"Excellent Tour, best experience"
"A unique experience despite a difficult context thanks
to an experience team of organisers"
Hangzhou is situated approximately 180 km southwest of Shanghai and about 100 km southeast of Suzhou . With the High speed trains, you can reach Hangzhou from Shanghai or Suzhou in only 45 minutes or two hours. Take our Hot Hangzhou Private Tours, you can spend around 1 to 4 days exploring the major attractions of Hangzhou and its surrounding water towns. You can choose to visit the China National Tea Museum, Meijiawu Tea Village, Lingyin Temple, West Lake, Hefang Street, Hu Qing Yu Tang, and Wuzhen Water Town according to your time.Welcome to Hangzhou and immerse yourself in the city's poetic beauty and romantic culture. Contact AOT team to create unforgettable memories of Jiangnan City in Hangzhou!
Why a trip to Shanghai, Suzhou, and Hangzhou? Shanghai is famed as "China's Gateway", and both Suzhou and Hangzhou are known as "Paradise on Earth". These three cities are historic and cultural gems located in the Jiangnan region (the south of the Yangtze River region). For Chinese people, Jiangnan has been a must-visit destination since ancient times which represents the most beautiful and prosperous region, thanks to its watery topography and wealth in trade. Our Shanghai Suzhou Hangzhou Tours will fulfill your imagination of Jiangnan. From the "Magic City" of Shanghai to the "Garden City" of Suzhou and the "Paradise City" of Hangzhou, you will see the contrast between modern cities and the tranquility of water towns, tradition and fashion, and Eastern and Western culture. Contact us to discover Jiangnan, the richest area of China, with amazing natural landscapes and man-made wonders.
We offers many China Tours with Hangzhou to meet different travelers’ needs. Based on years’ experience, travelers’ choices and feedback, we highly recommend you to choose from the following 3 China Tours with Hangzhou for first-time visitors. You will explore from classic discoveries in China’s golden triangle cities (Shanghai, Xian, Beijing) to scenic exploration in Guilin with Karst landscapes, and brilliant Huangshan mountain. Any of them can be tailor-made according to your interests and needs. Contact us for guaranteed best prices!
Unveil the secrets to curating your perfect Hangzhou Tour! Planning a tour in this mesmerizing city may seem overwhelming, but fret not! We're here to be your trusted guides every step of the way. Access our wealth of Hangzhou travel information, offering invaluable insights to help you design the ultimate group tour. Immerse yourself in our latest and informative articles, covering topics like "How to Plan a Hangzhou Tour," "Hangzhou's Top Attractions," "Unmissable Things to Do in Hangzhou," "Discovering the Best Time to Visit Hangzhou," and "Answers to Your Hangzhou Travel FAQs." With our comprehensive resources, you'll possess all the tools necessary to create an unforgettable Hangzhou experience. View Latest Hangzhou Travel Guide >>
Hangzhou is the capital of Zhejiang province and its political, economic and cultural center. It is known as "Heaven on Earth" & "Paradise on Earth" due to its exceptional natural beauty, with West Lake being a significant contributing factor. The city's stunning landscapes, serene atmosphere, and poetic scenery have inspired poets, writers, and artists throughout history. The city's reputation as a heavenly place can be attributed to several factors:
1). Scenic West Lake: Hangzhou's most iconic attraction is the West Lake, which is renowned for its picturesque landscapes, tranquil atmosphere, and poetic scenery. The lake is adorned with islands, causeways, pagodas, gardens, and temples, creating a harmonious blend of nature and human-made beauty.
2). Historical and Cultural Significance: Hangzhou has a rich history that dates back over 2,200 years, and it was once the capital of the Southern Song Dynasty. It has been an influential center of art, literature, and philosophy throughout Chinese history. The city's cultural heritage, including its temples, pagodas, and historical sites, adds to its allure.
3). Poetic Inspiration: Hangzhou has inspired countless poets, writers, and artists throughout history. Its scenic beauty, particularly the West Lake, has been the subject of numerous poems, paintings, and literary works. The ethereal landscapes, mist-covered hills, and serene water have been described as a glimpse of paradise, hence the nickname.
4). Harmonious Blend of Nature and City: Hangzhou is known for its successful integration of urban development with its natural surroundings. The city has made efforts to preserve its historical sites, protect the environment, and maintain a balance between modern infrastructure and natural beauty. This harmonious coexistence contributes to its heavenly reputation.
