Welcome to Hangzhou
Hangzhou, located in the southeastern province of Zhejiang, has
been bewitching visitors with its natural beauty for centuries,
with even Marco Polo himself declaring it paradise. The city is
known for its tranquil and scenic areas, with many beautiful
gardens and hills.
The natural beauty of the city's West Lake is considerable, with
the surrounding area lush and green and dotted with temples,
pavilions and bridges. Admirers can stroll through the gardens,
take a boat ride, see the thousands of stone carvings at Lingyin
Temple, or admire the scenic view from Baochu Pagoda.
Hangzhou also has a number of interesting museums, including the
National Silk Museum and the National Tea Museum. Hangzhou is noted
for its tea fields, with its own variety of green tea, Xi Hu Long
Jing, being a popular Hangzhou souvenir. The town also has several
markets, most notably the Silk Market and Night Market, that are
popular for shopping.
Hangzhou is also noted for its cuisine, with specialties like
Dongpo Pork, Longjing Shrimp Meat, Steam Rice Flower, and West Lake
Sour Fish being popular with both locals and tourists. Hangzhou's
nightlife is not as hectic as larger cities in China, however there
are a number of bars and restaurants in the city centre, along with
karaoke halls, theatres, teahouses and nightclubs.
While you'll find all the modern amenities you'd expect from a
city of 3.5 million, the local government's commitment to
preserving the cultural beauty of Hangzhou gives visitors a unique
glimpse into the rich history of the region.
Information & Facts
The official language is Mandarin Chinese, but there are
hundreds of local dialects.
The currency used in China is the Renminbi Yuan (CNY). The Yuan
is divided into 10 chiao/jiao or 100 fen. Make sure you exchange
your leftover Yuan before returning home because this currency can
be exchanged only within China's borders. Travellers cheques,
preferably in US Dollars, and foreign cash can be exchanged in
cities at the Bank of China. Banks are closed weekends. The larger
hotels and the special 'Friendship Stores' designed for foreigners
will accept most western currencies for purchases. Major credit
cards are accepted in the main cities at various establishments,
but outside the major cities acceptance is limited. ATMs are scarce
outside the main cities.
Local time is GMT +8.