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Hangzhou

Situated in the southern end of the Grand Canal, Hangzhou, one of the seven ancient national capitals in China is endowed with time-honored history, breathtaking scenery and rich culture, which is reputed as the most beautiful and elegant city in the world.

Hangzhou is best-known for its West Lake which has been eulogized over the centuries in both songs and poems. Marco Polo once wrote, ‘indeed a voyage on this lake offers more refreshment and delectation than any other experience on earth’. In addition, some other attractions like Qiandao Lake and Lingyin Temple also entice tourists greatly. As a famous saying goes, “Above there is heaven, below there are Hangzhou and Suzhou.” With its unparalleled beauty, it appeals numerous travel addicts home and abroad to pay a visit annually.

Things To Do

Lost in the Charming Beauty of West Lake

It is said that the beauty of Hangzhou lies in the charming view of West Lake so West Lake is a must-see attraction for your Hangzhou travel. Nestled in the green hills on three sides, West Lake is a freshwater lake divided by causeway of Su Di, Yanggong Di, Bai Di. There are many temples, pagodas and gardens near the lake. Leifeng Pagoda is very famous for the folk legend Madam White Snake.

It was listed on the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 2011. The lake has different views in a day and four seasons, which forms the fabulous “Ten Views of West Lake”. It was defined as “influenced garden design in the rest of China as well as Japan and Korea over the centuries” by UNESCO.

Watch Impression West Lake

Impression West Lake is an attractive art show which performs every night. The adapted folk stories and myths are performed on the stage which is built 3 cm below the surface of the lake. Impression West Lake was directed by Zhang Yimo who uses the lake and surroundings as set and hundreds of performers to create sensational effects. Through watching the performance, the scene of Impression West Lake seems to take the audience to the ancient times.

Have a Taste of Hangzhou Cuisine

Hangzhou Cuisine is characterized by the fresh, sweet and tender flavor which is very suitable for foreign visitors. The famous dishes include Dongpo Rou (pork), beggar’s chicken and West Vinegar Lake. These dishes should be tasted for tourists to Hangzhou.

Drink Tea in Teahouses

Drinking tea in teahouses is a best way to kill time and have a rest after tiring Hangzhou trip. Hangzhou has the reputation of tea capital with best-know tea Xi Hu Long Jing. The teahouses usually locate by the lake or in the mountains. The most teahouses offer dim sum, fruit or dish for customers.

It is very enjoyable to order a pot of tea and waiting for the sunrise over mountains and lakesides in the early morning. But you should get up very early.

Best Time to Visit

The climate of Hangzhou is humid subtropical with four distinctive. And the annually temperature is about 16.5 °C. Hangzhou is a place which is suitable to be visited at any time in four seasons.

Spring is warm and slightly windy. It is pleasant to enjoy primroses and other beautiful flowers by wandering along the Su Di of West Lake. Dawn on the Su Causeway in Spring, one of Ten Views of West Lake, will provide you the most beautiful view. Spring is also the harvest time for tea farmers. They are very busy and feel tired but they greatly enjoy the happiest harvest.

Summer is hot and long but humid. Lotuses blossom from early June till late August or early September. Lotus in West Lake had enjoyed the reputation since Tang Dynasty. Yang Wanli, a poet in Song Dynastey, once wrote, “Lotus Leaves grow to the sky with endless green, lotus blossoms bathed in the sunlight appear especially red”. Carved Yard and Lotus Pool in Summer is the best site to enjoy the beauty of lotuses.

It is cool in autumn. The Osmanthuses blossom in October and the air is scented with the aroma of Osmanthuses. Qingtang River and bay are best known as the world’s largest tidal bore. The tidal bore attracts many tourists at home and abroad every year. Moon over the Peaceful Lake in Autumn, one of Ten Views of West Lake, is a spot with picturesque surroundings to view the full moon.

It is chilly in winter in Hangzhou. The trees and flowers wither but plum blossoms present their beauty in the cold weather. Winter provides the very totally different tranquil view. Remnant Snow on the Bridge in Winter is a very enchanting attraction in winter.

Hangzhou Attractions

As a prosperous tourist city, Hangzhou is gifted with abundant travel resource, such as the breathtaking West Lake, ancient Six Harmonies Pagoda, characteristic Meijiawu Tea Plantation, captivating Xitang water town, Ancient Village Wuzhen, sacred Lingyin Temple, enchanting Thousand Islets Lake, famous Mountain Putuo and the likes. No matter what your preference on attraction is, historical sites, scenic sites or cultural sites, Hangzhou has something for you.

