Hangzhou is the capital of Zhejiang Province and the local political, economic and cultural center. As the southern terminus of the Grand Canal, the city is located on the lower reaches of the Qiantang River in southeast China, a superior position in the Yangtze Delta and only 112 mi (180 km) from Shanghai.
The subtropical monsoon climate contributes to varied seasonal sceneries, making Hangzhou one of China's most popular travel destinations all the year round.
The West Lake is undoubtedly the most renowned landmark, noted for the scenic beauty that blends naturally with many famous historical and cultural sites. The "Ten West Lake Prospects" selected from the most frequently visited attractions around the lake give travelers a panoramic view of the city’s highlights. Take a stroll along the causeway by the lake; you’ll feel the peaceful ethos of the city and better understand its time-honored fame as 'Heaven on Earth'.
Hangzhou has direct and frequent flights with major cities in China and also some international destinations, including Paris, Tokyo, Seoul, Singapore, and Bangkok. It is within the fast transport network of east China, and enjoys convenient high-speed rail and highway connection with popular tourist cities in this area, like Shanghai, Suzhou and Nanjing.
Fast facts and practical tips listed in this section will sure facilitate your travel, business, study or life in the city.
One of the most important parts of traveling is tasting the delicacies. The local dishes are noted for their elaborate preparation, sophisticated cooking and refreshing taste. Many local specialties will be sure to make your visit an exciting experience. It is recommended to try the Beggar's Chicken (a chicken baked in clay), West Lake Fish in Sweet Sour Source (vinegar coated fish fresh caught from the lake), Dongpo Pork (braised pork) and Fried Shrimps with Longjing Tea.
Shopping in the city is convenient. Visitors like to go to Hefang Street. It is one of the most famous and historic streets in the city and reflects the features of the Southern Song Dynasty (1127-1279). Shoppers can admire the antique buildings while purchasing items from a wide range of local goods such as silk, brocade, tea or maybe a beautiful fan.
At night, the city has much to offer. Teahouses and various kinds of bars are both popular. Choosing one overlooking the West Lake for a pleasant chat over a cup of tea is sure to make you feel totally relaxed and refreshed.