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Home> Destinations> Asia> Hangzhou> Overview


Updated: 2014-08-13 / (wtcf.travel)





City Introduction

Hangzhou has a long history of 2200 years and is one of the eight ancient capitals in China. Hangzhou is well-known for the West Lake, which enjoys charming landscapes of hills at three sides and water surrounding and presents its beautiful natural scenery featuring “always charming with either light or heavy make-up” to the world from ancient times.

Apart from the Top-10 Views integrating Jiangnan charms, the beauty of Hanghzou is also characterized by famous and rich historic and cultural heritage sites such as Spring Dawn at Su Causeway, Autumn Moon on Calm Lake, Lingyin Temple and Liuhe Pagoda. Hangzhou always enjoys the reputation of “Heaven Above, Suzhou and Hangzhou below.” since ancient times. A land of fish and rice, home of silk and state of cultural relics are all beautiful impressions of the world people on Hangzhou. Historical scholars and poets left rich historical relics and poetry and painting in Hangzhou, so every Hangzhou scenery has its own history and every place is poetic.





History and Culture

The history of Hangzhou could be dated back to more than 4700 years ago, when human beings began to thrive here and generate the Liangzhu Culture as recognized as the dawn of civilization. Wuyue Kingdom in Five Dynasties and Southern Song Dynasty built their capitals here, which then became one of the eight ancient capitals of China.

Early in Neolithic Age about 4000-5000 years ago, ancient people began to thrive in Hangzhou region. It is said that, prior to the Western Zhou Dynasty, Dayu went to Kuaiji (the current Shaoxian County) to attend the feudal prince congress, which was known as “Shehang Landing”. The current name of “Yuhang” just comes from this story.

Hangzhou has experienced huge changes in recent 50 years. Currently, Hangzhou is a national key scenic tourism city approved by the State Council and a historical and cultural city released nationally. It is the capital of Zhejiang Province.

Hangzhou is reputed as “First State in Southeast” and is the political, economic, cultural, scientific and educational center of Zhejiang Province. In Yuan Dynasty, Hangzhou was once praised by Marco Polo as the city “greater than any in the world”. Liangzhu culture, Wuyue culture, Southern Song culture and Ming & Qing culture gather here in Hangzhou. Since 1980s, Hangzhou has built China National Tea Museum, China National Silk Museum, China Liangzhu Culture Museum, Southern Song Dynasty Guan Kiln Museum, Huqingyutang Traditional Chinese Medicine Museum, etc. enriching the cultural connotation of Hangzhou.





Climate Change

Hangzhou is enjoyable in any seasons and weathers. The West Lake is like a magician, creating extremely beautiful appearances in all seasons and all weathers.

In spring (from April to June), Hangzhou is featuring warm spring breeze and intoxicating water. In this season, wandering in Su Causeway and admiring the flowers are the most cozy thing.

In summer (from July to September), the weather is hot, but the lotuses in the West Lake are blooming under the sun.

In autumn (from October to December), the fragrance of Osmanthus emits from Bamboo-lined Path at Manjuelong Village spread far and attract numerous visitors. Around the Mid-autumn, Hangzhou residents are even more busy. They are busy watching the Great Qiantang River Tide in the daytime and admiring the lake and the moon in the evening. In winter (from January to March), it is a season to admire plum blossoming in Gushan Mountain, Lingfeng and Chao Mountain; and Broken Bridge with Thawing Snow, one of the Top-10 Views of the West Lake also embraces the most moving season.

From the perspective of temperature, January, April, July and October are the watersheds of winter, spring, summer and autumn; special attention should be paid to that January is the coldest and wet-cold, so do wear enough clothes; from mid-April to September is the rainy season of Hangzhou, so remember to take raincoats.





Useful Information


Hangzhou is the first city in China to provide free WiFi to citizens, allowing more people to enjoy the “wireless” happy life in the intelligent city. The network accessing progress is not complicated, and the signal quality differs.

