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Hangzhou, capital of Zhejiang Province in East China, is one of the more modern and prosperous cities in China, about 100 kilometers (60 miles) southwest of Shanghai. It sits at the southern end of the Grand Canal and is one of China's seven ancient national capitals.

When Marco Polo came to Hangzhou in the 13th century, he declared it to be “the most beautiful and elegant city in the world". There is a popular saying: "Above there is heaven, below there are Hangzhou and Suzhou." Hangzhou's "heavenly" beauty attracts hundreds of thousands of tourists to its exquisite West Lake (Xi Hu) area each year to enjoy the placid lake, beautiful gardens, reflecting pools, lavish temples and lakeside teahouses.

Hangzhou began to prosper and flourish in the Tang Dynasty (618-907). It was the capital of the Wu and Yue States in the 10th Century during the Five Dynasties Period, and had its political heyday in the Southern Song Dynasty (1127-1279), when it served as the capital of China. Hangzhou witnessed a commercial boom in the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) Dynasties, which is continuing at present.  

There are many well-known historical and cultural sites in the areas around West Lake. Examples are the Lingyin Temple and Six Harmonies Pagoda. Hangzhou is also well known for its silk and tea. A trip to Hangzhou can be easily combined with a visit to a tea plantation in the hills near the West Lake.

Tips: The most famous product of Hangzhou is tea, and you have the chance to enter a tea plantation, see its manufacture, and even pick the tender tea leaves in April or May. After the plantation tour, the girls will show you the Chinese way to make and drink tea. Usually it is quite strong, so if you are not used to tea in your daily life we suggest a little taste at first. Previously clients have been known to experience discomfort from drinking too much.

Tips & articles

2011-05-23
The Yuhang Liangzhu Culture Museum is built in the suburb of Hangzhou, near the "Liangzhu Culure" site. Being praised as the "dawn of civilization" of mankind, the "Liangzhu Culture" is an important ancient culture at the lower reaches of the Yangtze River in ...Read More
2011-05-23
Yue Fei's Tomb is situated at the southern foot of Qixia Hill. This tomb was built to commemorate Yu Fei. In 1961, the State Council declared it as a major national protected monument. General Yue Fei (1103-1142) was a national hero of the Southern Song ...Read More
2011-05-23
Hangzhou Traditional Chinese Medicine Museum is commonly known as the Hu Qing Yu Tang Museum of Traditional Chinese Medicines. It is located at the foot of Wushan Mountian in Hangzhou. Built on the foundation of a group of old pharmaceutical Factory, the ...Read More

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by Antje 2011-05-23
China National Tea Museum occupies 3.7 hectares and 8,000 square meters construction area. The themes of it are about tea and its culture. It was opened to the public in April, 1991. The museum lies with the green hills at its back and tea plantations in front. Inside the museum, the flower corridors, trees, rockeries, ponds and water-side pavilions are well ...
by Pindari 2011-05-23
Hangzhou Southern Song Imperial Kiln Museum (aka Hangzhou Southern Song Dynasty Guan Kiln Museum) is located in the western piedmont of Tortoise Hill, the south edge of West Lake Scenic Area. With the tasteful display, substantial content and quiet and beautiful environment, it is the first special theme museum on ceramics in China. The Southern Song Guan ...
by Namrata 2011-05-23
Dragon Well (Long jing) is located on the Fenghuang Hill to the west of Xihu (West Lake), one of the good attractions for your Hangzhou tour. It is actually a spring and known as one of the three most famous springs of Hangzhou (the other two are Jade Spring and Tiger Running Spring). This well was found in the Three Kingdoms' Period (221-280 A.D.), and from ...