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Hangzhou is the capital of Zhejiang province and its political, economic and cultural center. With its famous natural beauty and cultural heritages, Hangzhou is one of China's most important tourist venues.
The City, the southern terminus of the Grand Canal, is located on the lower reaches of the Qiantang River in southeast China, a superior position in the Yangtze Delta and only 180 kilometers from Shanghai. Hangzhou has a subtropical monsoon type climate with four quite distinct seasons. However, it is neither too hot in summer nor too cold in winter making it a year round destination.
The West Lake is undoubtedly the most renowned feature of Hangzhou, noted for the scenic beauty that blends naturally with many famous historical and cultural sites. In this scenic area, Solitary Hill, the Mausoleum of General Yue Fei, the Six Harmonies Pagoda and the Ling Yin Temple are probably the most frequently visited attractions. The "Ten West Lake Prospects" have been specially selected to give the visitor outstanding views of the lake, mountains and monuments.

West Lake
West Lake is symbol of Hangzhou as well as one of the most beautiful sights in China. It consists of Outer Lake, North inner lake, Yuehu Lake, West Inner Lake and Lesser South Lake. With an area of 6 square kilometers and a circumference of 15km, West Lake is surrounded on three sides by undulating hills including Wu Hill, Phoenix Hill, Ziyang Hill, Baoahu Hill and Yuhuang Hill. According to the scientific explanation, the site of modern Hangzhou used to be an expanse of sea and the West Lake was no more than a small bay just near the river mouth. Later, sediment gradually blocked the mouth of the bay to form a lagoon. The beauty of the West Lake lies in the lingering charm that survives the change of season in a year, of hours in a day, and of different weathers. In order to display the most beautiful aspects of the West Lake, there are top ten sights selected by local people as the most beautiful, which include the Melting Snow at Broken Bridge, The Three Pools Mirroring the Moon, The Autumn Moon on Calm Lake, Nanping Bell at Dusk, etc.

The Three Pools Mirroring the Moon
The Three Pools Mirroring the Moon is one of the Ten Scenes of the West Lake. There are three stone pagodas protruding from the surface of the lake. They were first built 800 years ago on the bank of the lake. Each is 2 meters in height and spherical in shape. Holes have been bored into each pagoda and sealed with thin paper, so that when lanterns placed in these holes are lit, their light mingles with the moonlight and the reflections on the water to conjure up the most charming and beautiful scenes and sights.

The Autumn Moon on Calm Lake
As one of the Ten Scenes of the West Lake, the Autumn Moon on Calm Lake is located at the western end of the Bai Causeway. Surrounded by water on its three sides and against the Solitary Hill on its back, this site is one of the traditional places to view the West Lake, especially on an autumn night when the moon is full. This spot covers 6,000 square meters. Originally, a pavilion was built here during the Tang Dynasty. In 1699 during the reign of Emperor Kangxi in the Qing Dynasty, it was rebuilt and since then the scenery was recorded in the historical book.

Bai Causeway
The Bai Causeway is a memorial to Bai Juyi who was the great poet in the Tang Dynasty (618-907A.D). He once supervised over some constructions of the West Lake (Bai Causeway included) after serving as the local governor of Hangzhou from 822 to 824A.D. The Bai Causeway is a 0.62 mile long embankment with plum trees and weeping willows planted on both sides, which makes it especially nice scenery in the spring.

Broken Bridge
The Broken Bridge lies at the eastern end of the White Causeway. According to the historical records in the Ming Dynasty, the place was so named because the White Causeway from the Solitary Hill was cut off here. Another explanation is that winter snow melts first on the hump of the bridge, creating the illusion of a gap.

The Xiling Seal Engraver's Society
The Xiling Seal Engraver's Society is located on the Solitary Hill by West Lake. It's a famous academic group of epigraphy and seal cutting study in China. It was first established in 1904 and became a formal organization in 1913, with Wu Changshuo, the famous painter being the first director. Today this tiny park encloses a pavilion, carved stone tablets, shrubbery, and nearby a Buddhist stupa. There exhibits a "Stele for the Anniversary of the Death of Three Elders in Translation" which can date back to the Eastern Han Dynasty, and was viewed as a treasure by archaeologists both at home and abroad. Strolling here in the summer time, you can often see the engravers at work.

