Hangzhou (Hángzhōu, 杭州) casts an enchanting spell. Marco Polo marveled that it was "the most beautiful and elegant place in the world" and a popular Chinese saying boasts "above there is heaven, below there is Hangzhou." The serene loveliness of Hangzhou's West Lake and the surrounding hills remain spellbinding and in 2011 earned it a place on the UNESCO World Heritage list, even if realities of modern life—such as massive crowds of camera-happy tourists—occasionally intrude. Millions of tourists visit every year to admire Hangzhou's graceful willows, tranquil waters and expansive gardens. If you can, shoot for a weekday visit to avoid the inevitable weekend crowds.
One of the traditional "Ten Scenes of West Lake," the sight of the Autumn Moon Over the Peaceful Lake (Pínghú Qiūyuè, 平湖秋月) was usually taken in from a boat..
The Lingyin Temple (Língyǐn Sì, 灵隐寺), which literally means "where the divine rest in seclusion," has long been considered one of the most important Zen Buddhist..
Liùhé Tǎ (六和塔), or "Six Harmonies Pagoda," stands south of West Lake, aside the Qiantang River. The 60 m (196 ft) tall pagoda was built during the Song Dynasty in..
Hangzhou is famous for three things: its water, its fertile and picturesque countryside, and ancient tradition. All three combine in a perfectly brewed cup of Longjing tea..