Leifeng Pagoda
Lingyin Temple
Longjing Tea Village
Qiandao Lake
Song Dynasty Town
West Lake
Wuzhen Old Town

Hangzhou Tours

Affordable

9 Days Splendid China Tour (ASC09)

From$2,500$1,599
9 Days and 7 Nights
Best Choice for 1st time visitors to China, Visiting the most famous UNESCO Heritage Sites.
Affordable

15 Days Historical Capitals of China (EDCC14)

From$2,799$2,299
15 Days and 13 Nights
Visiting 6 Capitals in Chinese Culture back from QIN Dynasty. Beijing, Henan Province, Xi'an and Shanghai.
Affordable

12 Days Chinese Culture Educational Tour (EDCC11)

From$3,000$2,699
12 Days and 10 Nights
Learning Chinese Cultures along the trip, very popular during Spring and Summer. Customizable for Schools.

Hangzhou Culture

Hangzhou was once the capital of the Southern Song Dynasty (1127-1279). It enjoys the reputation of “paradise on earth”, “city of silk” and “capital of Chinese tea”. With its unique entertainment atmosphere and cultural connotation, Hangzhou is praised as the city of entertainment and high-quality living place in China.

Culture

Hangzhou was once the capital of the Southern Song Dynasty (1127-1279). It enjoys the reputation of “paradise on earth”, “city of silk” and “capital of Chinese tea”. With its unique entertainment atmosphere and cultural connotation, Hangzhou is praised as the city of entertainment and high-quality living place in China.

Hangzhou Dialect

Hangzhou native residents speak Wu dialect. With history of 2,200 years, it was the capital of Wu State during Five Dynasties and Ten Nations (907AD-979AD) and south Song Dynasty when a large number of northern people moved into Hangzhou. Thus, Wu dialect featured some elements of official language. Although Hangzhou’s dialect varies from regions, Mandarin is still the predominant spoken language.

Hangzhou Tea

Hangzhou is not only famous for the beauty of West Lake but also for Xi Hu Long Jing, a notable variety of green tea. Xi Hu Long Jing, grow on the mountains around West Lake, is regarded as the champion among all Chinese tea. Hangzhou had begun to produce Xi Hu Long Jing since Tang Dynasty.

Citizens in Hangzhou are fond of teahouses. Killing time and enjoying the beautiful scenery in teahouse are great delectation. According to investigation, there are over 700 teahouses which form several schools. Among teahouses displaying tea art is Taiji Teahouse where you can watch the process of making tea. Some cultural teahouses like Heji Teahouse are also the place to enjoy the traditional show and collect the antiques and other worthwhile stuffs.

Famous Legend about Hangzhou

A very famous story about Hangzhou is Tales of White Serpent. In Song Dynasty, a shepherd boy saved a snake. Hundreds of years later, this snake transformed into a beautiful lady Bai Suzhen and found the reincarnated shepherd boy Xu Xian. Bai Suzhen married Xu Xian, but the marriage was opposed by Fa Hai, a Buddhist monk who insisted on that human being should not unite with evil spirit. He then tried his best to imprison Bai Suzhen in Leifen Pagoda which stands on the south bank of West Lake.

Hangzhou Cuisine

Hangzhou local cuisine can represent Zhejiang provincial cuisine, one of eight famous culinary schools in China. Hangzhou local cuisine is characterized by “freshness, tenderness, softness and a mellow fragrance”. Some famous dishes like West Lake Vinegar Fish, Dongpo Meat, Beggar’s Chicken and Longjing Shrimp are best known among tourists.

Hangzhou Food

Besides the breathtaking landscape, Hangzhou is also home to diversified food. Such local specialties as West Lake Fish in Sweet and Sour Sauce, Shallot Stuffed Pancake, Shelled Shrimp with Dragon Well Tea, West Lake Water Shield Soup, Dongpo Pork and Jiaohua Chicken, are easily available in such local-famous restaurants like Louwailou Restaurant, Wang Run Xing Restaurant and Tianwaitian Restaurant.

Food

Besides the breathtaking landscape, Hangzhou is also home to diversified food. Such local specialties as West Lake Fish in Sweet and Sour Sauce, Shallot Stuffed Pancake, Shelled Shrimp with Dragon Well Tea, West Lake Water Shield Soup, Dongpo Pork and Jiaohua Chicken, are easily available in such local-famous restaurants like Louwailou Restaurant, Wang Run Xing Restaurant and Tianwaitian Restaurant.

What to Eat in Hangzhou

Longjing Prawns

The meat of live rive prawns are used to stir-fry with the Longjing tea. With light and fragrant flavor, Longjing prawn is a very famous and traditional dish in Hangzhou. It is said that this dish was created when Emperor Qian Long of Qing Dynasty visited south China. Louwailou is the famous restaurant to cook this dish.

Dongpo Pork

Dongpo Pork is another famous dish in Hangzhou. The half fat and lean pork meat are cut into lumps and then put into the soup with soy sauce, scallion, ginger and sugar. After being stewed in a sealed earthen pot, the mouthwatering dish could be served. It tastes oily but not greasy. According to legend, Dongpo Pork was created by Su Dongpo (1037AD-1101AD), a great poet in Song Dynasty.

