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'.
West Lake (Xi Hu)
Pictures 'Sunny water waves its glow, Misty rain tricks the hill. Plainly or gaily decked out like Xi Zi, West Lake is always alluring.'
These are the words composed by the famous Song Dynasty poet Su Dongpo (960-1127). In this poem, he compared the West Lake to Xi Zi, one of the four beauties in ancient China. These poetic sentiments depict the charm of the lake which has always been a beautiful and romantic spot since ancient times.
Measuring 3.2 kilometers (2 miles) in length, 2.8 kilometers (1.7 miles) in width, and 2.3 meters (7.5 feet) in average depth, the lake spreads itself in an area totaling 6.5 square kilometers (2.5 square miles). Embraced by mountains on three sides, the West Lake knits itself into the North Inner Lake, the Yuehu Lake, the West Inner Lake, the South Lake and the West Outer Lake by the fabric of the Bai Causeway, the Su Causeway and the Yang Causeway. Between the North Inner Lake and the West Outer Lake lies the largest natural island called the Solitary Hill. In addition, three man-made islands stand in the West Outer Lake: the Lesser Paradise Island, the Mid-lake Pavilion, and the Ruangong Islet; and two famous pagodas by the lake: the Leifeng Pagoda to the south and the Baochu Pagoda to the north. Nowadays, West Lake is one of the top ten scenic areas in China, getting listed as a World Cultural Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2011. It is famous for the romantic legends and intoxicating scenery.
Of all the legends, the most touching one is the love story between Bai Suzhen and Xu Xi'an. Bai Suzhen was a white snake spirit and Xu Xi'an was a mortal man. They fell in love with each other when they first met on a boat on the West Lake, and got married very soon. But the evil monk Fa Hai attempted to separate the couple by imprisoning Xu Xi'an. Bai Suzhen fought against Fa Hai and tried her best to rescue his husband. But she failed and was imprisoned under the Leifeng Pagoda by the lake. Years later the couple was rescued by Xiao Qing, the sister of Baisuzhen. From then on, Bai Suzhen and Xu Xi'an lived together happily. Because of the moving story, the lake becomes an ideal place for dating.
Wuzhen Water Town
Wuzhen Water Town, lying in the northern part of Tongxiang City, Zhejiang Province, is a typical ancient town in southern China. It is about 80 kilometers (50 miles) from both Hangzhou and Suzhou, and 140 kilometers (87 miles) from Shanghai.
As one of the top six ancient towns in the southern region of the Yangtze River, Wuzhen Water Town boasts more than six thousand years of history and has always been a fertile land with abundant rice, fish and silk. It preserves the ancient appearance well and oozes charm of the water town itself. The small town, with houses made of black bricks and gray tiles contrasting sharply with the white walls, making it appear like a Chinese ink wash drawing. Stone bridges are seen here and there. Small boats with black awnings are floating on the murmuring rivers. Whether wandering along the riverside or strolling in the lanes paved with blue flagstones, you will be deeply impressed by the picturesque scenery and slow lifestyle.
A crisscrossing river divides the whole Wuzhen Water Town into four scenic sections, which are respectively called as Dongzha, Nanzha, Xizha, and Beizha by local people. Since Nanzha and Beizha are less developed, tourists often prefer to visit Dongzha and Xizha. Dongzha maintains the basic original layout while Xizha has been reconstructed to reproduce the ancient appearance of the water town. Compared with Dongzha, Xizha is more bustling with numerous shops.
Thousand Islets Lake (Qiandao Lake)
Did you ever want to escape from the bustling metropolis? Come to Thousand Islets Lake and experience something special.
With 81% of the area covered in forests, Thousand Islets Lake (Qiandao Lake) is a pure lake with clean, fresh air. It is a young lake formed in 1959 as a result of the construction of New Anjiang Hydroelectric Power Station. It is a beautiful lake with 1,078 islets showing different views in different seasons. It is a rich lake abounding with fish and surrounded by trees, tea, mulberry (the food of the silkworm) and other fruit trees. Qiandao Lake is also a delightful lake with many activities including enjoying the natural scenery and local culture, observing wild animals and taking part in many exciting activities.
Thousand Islets Lake lies in Chun'an County, about 150 km (93 miles) west of Hangzhou City and is 140 km (87 miles) southeast of Mt. Huangshan. It is a resplendent pearl in the classical golden route of Hangzhou-Thousand Islets Lake-Mt. Huangshan and has become popular all over the world.
Qiandao Lake is noted for its verdurous mountains, crystal clear water, exotic caves and strange stones. Nongfu (farmer) Spring Water, a famous mineral water brand, takes water from this lake. The Thousand Islets Lake scenic area can be divided into six sections on the basis of geographical location. They are: Southeast Lake District (the first to be developed), Central Lake District (combining several spots that should not be missed), Southwest Lake District, Northeast Lake District, Northwest Lake District and Fuxi Stone Forest (the first stone forest in East China), each possessing their own unique and striking landscapes.
Thousand Islets Lake is currently the largest forest park in China. It has been awarded many titles and received favorable comments from tourists both at home and abroad. So, why not come and see for yourself!