Post Office and Postcard

Hangzhou Municipal Postal Administration

Tel: 0571-87803074

Address: No. 11 Huancheng East Road, Hangzhou City

Hangzhou Municipal Postal Administration Jianggan District Office

Address: No. 572 Qiutao Road

Tel: 0571-86033713

Hangzhou Xihu Youth Post Office

Address: No. 72 Baochu Road (near Baochu Experimental Primary School)

Postmarking is available at 8:00-16:00 on every weekend, and two pupils and one teacher are there on duty. Postmarking is charged at RMB 0.1, including Top-10 Views of the West Lake, New Top-10 Views of the West Lake, Three Assessments of Top-10 Views of the West Lake, etc., and twelve constellation commemorative stamping is free. The post office also sells postcards.


Hangzhou Traditional Chinese Medical Hospital

Address: No. 453 Tiyuchang Road, Hangzhou City

Tel: Central: 0571-85827888; Consulting: 0571-85827511

Zhejiang Provincial People's Hospital

Address: No. 158 Shangtang Road, Hangzhou City, Zhejiang Province

Tel: 0571-85239988

Zhejiang Provincial First Hospital

Address: No. 79 Qingchun Road, Hangzhou City, Zhejiang Province

Tel: Central: 0571- 87236114; Outpatient Department: 0571- 87236668






There are five religions in Hangzhou, i.e., Taoism, Buddhism, Islam, Catholicism and Christianity, which are all international ones except Taoism.

Hangzhou has rich accumulation of cultures, such as unique Liangzhu culture, Wuyue culture, Southern Song culture and Ming & Qing culture since late Neolithic Age, forming a complete cultural development series. Historical scholars and poets left rich historical relics and poetry and painting in Hangzhou. It could be said that every scenic spot here has its own stories. Hangzhou is also the hometown of great figures such as Bi Sheng, the inventor of movable-type printing and Shen Kuo, an excellent scientist and the author of Dream Pool Essays.





Tourism Service Number

Tourism consulting and complaint: 96123

Xiaoshan International Airport: 96299

Hangzhou Public Transportation: 0571-85191122

Huanglong Collection & Distribution Center: 0571-87961729

Wushan Collection & Distribution Center: 0571-87809951/87083665

Lingyin Temple: 0571-87987019

Leifeng Pagoda: 0571-87978123

Hangzhou Railway Station: 0571-87825755

Grand Canal: 0571-88162123

Emergency telephone

Police Tel:

Fire Tel:

First Aid Center:

Convenient service hotline 96345

Price Supervision Report hotline 12358

Quality Supervision Report Hotline12365






Travelling tips

1. Popular scenic areas in Hangzhou are often crowded, and sometimes taxis are insufficient, so do get prepared if you have a tight schedule.

2. The traffic jam will become heavier during holidays. It is difficult to park and traffic control may be implemented on some roads, so do get prepared for self-driving and pay attention to traffic information.

Other notes

1. Hangzhou provides preferential policies for Hangzhou citizens, temporary residency permit holders, students studying in Hangzhou and those having Hangzhou census register, such as park IC cards and temple cards for free, or at discount price, for access to scenic areas or temples. Sales site: No. 61 Nanshan Road (next to the former ticket office of Hangzhou children's Park) Bus lines: Line 808, 809, 822, 12, 30, 38, 4 and Tourism Line 2 at Wansongling Stop.

