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What You Should Know More About Hangzhou
· Keep the touts at bay.
· Do not entertain the beggars.
· Make sure you do not travel alone in the night hours.
· Ensure that you have had sufficient research before going to any new place.
· Nudity is strictly prohibited.
· If you are visiting a temple or a religious place, make sure you dress accordingly.
· Do not flaunt your cash or valuables in the public place.
· Always ensure that you book a room in an area that is known to you.
· Avoid booking a hotel in any shady region.
· Beware of thefts. Make sure you have kept all your cash and valuables safely.
· Enquire about the room safe before booking a hotel.
· Do not leave any of your valuables in the hotel room.
· Do not get involved in any fight with anyone.
· Make sure you double check the seal of the water bottle before buying.
· Check the quality of the street food before ordering for it.
· Do not let anyone deceive you.
· Girls make sure you do not get over friendly with the locals here.
· Learn some words from the local language prevalent in the region.
· Do not book any cab or taxi without negotiating the fare for the same.
The legal age for drinking in Hangzhou is 18 years.
The significant tourist attraction of Hangzhou is the West Lake. It is a beautiful Lake around which the oldest part of the city is centered. Enveloped by the old temples and hills, the huge lake area covers an area of about six square km and is divided into 5 sections by the Baidi and Su Causeways - the North Inner Lake (Beili Hu), the South Lake (Xiaonan Hu), Outer Lake (Wai Hu), Lake Yue (Yue Hu) and the West Inner Lake (Xili Hu). The causeway is about 3 km long and was built in the year 1089 and is indeed one of the most important places to see that links its North and South banks. It is also increasingly popular for strolls particularly during the spring season when the peach trees and the flower beds are in full bloom. It is also home to several fine old bridges. Most prominent of these is the Broken Bridge (Duanqiao) which connects the Baidi Causeway with the shore. Other attractions that you cannot miss here is the 1699 built Pavilion of the Autumn Moon as well as the 1300 built Pavilion of the Cranes that was built in honor of the renowned poet Lin Hejing who died in the year 1028. His grave too lies near the pavilion. Another worth seeing attraction here is the Isle of the Hill of Solitude that assures fine views. It also has some museums to see.
Home of the General: Yue Fei Temple
In case you lack time and there is just one of the many fine structures of the West Lake that you can see, do ensure that it is the Yue Fei Temple. On the northern end of the Su Causeway, there is a splendid old temple which was built in the year 1221. The temple was built back then in the honor of the much revered General Yue Fei. Striking highlights of your trip to the temple will include a statue of the Yue Fei in the Temple Hall and the ceiling of the temple hall that is richly embellished with cranes that is in a way a symbol of immorality. This temple also has 86 stone plaques om which the Emperor Gaozong along with his wife engraved the classical texts by Confucius. Another thing that is worth a visit here is the 500-acre Hangzhou Botanical Gardens that has more than 4000 species of plants, numerous different kinds of bamboo and a splendid herb garden.
A City of Pretty Pagodas: Liuhe, Leifeng, and Baochu
On the northern bank of the Qiantang River is the Pagoda of the Six Harmonies. It lies about 8 km south of the Hangzhou and is about 60 meter high. This magnificent site is worth a visit. Being in existence ever since the 970 AD, the former pagoda is believed to have stood at 150 meters tall and has served as a lighthouse. The present structure that you see here was built in the year 1899. You can climb to the top of the building to check out the phenomenal views from the top. It is the best sightseeing attraction in the city.
Known for its impeccable tea plantations, mountains, classical architecture and the stunning West Lake, everything about Hangzhou is stunning. There are bridges and causeways which lead to the reflecting waters with boats taking you to and fro amidst the sculpting islands. The willow gardens put forth crafted vistas of blossoming water lilies. There’s nothing more fascinating than strolling along the lakefront by night to watch the water and light show.
WALKABILITY (AND CYCLABILITY)
One of the most unnerving things about the life of a pedestrian in China are the silent yet deadly electronic bikes which sneak behind you on the pavement at an astronomical speed. The shoreline of the West Lake is majorly pedestrianized making it an absolute fun for you to stroll at night. The city is also known for having the largest bike share schemes in the world. At a deposit of 200RMB, you can navigate West Lake in absolute safety and comfort. Metro system too is also coming up here in full swing.
THE GRAND CANAL
A bit of engineering has made the Great Wall seem like a child play. The construction of the canal started some 2500 years ago. It is the longest artificial waterway in the world that runs almost 1800 km from Hangzhou and Beijing. Plenty of stretches are silted up however Hangzhou has cleaned up this section.
PARKS AND GARDENS
One thing that is really fascinating about West Lake area is that it is famed with artfully natural gardens and impeccable views which include rose-filled nursery, expansive botanical gardens as well as an island rockery. Gardens and parks also make for the ideal picnic spot.
Marco Polo came to Hangzhou in the late 13th century. By then, it was already a home to more than a million people and was even then regarded as the finest and the most splendid country of the world. The city was also the capital of China for a very brief span of time.
Given the influence of a former mayor, the city has fondly embraced the green economy. Apart from typically unsightly industrial zones which are exclusively dedicated to green industries and two giant museums, sufficient effort has gone in the act of restoring the air and water quality of the country. If you please, you can stay overnight at the Xixi Wetland National Park and watch egrets and herons fishing. If you travel amongst the tea villages and the hills of the city, you can feel the air to be positively fresh.
The single most renowned tea of China which is protected by the country’s answer to the EU’s AOC system is the Longjing. This green tea grows in the hills located in Hangzhou. When you visit the tea gardens you can find the pickers in action an enjoy the tastings at the rambling in its majorly open air Tea Museum which is located just above the lake. You can even head to villages and experience the unique soy sauce aroma in the classical tea garden or the farmer’s house. One must see the attraction here is the Imperial Tea Garden that is located in the Longjing village. You can get the best teas here.
Hangzhou is known for its unique blend of cuisines. One of the eight culinary traditions of China – Zhejiang cuisine, as well as the specific styles of local dishes, is something to relish on. Of course, you can sample the Chinese food outside the home region but the flavors you get here in the city are just unmatchable. Some of the must-try dishes include the West Lake fish in vinegar, full-bodied Longjing roast chicken, floral osmanthus rice cake, succulent Longjing prawns and the lusciously fatty Dongpo pork. You can try out restaurants such as the Grandma’s House, Longjing Manor or Lou Wai Lou on Lonely Island.
Hangzhou is not really a time warp country. You can find the Aston Martin dealership on the lakefront as well as the variety of luxury malls to keep you engaged. However, whether you are up searching for some modern and contemporary art from the art schools or the fine grade silk at the Silk Museum, China will not disappoint you. One of the most celebrated Emperor Qianlong has also written verses about the culture of the city.
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