The Crane Pavilion
Standing on the northern slope of Solitary Hill by the West Lake, the Crane Pavilion stands in memory of Lin Hejing (967-1028A.D), a poet from the Northern Song Dynasty. He lived as a recluse on the hill with a crane as a companion after he refused to serve the imperial court. It is said that the poet planted 365 plum trees on the hill, and each day sold the seeds from one tree to make a living. The pavilion was first built in the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368A.D), and later was reconstructed in 1915.

The Six Harmonies Pagoda
Located on the north bank of the Qiantang River to the south of the city, the Six Harmonies Pagoda was first built in the year of 970A.D, with a purpose of keeping down the Qiantang River's tide. It was destroyed during a war and was rebuilt in 1152A.D. The present pagoda is a pavilion-style structure of brick and timber, with 8 facets and 7 stories and stands 59.89 meters in height. Ascending to the top of the pagoda and looking down, you will have a panoramic view of the beauty of the Qiantang River, feeling as if "standing above the highest level of the sky".

The Baoshu Pagoda
Located on the Baoshu Hill, the Baoshu Pagoda was first built by a minister of the Wuyue Kingdom in the period of the Northern Song Dynasty to protect Qian Chu, the last ruler of the Wuyue Kingdom, so that he could return safely from a trip north. This pagoda was ruined and rebuilt many times later. The present one was built in 1933 according to the design of the Ming Dynasty. It is a seven storied solid hexagonal pagoda with a height of 45.3 meters. The body of the pagoda looks straight and slight, which makes it look like a fair lady over viewing the West Lake. It is one of the symbols of the West Lake.

Lingyin Temple (Soul's Retreat Temple)
The temple was built in the year of 326 AD when an Indian monk named Huili arrived at the FeilI Peak (Peak Flown From Afar) and found that the Peak was so outstanding and beautiful that he thought it was a retreat of supernatural beings. So he built the temple and gave it the name of Lingyin (Soul's Retreat). The Lingyin Temple is nestled in the woods across from a rocky formation in the hills with over 300 rock carvings dated back between the 10th and 14th centuries. It is the most influential temple in South China, and is regarded as one of the 10 famous Buddhist temples in China. The gilded Sakyamuni statue in the Chamber of Sakyamuni Buddha is 24.8 meters high, and is the biggest wooden sitting Buddha in China. The present main building dated from the Qing Dynasty, but many parts were restored in 1956 and after the Cultural Revolution. The temple saw the peak in the Qing Dynasty when tens of thousands of pilgrims came here to do service every day. It is still very crowded today especially in the festivals.

Carved Stone Statues on Feilai Peak (Peak Flown From Afar)
The Carved Stone Statues are located on the Peak Flown From Afar in front of the Lingyin Temple .There are 388 ancient statues in total, from the period of Five Dynasties to Song and Yuan Dynasties. They represent the highest level of stone carving grottoes in South of China. Now making use of the woods in the Peak Flown From Afar, the park has collected and condensed famous grotto classics of China.

The Jingci Temple
Located at the foot of the Nanping Huiri Peak, the Jingci Temple (Temple of Pure Mercy) was built in 954A.D in the period of Five Dynasties to accommodate Monk Yongming, one of the greatest monks in Chinese history. The temple was first named "Huiri Yongming Temple" and was renamed Jingci Temple in the Southern Song Dynasty, known as the "Four Temples of the West Lake" along with the Lingyin Temple, Zhaoqing Temple and Duiyin Temple. The "Wood-Carrying Well" is a special attraction of the temple. There is a large piece of wood floating on the surface of the water in the well. It was allegedly left by Master Monk Ji when he used his superhuman power to carry wood through the well to build the temple. Another famous attraction of the temple is the Nanping Bell at Dusk. Because of the bell's resonant sound and the numerous hollow caves of the Nanping Hill behind the temple, when the bell rings at dusk, the sound reverberates in the valley and can be heard in Hangzhou, hence the attraction of "Nanping Bell at Dusk". Today the Nanping Bell, with a weight of 10 tons and a height of 3 meters, was cast in December 1986. It echoes with the Leifeng Pagoda in a distance, the pagoda silhouette and the ringing of the bell constitute the most charming evening scenes of the Ten Scenes of the West Lake.

