Map By Hotel Travel.com
Hangzhou, capital of Zhejiang Province, is at the southern end of the Grand Canaland and one of China's seven ancient national capitals. When Marco Polo came to Hangzhou in the 13th century he declared that "it is the most beautiful and elegant city in the world".
There is a popular saying: "Above there is heaven, below there are Hangzhou and Suzhou." Hangzhou's "heavenly" beauty attracts hundreds of thousands of tourists to its exquisite West Lake (Xi Hu) area each year to enjoy the placid lake, beautiful gardens, reflecting pools, lavish temples and friendly lakeside teahouses.
First built over 2,200 years ago, Hangzhou is one of the cradles of China's civilization. Hangzhou used to the capital of Wu and Yue States in the 10th century during the Five Dynasties period. The city began to prosper and flourish in the Tang Dynasty. The city had its political heyday in the Southern Song Dynasty when it served as the capital. Hangzhou witnessed rapid commercial boom in the Ming and Qing Dynasty.
In and around Hangzhou, tourists find the well-known West Lake which is surrounded by forested mountains and many more historical sites. Hangzhou is also well-known for silk and tea. A trip to Hangzhou is easily combined with a visit to a tea plantation in the hills near the West Lake.