West Lake Vinegar Fish

West Lake Vinegar Fish is very traditional delicacy in Hangzhou. Before cooking, the living fish from West Lake should be kept in hungry for one or two days, which can get rid of the smell of mud. After it is poached, the juice which is made from sugar and vinegar with other ingredients is poured.

Beggars’ Chicken

As its name suggested, Beggars’ Chicken was created by a Beggar. The beggar was very hungry and stole a chicken but didn’t have a pot to cook it so that he wrapped the chicken with mud and roasted in bonfire. The cooked chicken tasted very delicious and fragrant. The now Beggars’ Chicken is wrapped with dough and added other ingredients.

Steamed Bun with shrimp stuffing

The flour skin of steamed bun is mixed with eggs and filled with chopped shrimp. It is a kind of dim sum or snack item. When it was served, the steamed bun usually is dipped in vinegar with pepper and ginger slivers.

Where to Eat in Hangzhou

Hangzhou Food Streets

He Fang Street

It is a food street located at the foot of Wu Mountain. The buildings on the both sides of street feature styles of Ming and Qing dynasties. There are some time-honored restaurants and shops which show you the cultures of food, tea and Chinese medicines. Here visitors can eat very authentic Hangzhou snacks and signature dishes. Some restaurants provide medicated food which is good for your health.

Address: Wu Mountain Square, Shangcheng District

How to get to: Bus No. 308, 301, 198, 87, 59, 13, 71, 208, 280, 404, 834, 808, 801 to Gulou Stop.

Da Dou Street

With length of 780 meters, Da Dou Street was opened in September of 2010. Here you can enjoy the very traditional residential houses with patios and courtyards. Here collects many middle and high-end restaurants some of which cater for business banquets. You will feel enjoyable and relaxed to wander along Grand Canal or visit Xiangji Temple after dining.

Address: The east bank of Grand Canal from Daguan Bridge to Jiangzhang Bridge, Gongshu District

How to get to: Bus No.36, 76, 151, 251, 516, 816

Gao Yin Xiang Street

It is beside He Fang Street and houses many restaurants with yummy food or snacks. During dining time, the narrow street are fully parked in. Visitors had not better there during dining time because you have to wait for your meal for a long time.

Address: Not far away from He Fang Street

How to get to: Bus No.8, 216, 195, 60, 208 to Gao Yin Xiang East Entrance.

Baojiao Food Street

This food street is located at the north side of West Lake and is important entrance to the scenic area of West Lake. With good position, Baojiao Food Street houses many featured restaurants which serve many signature dishes.

Address: Near the cross road of Shu Guang Road and Ti Yu Chang Road

How to get to: Bus No. 807, 830, 66, 92, 228, 282, 841, 6, 11, 17, 25, 36, 221

Hangzhou Restaurants

Zhuangyuan Restaurant

Description: Zhuangyuan Restaurant is a time-honored restaurant with history of 100 years. It provides Sichuan, Ningbo and Hangzhou cuisines and foods with flavors of other places. Signature Dish: Fish and Crab Spawn Noodle

Address: No.85, He Fang Street

How to get to: Bus No. 8/K8, 60/K60, K195, K216

The Grandma’s

Description: With history of over 150 years, The Grandma’s is a restaurant locating at the southern food of Gu Hill. It is world famous for “eating palatable cuisines or sum dim with beautiful scenery”.

Address: No.30, Gushan Road, West Lake District

How to get to: Bus No.K850, K27, K7, Y2 to Duan Bridge.

Kui Yuan Restaurant

Description: It was built in the sixth year during reign of Emperor Tongzhi of Qing Dynasty. It is famous for its various kinds of noodles

Address: No.154 of Jiefang Road or No.348 of Wenhui Road

How to get to: Bus No. K55, K195, K106, 801, 846, 38, K56, K105, 809, 49, 308, 814, 501, K515, 520, 335, K591, J14

Zhiweiguan Restaurant

Description: A time-honored restaurant provides the traditional and delicious dim sum and Great Eight Cuisines in the charge of famous chefs.

Address: No. 71 to 73, Gao Yin Street

How to get to: Bus No. 8, 60, 846

Hangzhou Shopping

Hangzhou is also a great getaway for fantastic shopping. Such local specialties as Hangzhou Silk, Dragon Well (Longjing) Tea, Hangzhou Embroidery, Hangzhou Chrysanthemum and Wangxingji Paper Fan are all what you can not miss along your Hangzhou travel. These specialties are available in such local-famous Qinghefang Street, Silk Market, Wulin Street and Yan An Road.