Yue Fei Temple
Located on the bank of the Yue Lake northwest of the West Lake, the Yue Fei Temple was first built in 1221AD, and consists of the Loyalty Enlightenment Hall and the Yue Fei Tomb. It was built to honor the Song general, Yue Fei (1103-1142), who led an army north against the Jin invaders when Hangzhou was the capital of the Southern Song Dynasty. Despite his success, a jealous courtier, Qin Hui, convinced the emperor to withdraw his troops. He was then framed, arrested and killed on the charge of some "probable" crimes. Twenty years later Yue Fei's reputation was restored due to the pressures of public opinion, and he was buried with due ceremony. For generations, he has been considered as a national hero and his tomb has become a place for people to show their respects.

Su Dongpo Memorial Hall
Su Dongpo was one of the most distinguished poets in Chinese history. He served as the governor in Hangzhou for a period in Song Dynasty. Located at the south end of Su causeway by the West Lake, the memorial hall was constructed in recent years to show Su's great achievement in literature as well as his devotion to Hangzhou. It makes a nice garden to stroll and relax.

The China Silk Museum
The China Silk Museum is a specialized state museum, exhibiting the history, culture, relics and products of silk. The museum is mainly divided into five sections: the halls of introduction; silkworm & silk processing; silk weaving; dying & printing and general service. Besides there are interesting displays of the silk production process, an operation performance and a fashion show. Tourists have the opportunity to make silk souvenirs for themselves.

The China Tea Museum
The China Tea Museum is a specialized state museum, exhibiting the invention, civilization and culture of tea in China. It's located at West Lake Dragon Well tea village. The museum is divided into three sections: the exhibition building; tea demonstration area and a hall for academic exchanges.

Southern Song Official Kiln Museum
As the best out of the five kinds of porcelain in the Southern Song (1127-1279 A.D), the Official Porcelain has left an amazing mark in the development of Chinese porcelain. Built on the ruins of the original official kiln, the Southern Song Official Kiln Museum puts on a comprehensive display of porcelain, with the Southern Song Official Porcelain as its subject, and the porcelain kiln ruins and unearthed relics as its major items on display, along with porcelain relics from other periods and modem masterpieces imitating ancient porcelain. The museum has three sections: the ancient kiln protection, a relic display and an ancient imitation workshop. In the workshop, tourists are allowed to make souvenirs by themselves.

Yuhang Liangzhu Culture Museum
The Yuhang Liangzhu Culture Museum is located in the suburb of Hangzhou, near the "Liangzhu Culture" 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 the late Neolithic Period about 4,000 to 5,300 years ago. The items on display in the museum show the brilliant material civilization and cultural civilization created by Liangzhu ancestors.

Hangzhou Botanical Garden
As one of the best Botanical Gardens in China, the Hangzhou Botanical Garden covers an area of 200 hectare with 120 kinds of bamboo growing in its bamboo section and some 1,200 medicinal herbs in its Garden of A Hundred Herbs (Baicao Yuan). It features hundreds of varieties of trees and plants from home and abroad. The trees here include the feather maple, the Japanese cherry and pine, the magnolia, the camphor, the pointy cypress, the dragon cypress etc.

Tiger Spring
As one of the three best-known West Lake springs, Tiger Spring is located about six kilometers from Hangzhou city, at the foot of the Daci Hill that stretches between West Lake and the Qiantang River. "Tea leaves from Dragon Well plus water from Tiger Spring" is considered to be the best by the local people as far as the brewing of tea is concerned. According to the legend, there was not always water at Tiger Spring. Some 1,300 years ago, Xingkong, the founder of the site, had almost given up due to the lack of drinking water. However, one night he was told in the dream that soon two tigers would come to help him. Next day when he woke up, he saw two tigers clawing the ground, and soon after that, the spring suddenly gushed out. Tiger Spring is now actually a relaxing teahouse converted from a Buddhist temple. The water here is pure, clear, sweet and cold. It's so special with two levels of springs feeding it. When the water is disturbed, instead of concentric circles, a line appears on the surface like a hairspring.

