Hangzhou (map) is in *Zhejiang Province, China. It is one of the most important tourist cities in China, famous for its natural beauty and historical and cultural heritage.
” 上有天堂，下有苏杭 ” – Heaven has paradise, Earth has Suzhou and Hangzhou. (Chinese proverb). Famed for its natural scenery, Hangzhou and its West Lake (西湖, map) have been immortalized by countless poets and artists.
Even Marco Polo claimed to have passed through, calling it beyond dispute the finest and the noblest in the world. The West Lake Cultural Landscape has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site since 2011.
West Lake (map) The east side of the lake is easily accessed by Metro – Longxiangqiao station (line 1) or Fengqilu station (lines 1,2). Hangzhou’s most famous scenic sight.
It is traditional to see the 10 Scenes of the West Lake and 10 New Scenes, and thousands of the visitors dutifully do so every year. However, these particular sites are overrated, and often seasonal (Snowfall Over Broken Bridge, etc.).
Rather than make a checklist and walking back and forth looking for them, simply spend a clear day wandering the circumference of the lake and the causeways, take a ferry to the islands, and you will probably cover most of the sites anyway. The lake is quite large – the walk around it is about 12km long.
Wushan Square (吴山广场, map). Wushan Square and Wushan Hill are major town centres in Hangzhou. This area also features easy access to Hefang Jie shopping street at the base of the hill, full of small pedestrian streets and shopping stalls. It is also extremely close to the West Lake.
Zhejiang Museum (浙江省博物馆, map). On the north side of West Lake Scenic Area. The largest comprehensive museum in Zhejiang province. Contains many rarely-seen treasures from Zhejiang, especially the celadon porcelains. It shows the elite culture of traditional China in Jiangnan region.
Dreaming of the Tiger Spring (虎跑梦泉, map). A spring as well as a scenic and historic destination. The area includes wooded pathways, streams, bamboo groves, tea houses, historic structures, as well as the spring itself and other sights.
Hangzhou is one of the premier places to eat in China, and its local cuisine features dishes that consist more of pork and seafood rather than beef and lamb, as those are typically found in the north and west regions of China.
Shanghai — About an hour away by train. Suzhou — Around two hours away by bus (or train). Buses leave several times per hour from the bus station at northeast of city.