Hangzhou is not as famous as other places of China like Beijing or Shanghai, but this city which was once capital of China, more than one thousand years ago during the Southern Song dynasty is full of captivating and interesting history. Hangzhou is the capital of Zhejiang Province; it is amazing to know that Italian traveler Marco Polo described this described this place as the most luxurious and finest cities of the world.
Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airpot (HCH) is a huge airport which serves both domestic and International flights, tourists from any part of World can come to this airport or from different cities of China like Beijing and Hongkong. This airport is located 30 kilo meters from the main city and it takes 30 minutes – 1 hour by taxi to reach the airport. Bus and Shuttle services can be availed from the airport to go to the different parts of the city.
Several high rail networks are available from different cities like Guangzhou, Chengdu and Beijing to connect to Hangzhou with speed as fast as 300 km/ hr. One need to take care of having Chinese Id for booking the tickets as they are Id bound. It takes approx 55-60 minutes for travelling across cities, which is quite time saving.
This beautiful city of China has four bus stations – North, East, West and South. According to the places tourist is travelling, one can avail the bus services from the respective bus terminals. Such as going to Huangshan, bus services can be taken from West Bus station and North Station can be used for travelling to Nanjing.
In the city, one can get around in the buses, fares of which can be paid in cash, or by using a dedicated bus card, also by Taxi, which runs on meter, and are turquoise green in color. From 2012, subways are also in place to avail which is a total of 8 lines covering 200 kilo meters. One can also use Water Bus which is a unique mode of transport in Hangzhou, offers ferry services up and down the Grand Canal. It takes just 30 minutes but only 5 trips are made per day. It’s a must mode of enjoyment come transport for every tourist visiting Hangzhou.
The Joy Hotel – 4 Star Hotel – Rs. 4,312 per night
Silver Star Hotel – 3 Star Hotel – Rs. 2,638 per night
Zhejiang Narada Grand Hotel - 5 Star Hotel – Rs. 6,417 per night
Jinjiang Inn Hangzhou West Lake – 3 Star Hotel – Rs. 2,208 per night
Hangzhou Sunny Hotel – 4 Star Hotel – Rs. 3,457 per night
In case of medical emergency, tourists can go to Sir Run Run Shaw Hospital, 3 East Qingchun Road, which has all the modern medical equipments and facilities available.
The most famous restaurants are-
Kui Yuan Guan (for Chinese food)
Huang Fan Er and Hua Zhong Cheng(on Hefang street for Chinese food)
Haveli (Nanshan Road), Indian Kitchen, (63 Nanshan Road) – for Indian food
Botree Courtyard (Xihu District) for pure Vegetarian food
Famous place for Drinks are JZ Club on 6 Liuying Road (Nanshan Road), Maya Bar, 94 Baishaquan Rd and Shuguang Rd, You To, 85 Shuguang Rd, and Reggae Bar, an old Hangzhou favorite.
On the Hefang Street and Southern Song Imperial Street, one can discover many traditional arts and crafts, like small Chinese dolls and puppets. There is decorated night markets in Yan’an Road / Pinghai Road offer various kind of clothing, paper fans, jewelery, electronic gadgets and handicrafts which are huge attractions for everyone visiting there.
This city is very popular for its natural beauty such as West Lake is very famous for the scenic view, beautiful sceneries which is known as 10 scenes of West Lakes. Other places to visit are King Qian’s Memorial, Leifeng Pagoda, Jingci temple, Fish viewing at Flower pot, Lotus in the Breeze in Winding Courtyard, Chenghuang (City God) Pavilion. A heartwarming boat ride to the islet can be enjoyed in the middle of West Lake. One should also explore the Longjing Tea Village and Nine Creeks in Misty Trees which is a pleasant walk inside the forest. The splendor of Beishan Road viewed from Bai Causeway and the music fountain at the night in the West Lake will make the tourists spell bounded.
Hupao Spring or Running Tiger Spring has fresh spring water which often tourist collect in bottles to take back home. Fei Lai Feng Grottos, Yue Fei Temple and Lingyin Temple are religious places to visit.
Being surrounded by natural beauty, it provides a lot of excursions options such as go hiking in the mountains such as Baochu Pagoda from Beishan Road or go to the trekking of Wushan Square, at the southern end of Yan'an Rd. Tourists can also do an early morning bike ride starting on the north side of the lake and heading West towards Zhejiang University and then crossing the tea villages, bamboo forest and scenic beauties of Valleys to the rivers. Another interesting option for tourists is Ice skating, Hangzhou offers a full Olympic size commercialized ice skating rink which is in the MIXC Mall which is opened 365 days a week and costs ¥50 before 5PM, and after 5:30pm cost is ¥60. Weekends are ¥70 for 2 hour sessions. All the safety gears and wearable can be obtained from the location and one can enjoy the skiing as long as they want.
Visiting this city will be complete bliss with its rich cultural heritage and natural beauty. It is where Grand Canal ends, and the city’s famous production – Silk and tea can be shopped for.