Hangzhou Zoo
Lying just south of the West Lake, Hangzhou Zoo is a worthy place to visit. The aquarium displays some of the most unusual and rare goldfish in China---Red Bubble, Purple Crown, Silver Lion Head, Black Dragon Eyes. It is recorded that Hangzhou is one of the places where the art of raising goldfish originated.

Wuzhen Watertown
Wuzhen Town, in Tongxiang City, Zhejiang Province, has a history of more than 1,000 years. Of the ancient residential houses, workshops, and stores still standing on the banks of the rivers, 169,600 square meters, accounting for 81.54 percent of the town's total floor area, have remained unchanged, lending an atmosphere of antiquity. Wuzhen Town is embraced by the Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal with rivers and canals crisscrossing the while town. Unique folk custom, Hua Gu Opera with local character, Shadow Play, and Gathering Pilgrim show the rich tradition of the locality. Wuzhen has many sites of historical and cultural interest. From the Song (960-1279) through the Qing (1644-1911) Dynasties, Wuzhen had more successful candidates in the highest imperial examinations than any other town south of the lower reaches of the Changjiang (Yangtze) River. Bearing witness to the town's emphasis on education is the Lizhi (Aspiration) Academy of Classical Learning of the Qing Dynasty, which still retains its original appearance. During the Northern and Southern Dynasties (420-581), Crown Prince Liang Zhaoming once studied at Wuzhen. The prince is famous for his Literary Selections by Zhaoming, a milestone in the history of Chinese literature, and the town of Wuzhen built a memorial archway to commemorate his stay there and has kept it well preserved. Other historical and cultural sites include the Wenchang Pavilion, the Xiuzhen Taoist Temple, the ancient stage, the mansion of a member of the Imperial Academy, and the former residence of Mao Dun, a great master of contemporary Chinese literature. Tradition is still very much alive in Wuzhen. In addition to flower-drum opera, shadow-puppet shows, and temple fairs, Wuzhen also attracts visitors with its time-honored art of making indigo-dyed printed calico. In ancient times, indigo-dyed printed calico was used for curtains, scarves, and tablecloths in every household in the countryside of Zhejiang Province. Today, it is still common to see old women in indigo-blue gowns leisurely operating spinning wheels or looms at weaving workshops in the old lanes of Wuzhen, while the squeaks of the looms resound throughout the lanes. Carrying on this tradition has become a part of the lives of the old women. The raw material for dye printing is Eupatorium fortunei, which is an herb that turns into indigo after being fermented and precipitated. For convenience in transporting the cloth, the weaving workshops and dyeing workshops are usually on the same street, only a few doors from each other. At the dyeing workshop, the cloth is soaked and air-dried again and again to produce white flowers on a blue background. Setting out candle lanterns on the river for a special occasion. Wuzhen is at its best on rainy days. Strolling with an umbrella along an old lane past the centuries-old wooden houses and seeing the rain flow off the engraved eaves that cover the doorways is an amazing experience. The falling raindrops bring ripples on the river surfaces, while boats travel to and fro. The waterside pavilions and corridors and the arched bridges, all shrouded in drizzle, make up a charming scene. Wuzhen has been listed by UNESCO in the reserve list of world cultural heritages.


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Air Transport:
Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport has domestic flight connections with major Chinese cities, including Beijing (RMB1150), Chengdu (RMB1600), Chongqing (RMB1360), Xi'an (RMB1130), and Guangzhou (RMB1050), and international connections with Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore, Bangkok, Seoul, Tokyo, and Osaka.

Train Transport:
National arterial railways connect Hangzhou with cities all around China. Trains from New Train Station or East Train Station reach more than 20 cities directly, including Beijing (1650 km), Shanghai (200 km), and Xi'an (1550 km). Tens of thousands of passengers are carried every day. Many travel agencies and hotels will book train tickets. Tourists are encouraged to book soft sleeper tickets for long distance trips and soft seat tickets for travel to nearby cities such as Ningbo (170 km), and Shanghai.

Bus Transport:
There are four big shuttle bus stations in Hangzhou including East Bus Station, South Bus Station, West Bus Station, and North Bus Station. The convenient highway network can lead to Qingdao in Shandong Province to the north, Shenzhen in Guangdong Province to the south, Yichang in Hubei Province to the West, and Zhoushan to the East.

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