The city of Hangzhou
Hangzhou, the capital of China’s Zhejiang province, is the southern terminus of the ancient Grand Canal waterway, which originates in Beijing. Its West Lake, celebrated by poets and artists since the 9th century, encompasses islands (reachable by boat), temples, pavilions, gardens and arched bridges. On its south bank is the 5-story Leifeng Pagoda, a modern reconstruction of a structure built in 975 A.D.
Hangzhou is one of the cradles of Chinese civilization. Kuahuqiao Culture within Hangzhou’s Xiaoshan District has a history of 8,000 years and Liangzhu Culture, within Yuhang District, has a history of 5000 years. Since Hangzhou was set up as a county capital in Qin Dynasty, it has a history of more than 2200 years as a city. It used to be the capital of Wuyue State (during the Five-Dynasty-Ten-State Era in Chinese history) and South Song Dynasty; that made Hangzhou one of the seven ancient capitals in China. Hangzhou was once called as Qiantang in the ancient time. In 589, the 9th year of Kaihuang Period of Sui Dynasty, Qiantang County was upgraded as Hangzhou (Hang City), which was the first time when the name “Hangzhou” came into history. In 1129, the 3rd year of Jianyan Period of South Song Dynasty, Emperor Gaozong visited Hangzhou and upgraded it as Lin’an Fu (prefecture). In 1138, the 8th year of Gaozong’s Shaoxing Period, South Song Dynasty established its capital in Lin’an and the city remained to be the national capital for over 140 years. In the 13th century, Marco Polo, a famous tourist from Italy, praised Hangzhou as the Most Magnificent City in the World in his travel journal.
Science and Education
The city has persisted in the implementation of the strategy of “Reviving the City through Science and Education” and promoted the development of science and technology through innovation. The industrialization of scientific and technical results has been advanced further. The city has encouraged the establishment of hi-tech enterprises and R&D centers actively. In 2008, 18,549 patents in total from Hangzhou were bid and the number of authorized patents was 9,831, 39.6% and 29.8% over the previous year respectively.
Over 80% of colleges, universities and research institutions of Zhejiang Province are gathered in Hangzhou. The city has 36 general colleges and universities with 409,600 undergraduate students and 29,700 graduate students. Among them, the prestigious Zhejiang University enjoys abundant research resources. There are over 80 national-level research institutions and over 300 thousand scientific and technological professionals working in Hangzhou
Hangzhou has a very broad transportation system established by the city. The transport system employs long distance bus, city bus trams, metro, ship and trolleybuses. An additional service, links train and bus routes in the city with points beyond.
Hangzhou is proud of its rich tourism resources. The golden tourism lines, Qiantang River -- Fuchun River -- Xin’an River ; Thousand Islands Lake -- West Lake -- Tianmu Mountain, are renowned around the world. The West Lake tourism area, covering 60.8 Km2, is one of the top10 landscapes in China. It integrates key points of interest, historic sites, gardens, mountains and waters into one body and therefore was listed by the state for the application for World Natural and Cultural Heritage. In 2002, the reconstruction of the south wing of West Lake was finished and the Leifeng Pagoda was re-erected to reveal the famous landscape “Sunset on Leifeng Hill” in old Hangzhou. In 2003, Hangzhou completed the construction of Yanggong Causeway, New Lakeside Garden and Meijiawu Tea Cultural Village to fulfill the dream of “one lake, two pagodas, three islets, and three causeways”, a landscape that existed more than 300 years ago in ancient Hangzhou. In 2004, the city reconstructed the north side of the lake and therefore the night scene of Beishan Street is much charming now. In 2008 2.21 million international tourists and 45.52 million domestic tourists visited Hangzhou, climbing 6.1% and 10.7% respectively from the previous year. The city’s total income from tourism reached RMB 70.722 billion Yuan, climbing 12.2% from 2007.
Hangzhou Cuisine (Hang Bang Cai in Chinese) is an important branch of Zhejiang Cuisine which is one of the Eight Famous Cuisines in China. The history of Hangzhou Cuisine could date back to over 1,000 years ago, in South Song Dynasty when Hangzhou is the prosperous capital city packed with best chefs from all corners of China. These talented gourmets took advantage of local ingredients and created various Hangzhou-style dishes. The eminent litterateur Su Dongpo once said that even the most delicious food in the world could not compare with tasty Hangzhou Food.
With accumulative efforts and exploration, Hangzhou Cuisine became quite popular. What’s more, each of the most famous dishes has its own story or culture. If you visit Hangzhou, you can’t miss this big gustatory feast.
Transportation to Hangzhou
You can reach Hangzhou by plane, train, bus, car, boat or even on bicycle.
There are a number of airlines that operate direct routes to Hangzhou. The Hangzhou Airport (HGH) can be accessed from the city centre an hour, the waiting hall for the bus is at Gate 14, Arrival Hall. A taxi to the city center costs around 20 USD.