Shopping

Hangzhou is also a great getaway for fantastic shopping. Such local specialties as Hangzhou Silk, Dragon Well (Longjing) Tea, Hangzhou Embroidery, Hangzhou Chrysanthemum and Wangxingji Paper Fan are all what you can not miss along your Hangzhou travel. These specialties are available in such local-famous Qinghefang Street, Silk Market, Wulin Street and Yan An Road.

What to Buy in Hangzhou

Hangzhou Silk

Hangzhou silk is world-renowned, which is known for its beautiful patterns, elegant colors, diversified stitches, fine craftsmanship and soft hand-feel. Silk products like umbrellas, landscape paintings and Chinese hand-held folding fans are highly favored by travelers domestic and abroad.

Best Places to Buy Hangzhou Silk Road

Hangzhou China Silk Town
Address: No.217, Xinhua Road
Telephone: 0571-85100192, 0571-85193476
How to get to: Bus No.30 to Xinhua Lukou

Hangzhou Longjing Tea

Tea is an important part of Hangzhou’s culture. Hangzhou is best known for originating Longjing tea, a notable variety of green tea, which is well-reviewed among people domestic and foreign.

Best Places to Buy Hangzhou Longjing Tea

Longjing Tea Village
Address: Located at the southwest of West Lake and enclosed by mountains
How to Get to: Bus No.27 to Longjing Stop

Hangzhou Chrysanthemum Tea

Hangzhou Chrysanthemum can be used as a kind of herb tea. Hangzhou chrysanthemum tea has functions of improving eyesight and lowering blood pressure. Hangzhou chrysanthemum is very traditional medical plant in China. As one of great 4 chrysanthemums in China, Hangzhou chrysanthemum was used as a tribute in the ancient China. It is as famous as Longjing tea in Hangzhou.
Hangzhou Chrysanthemum tea can be bought in the most tea shops and supermarkets in Hangzhou.

Hangzhou Embroidery

Hangzhou embroidery originated from Han Dynasty (203BC-220AD) and prevailed in Song Dynasty (960AD – 1279AD). In the ancient times, Hangzhou embroidery was divided into “Court” and “Folk”. The court embroidery was made for royal court. The folk embroidery with folk patterns like bats, deer or cranes was used to make bedcovers and folding screens.
Hangzhou embroidery is very elegant artwork with such vivid patterns as view of Wes Lake, peony, dragon, peacock, etc.

Where to Buy in Hangzhou

Shopping Streets

Southern Song Imperial Street
With length of 4185 meters, Southern Song Imperial Street is a very ancient street built in Song Dynasty. Here you can not only buy local souvenirs and local products but also appreciate the old style buildings.
Address: Stretching from North Gate of Huangcheng in south to Fengqi Road, across Chaotian Gate, Middle Zhongshan Road, North Zhongshan Road and Guanqiao Bridge.
How to get to: Bus No.25, 35, 187, 212, 404, K25, K327, K35, K850, Y8 to Yushan Stop.

Xinhua Featured Silk Street

Xinhua Featured Silk Street is located at the center of Hangzhou City. With length 1,150 meters, this silk street is a big market to buy the high-qualified silk in Hangzhou.
Address: Xinhua Road
How to get to: Bus No.8, 11, 28

Meijiawu Village

Meijiawu Village is located to the west of West Lake. It is the place which produces Longjing tea and learns the knowledge about Chinese teas. Here you can pick up best Longjing tea.
How to get to: Bus tourist line 4 or 5 to Meijiawu Stop

Hefang Street

Here visitors can experience the civil culture of late Qing Dynasty. Hefang Street reflects the historical features of Hangzhou. There are over 100 shops and some of them are time-honored. Here you can buy the local products and crafts such as Hangzhou fans, brocades, embroideries.
Address: No.1, Wushan Square
How to get to: Bus No. 8, K8, 35, K35, 38, 40, K40, K284, 814, 818, 59, K59, K402, 60, K60, 814, K814

Shopping Malls, Supermarket & Department Stores

Hangzhou Department Store
Address: No. 546, Jiefang Road
Telephone: 0571-85177868

MIXC

Address: No.701, Fuchun Road
Telephone: 0571-86882233

Intime Department Store

Address: No.18, West Lake Culture Square, Xiacheng District
Telephone: 88987688

Hangzhou Mansion Department Store

Address: No.1 Wulin Square, Hangzhou
Telephone: 0571-85153911

Wal-Mart

Address: No. 588, Gudunlu Road, West Lake District
Telephone: 0571-88858666

Carrefour

Address: No.135, Yanan Road, Shangcheng District
Telephone: 0571-87770120

METRO

Address: No.355, East Genshan Road, Jianggan District
Telephone: 0571-81136910

Auchan Supermarket

Address: No.213, Daguan Road
Telephone: 0571-88296874

Hangzhou Maps