibaba Group e-commerce, etc.

Map of Zhejiang Province China

Image source: cielchine.com

How to get to Hangzhou?

By plane
Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport, situated 30 km from the center of Hangzhou, is one of the ten busiest airports in China. It offers domestic flights to major cities in China, including Beijing, Shenzhen, Xi’an, Chengdu, Guilin, Xiamen, Taipei, Hong Kong, Macau, and more. Additionally, the airport provides international connections, mainly to destinations in Europe and South Asia, such as San Francisco, Vancouver, Sydney, Amsterdam, Singapore, and Tokyo.

By train
Traveling to Hangzhou by high-speed train is also a convenient option from various domestic cities, including Shanghai, Beijing, Suzhou, Nanjing, Xi’an, Xiamen, Chengdu, Chongqing, and more. As Shanghai is very close to Hangzhou, there are no flights between the two cities, but numerous high-speed trains are available, with a travel time of about 2 hours. You can buy the ticket on Trip.com, and you can also contact us if you need help.

Best time to visit Hangzhou

The best time to visit Hangzhou are during the Spring (March and April) and Autumn (September and October). Hangzhou has a humid subtropical climate that experiences four distinct seasons. In terms of temperature, rainfall, and comfort, the most enjoyable seasons to visit are Spring and Autumn, as they are warm and comfortable. However, during May and June, typhoon season brings heavy rainfall.

Being the capital city of Zhejiang Province, Hangzhou cuisine is an essential branch of Zhejiang cuisine. Hangzhou cuisine is known for its delicate and fresh dishes, which preserve their natural taste and flavor by avoiding strong spices.

Famous local specialties cuisine:

West Lake Fish in Vinegar: The grass carp is steamed with ginger and then topped with a flavorful sauce made from a mixture of black vinegar, brown sugar, soy sauce, corn flour, water, and stock.

Dongpo Pork: Braised Pork Belly: Made from half fatty and half lean pork belly meat, slow-cooked in a generous amount of Shaoxing rice wine.

Beggar’s Chicken: A traditional dish in which a chicken is tightly encased in lotus leaves and then sealed in clay before being baked in a special oven or over an open flame.

Longjing Shrimp: Large live shrimps are marinated in a mixture of egg whites, cornstarch, and rice wine before being cooked with steep Longjing tea leaves.

Sister Song’s Fish Broth: This traditional dish comprises fish, mushrooms, chicken broth, pepper, ginger, wine, ham, and vinegar. Its flavor was reminiscent of crab.

Hangzhou Soy-sauce Duck: The duck meat was prepared by marinating it, and then it was coated with a soy sauce and steamed or roasted. It has a savory taste and a touch of sweetness.

Stewed Fish Head with Tofu: The fish head was first pan-fried briefly, then simmered with tofu, bamboo shoots, mushrooms, bean curd, and garlic sprouts. It’s a warm and satisfying choice during the winter season.

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