This week we are following Pam through her travels in China—and she has just arrived at gorgeous Hangzhou!
Hangzhou has been a famous destination for nature lovers and artists for centuries. The West Lake has been immortalized in countless poems and paintings, and currently resides on the UNESCO list of World Heritage sites. The locals have a saying: “Above there is heaven, below there are Hangzhou and Suzhou.”
Settled as early as 4,700 years ago and once the most populous city in China, Hangzhou is still a major scenic and historical destination. Flourishing under silk trade, it was the home and marketplace for foreign merchants including Arabs, Persians, and Nestorian Christians. Nowadays, it enjoys more than 20 million domestic and foreign tourists annually, and we guarantee Pam is in for a specific treat!
The numerous canals and streets that link throughout the city give it a Venetian feel. One of the more popular modes of transportation is the water bus, which you can ferry down the Grand Canal daily from Wulin Gate/West Lake Culture Plaza to Gongchen Bridge. Don’t miss the Canal Museum or Xiaohe Street and its recently renovated historical alleys.
photo by maltman23
You can also take a variety of boats to the islands on West Lake, a breathless beauty not meant to be missed. There are so many sites to see in the area, from Mr. Guo’s garden villa to the Broken Bridge, from Mid-Lake Pavilion to Lord Ruan’s Mound. There is something for everyone—visitors can wander in and out of botanical gardens, temples, tea fields, churches, pagodas, or even the zoo. Have time to spare? Try a variety of free activities, including tai chi, hiking, biking, running—or just sip some tea along the road.
You can enter Hangzhou city through the Xioshan International Airport, or via Pam’s route, taking the high speed train from Shanghai—about 50 minutes nonstop from Shanghai’s Hongqiao Station.
Stay tuned for next week, when Pam joins the Viking River Cruises through the gorges and Xi’an!
Interested in touring Hangzhou or anywhere in China? Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 503.224.0180.