Visiting Hangzhou

By | Category: Travel destinations
Image of West Lake

West Lake in Hangzhou. Image © Hangzhou Tourism Commission

After the G20 summit and Theresa May’s visit to a restaurant in Hangzhou, it appears that it has sparked interest amongst Brits as a holiday destination.

Hangzhou is on the east coast of China and is connected to Shanghai via a bullet train that can take as little as 52 minutes to travel between the two cities.

The media coverage tended to concentrate on how big the city was and its role in high-tech developments rather than the tourism possibilities. Here then is a summary of a few of the attractions of Hangzhou.

For a start, the city has two UNESCO World Heritage sites: West Lake and the Grand Canal. A tourist attraction for centuries, West Lake’s temples, pagodas and botanical gardens with colourful lotus flowers are complemented by the regular performances of a love story with lighting effects called Impression West Lake Show.

The Grand Canal was constructed in at least 1,400 years ago and is the oldest and longest man-made waterway in the world. And by long, this is no understatement as the entire canal stretches 1,200 miles in all. Along its banks in Hangzhou, visitors can tour the landmark Gongchen Bridge, the Qiaoxi Historic Block and the Workshop Demonstration Pavilion.

Hangzhou is famed for include Longjing Village, home to the tea plantations which produce Longjing tea, one of China’s most highly regarded teas. If you wish, you can enjoy bathing in tea fragrances as well as sampling the local produce!

Nearby is a rather large wetland reserve. The Xixi National Wetland Park covers more than 2,471 acres and offers a location where, apart from seeing the local wildlife, tourists can immerse themselves in its lush, green natural beauty and just enjoy the tranquillity.

To get around, visitors can enjoy one hour of free cycling each day on the city’s public bikes, which are used by hundreds of thousands of people, especially during rush hour (so avoid these morning and evening periods if you can) and for visiting the famous West Lake.

When Mrs May completed her G20 work in Hangzhou she was seen eating at Gui Yu ShanFang GaoJi Restaurant. Since then it has had an influx of diners but there are plenty of other restaurants with many reputed to be some of the best in China.

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