With the G20 summit, Hangzhou has made a bigger name for itself. The most often praised city by poets and emperors in the Chinese history, now is probably better known for being the HQ for Alibaba and the pleasant living environment — this kind of large city embraced by nature is now a rare find in China. Less than an hour away from the overwhelming metropolitan Shanghai, Hangzhou is a more peaceful, breezy city to enjoy the culture-infused scenes that inspired hundreds of poems across different dynasties.
West Lake: "as richly adorned or plainly dressed"
Tucked away in the center of city, West Lake is the most famous spot of interest with so many beautiful tales and songs about it. During spring and summer times, biking around the lake is most enjoyable, especially passing through the streets covered by sycomore canopy and riding up and down the bridge humps. The cool breeze and greenness will kill the fatigue from humidity and high temperature.
West Lake has very different scenes and auroras in four seasons and in different weathers, let it be sunny, cloudy, rainy, snowy. So there is a famous poem compares West Lake to a true beauty, who is "as richly adorned or plainly dressed."
You get a bonus view of lotus blossom if you can during summer. Against the backdrop of causeway, bridges and ancient temples, the view is just gorgeous and refreshing.
Xixi Wetland National Park
If you only have one day in Hangzhou like I did, Xixi Wetland is a good destination not far from West Lake. Take a boat ride and enjoy the peace of mind here. If you come in late fall, there is wonderful scene of reeds turning white and flory.
If you have more than one day, even better! You may visit the tea paddies on Longjing Hill and taste the fresh tea harvested by the local farmers.
Then head to the Buddhist Lingyin Temple for some wishes. But do note that you have to come back to return the goodwill if those wishes come true. So mind the travel expense!
Eat: Hangzhou Dishes for Sweet Tooth
Hangzhou people put sugar in every dish, whether it is meant to be savory or sweet. A hint of sweet is the soul of Hangzhou cuisine, just like the soft and gentle temper of people there.
Stay: Hangzhou Nook Hotel
Well located in between West Lake and Xixi Wetland, the Nook is a newly open hotel with clean design and quality interior pieces. I would say the style is Nordic-fused-Chinese, so highly recommend to those who value design and the quality of goods.
Open the curtain you will find hills surrounded by mist and cloud. Lay back on the couch and take a sip of the fresh Longjing green tea (tea paddy is also just near by), it is a decent city get-away.
Xixi New building No.1, Xixi Road No.550,
Xihu District, Hagnzhou, Zhejiang