Hangzhou is the capital of the Zhejiang Province of China and is classified as a sub-provincial city. It is located on the Yangtze River Delta and sits on a landmass of six thousand square miles. The population of the city is over six million residents. The area on which Hangzhou is located has been inhabited for over seven thousand years and was originally occupied by the Neolithic culture of Hemudu. The permanent structures, however, weren’t built until about two thousand years ago during the Qin Dynasty.
This city is known the world over for its deep natural beauty and its historic landmarks. It is often called one of China’s most beautiful cities and is repeatedly ranked as one of China’s most scenic cities. Because of this natural beauty, tourism is the major component of Hangzhou’s economy. One of the cities most popular attractions is West Lake. This scenic lake is located in the western area of the cities historic district and is divided by the Bái Di and Yánggong Di causeways. This lake covers an area of four square miles and is surrounded by mountains on three of its sides. All around the area are very artistically done buildings, stone tablets and caves. The area around the lake is also covered in many different forms of natural and cultured fauna. These include osmanthus flowers, lotus, peach blossoms, plum blossoms and tulips.
Located near West Lake is another popular attraction called Yue Fei Temple. Built in the thirteenth century during the Song Dynasty, this temple was erected in honor of general Yue Fei. The main features of this attraction include Loyalty Temple and Yue Fei’s Mausoleum. Lingyin Temple is a Buddhist temple located in the northwest section of Hangzhou. This monastary was built during the Eastern Jin Dynasty in the year 328. This monastery is considered to be one of the richest in all of China and has six distinct features. These include the Hall of the Heavenly Kings, Grand Hall of the Great Sage, Hall of the Medicine Buddha, Sutra Library, Huayan Hall and Hall of the Five Hundred Arhats. Jingci Temple is yet another Buddhist temple that is located in the area. It is named the jewel of the southern and northern hills.
A very popular attraction in the city of Hangzhou is the Tomb of Su Xiaoxiao. This tomb contains the remains of Su Xiaoxiao who was a famous poet and courtesan from the city. She lived during the Southern Qi Dynasty and was known for her brilliant intellect and untarnished beauty. She wrote works which demonstrated her pursuit of love, humanity and beauty. When Su Xiaoxiao turned the age of nineteen she developed a terminal illness and saw her imminent death as an opportunity to impart a legacy of beauty upon the world. Her true legacy is the fact that she would become an inspiration for future Chinese writers and poets. Her tomb was destroyed during the Cultural Revolution, but it was rebuilt in the year 2004. The restoration included a new pavilion decorated with twelve poetry posts handwritten by famous calligraphers. Another prominent tomb in the area is the Tomb of Wu Song.
An underestimated attraction in Hangzhou is the Six Harmonies Pagoda. This beautiful pagoda was built in the year 970 on the northern bank of Qiantang River. It was erected to repel the river’s tidal bore, which many residents of the area viewed as a demonic force. The original pagoda was made of stone and was seven stories tall, but a thirteen story wooden pagoda was enclosed around the structure. Visitors can gain great views of Qiantang River and the surrounding mountains.
Hangzhou is also a city that has some fine restaurants where visitors can get a real taste of the cuisine of China. There are also several hotels which include the Golden Horse Hotel, Rose Garden Resort and the Friendship Hotel Hangzhou.