Hangzhou

Hangzhou is the capital city of Zhejiang province, it is one of the wealthiest provinces in China. Hangzhou is famed for its West Lake, an inspiration to many famous poets and artists since hundreds of years. The city is ringed by mountains full of tea plantations which produce the world famous Longjing (green) Tea. A good quality bag 500g bag of Longjing will cost you more than £50 for the pleasure! Lush gardens, forests, nature walks, temples, pagoda’s and of course the tranquil West Lake all await you in Hangzhou. The popular attractions are summarised below:

West Lake

The pride and joy of Hangzhou, West Lake is one of it’s most popular destinations for tourists and locals alike, attracted by the panoramic scenery, weeping willow trees, flowering peach trees, ancient stone bridges and hills dotted with temples and pagoda’s.

Tea Plantations

Hangzhou’s West Lake is one of the birthplaces of Chinese green tea. The term “Long Jing” means Dragon Well referring to a local dragon who used to live in the wells. The ancient legend says during a period of drought a monk sought help from a lucky dragon who duly brought forth rain to save the crops. You can sample a cup of the local brew on a visit to a plantation – the best time is during the harvest season (March-May) where you can see the leaves being hand-picked.

Cuisine

The food in Hangzhou is representative of Zhejiang province and has a reputation for freshness, tenderness and smoothness of its cuisine. Famous dishes like West Lake Sour Fish, Dong Po Pork, Longjing Shrimp Meat, Jiaohua Young Chickens, Steam Rice Flower and Pork Wrapped by Lotus Leaves, are well known and popular among both local people and tourists.

Ling Yin Monastery

Ling Yin Buddhist Monastery was originally founded by a Buddhist monk from India, it was constructed in 326 AD and is an example of one of China’s most significant and beautiful Buddhist Monasteries. The entrance to the temple is lined with rock grottoes that contain detailed carvings of the “laughing Buddha”. Inside the temple a statue of a gold covered Buddha is the centre piece.

Traditional Herb Museum

An eye opening cultural spot that shows the history of ancient Chinese herbal medicine – including displays of exotic ingredients being grown, cultivated and dried. The museum itself was originally a Chinese pharmacy founded in 1873, enjoying a reputation for it’s high quality medicines.