Business hour: 8:30-16:00 (open at weekends)

Consulting Tel.: 87065409

Service objects: Hangzhou and Shanghai Hukou holders

Required certificates: Personal valid ID card, and one recent 1-inch bareheaded certificate photo

Fee: RMB 40 for annual cards, and RMB 20 for the second half after July 1 RMB 10 for card cost

Scope of use: A total of 21 parks and scenic areas such as Yue Fei Temple, Liuhe Pagoda, Lingyin Klippe, Hupao Park, Fish Viewing at the Flower Pond, Botanical Garden, Zone, Jade Emperor Hill, Breeze-ruffled Lotus at Quyuan Garden, Bamboo-lined Path at Manjuelong Village Park (children’s park), Taiziwan Park, Guozhuang, Hangzhou Steles, Peacock Park, Nine-stream Waterfall, Yunqi, China National Tea Museum, Southern Song Dynasty Guan Kiln Museum, Zhang Taiyan Memorial, Su Dongpo Memorial and Hangzhou History Museum. Price difference should be paid for certain parks during large exhibition periods. Price difference is executed according to relevant regulations of Price Bureau for Huanglong Cave, Chenghuang Pavilion, Parterre, Residence of Hu Xueyan and Wansong Academy Annual park tickets are not applicable for Three Islands in the West Lake, Leifeng Pagoda and West Lake Night Tour.

2. The service counters of major restaurants and hotels, travel consulting offices, airports and stations in Hangzhou provide free Hangzhou Travel Guide, which is edited by Hangzhou Municipal Tourism Commission and in eight languages, e.g., Chinese, Japanese, Korean, German, French and Spanish, and gives detailed description of Hangzhou and the surrounding scenic areas.





Festivals(Important/Historical/Folks Ones)

Yuhang Chao Mountain Plum Festival

Time: from Mid-February to early March

Main activities include plum admiring and spring outing, fine plum miniature tree exhibition, plum photography contest, plum painting exhibition and Chao Mountain bicycling, and visitors may participate in such activities or just enjoy the beautiful sceneries.

West Lake Lotus Festival

Time: Every July-August

West Lake Lotus Festival is held in July and August every year, and the main activities include: Admiring lotus flower, picking lotus seedpods, stripping lotus seeds, making lotus meals, listening to folk operas, releasing lotus lamps for blessing, Miss West Lake model contest and Chinese lotus variety show.

West Lake International Music Festival

Time: Mid-September

Since 2005, West Lake International Music Festival has been held for successive eight times and known as a large cultural activity brand due to its internationality, variety and participation. West Lake International Music Festival offers over 20 concerts for 30,000 Hangzhou citizens and tourists both at home and abroad.

West Lake International Osmanthus Festival

Time: From mid-September to Mid-October

West Lake International Osmanthus Festival is a featured tourism festival activity aimed at carrying forward national cultures and integrating economy, culture, entertainment and leisure. It is held in Bamboo-lined Path at Manjuelong Village Park for one month. During the festival, major activities include admiring Osmanthus, tasting desserts such as Osmanthus-chestnut juice and sugar Osmanthus, as well as various folk cultural and recreational activities such as photography contest, lantern show and lantern riddle.

West Lake Expo International Tourism Festival

Time: From mid-September to mid-November

The international tourism festival is an important part of West Lake Expo. In 2009, West Lake Expo International Tourism Festival kicked off, attended by a large number of persons. The main activities include admiring the moon at mid-autumn, watching Qiantang River Tide, admiring Osmanthus at Manjuelong, Wushan Temple Fair and fireworks exhibitions.

Hangzhou West Lake International Expo

Time: from middle and late October to early November

The first Hangzhou West Lake International Expo was held in 1929, and now the Expo has become a grand event with most centralized display of the history, culture and scenery of Hangzhou and an annual large commercial fair held in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province.

During the Expo, tens of exhibitions, forums and performances will be held, covering all aspects such as culture, art, fashion, science and technology, business, tourism and food.

China International Cartoon & Animation Festival

Held in Hangzhou from April 28 to May 3 every year Official website: http://www.cicaf.com/

China Hangzhou Cultural & Creative Industry Expo

Held in October every year, a part of Hangzhou West Lake Expo.

Hangzhou International Qiantang River Tidal Bore Festival

Mainly held in Tide Bore Town, Xiaoshan, Hangzhou on lunar August 15-20.


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