Hangzhou is famous for several reasons. It is renowned for its picturesque West Lake, which has been a source of inspiration for centuries. Hangzhou is also known for its tea production, particularly Longjing tea (Dragon Well Tea), and water towns like Wuzhen & Nanxun. Additionally, the city boasts a rich cultural heritage, including historical sites (the Grand Canal), traditional silk production (Hangzhou Silk), and delicious local cuisine (Hangzhou Cuisine). Hangzhou is the home of Alibaba. Hangzhou also offers a wide range of attractions.
1). West Lake: The iconic West Lake is the crown jewel of Hangzhou. Its serene beauty, surrounded by hills, pagodas, gardens, and temples, has inspired poets and artists for centuries. Visitors can enjoy boat rides, stroll along the lake's shores, visit islands, and admire the scenic views.
2). Lingyin Temple: This ancient Buddhist temple is one of the most significant in China. It boasts impressive architecture, intricate carvings, and a serene atmosphere. The temple complex includes various halls, pavilions, and statues, including the renowned Feilai Feng grottoes.
3). Six Harmonies Pagoda: Located on the banks of the Qiantang River, the Six Harmonies Pagoda is a notable landmark. It offers panoramic views of the river and surrounding areas from its top floor. The pagoda's architectural design and historical significance make it a popular attraction.
4). Longjing Tea Plantations: Hangzhou is renowned for its Longjing (Dragon Well) tea, one of China's most famous green teas. Visitors can explore the tea plantations in the beautiful Longjing Village, learn about tea cultivation, and participate in tea tastings and ceremonies.
5). Hefang Street: This vibrant pedestrian street is known for its traditional architecture, shops, and local snacks. It offers a glimpse into Hangzhou's past with its preserved buildings and showcases various cultural and artistic performances.
6). Grand Canal: Hangzhou is a significant stop on the Grand Canal, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Visitors can witness the historical canal system, take boat rides, and learn about its cultural and economic importance.
7). Wuzhen Water Town: As one of the Top 6 Water Towns in China's Jiangnan region (along with Zhouzhuang, Tongli, Luzhi, Xitang, and Nanxun), Wuzhen is known as "the Land of Fish and Rice "(鱼米之乡) and the most cultural water town. Wuzhen exemplifies the typical characteristics of Jiangnan Water Towns (江南水乡), preserving the original appearance and layout of an ancient town during the Ming and Qing Dynasties. Characterized by burbling brooks, arched bridges, ancient docks, pavilions, and corridors, slab-stone paved alleys, and waterside tea houses, its residents still enjoy a cherished waterside lifestyle, special folk customs, and Chinese Painting-like Jiangnan (水墨江南) landscape.
Hangzhou is located in eastern China, in the Zhejiang province. It is situated approximately 180 kilometers southwest of Shanghai and about 100 kilometers southeast of Suzhou.
You can reach Hangzhou from Shanghai or Suzhou by various means of transportation. High-speed trains provide convenient and fast connections between these cities, with travel times ranging from around 45 minutes to two hours. Alternatively, you can also take a bus or hire a private car for the journey. To reach Hangzhou from Shanghai or Suzhou, you have several transportation options:
1). High-Speed Train from Shanghai to Hangzhou: The most convenient and popular way to travel between Shanghai and Hangzhou is by high-speed train. The journey takes around 45 minutes to 1 hour, depending on the type of train you choose. Trains depart frequently from Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station to Hangzhou East Railway Station.
2). Private Car or Taxi from Shanghai to Hangzhou: You can also hire a private car or take a taxi from Shanghai to Hangzhou. The travel time will depend on traffic conditions and can range from 2 to 3 hours or more.
1). High-Speed Train from Suzhou to Hangzhou: High-speed trains provide a convenient and efficient connection between Suzhou and Hangzhou. The journey takes around 1 to 1.5 hours, depending on the train type. Trains operate from Suzhou Railway Station or Suzhou North Railway Station to Hangzhou East Railway Station.
2). Private Car or Taxi from Suzhou to Hangzhou: Hiring a private car or taking a taxi is another option, although it may be more expensive. The travel time by road can vary depending on traffic conditions and can range from 2 to 3 hours.
The best months to visit Hangzhou are typically spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November). During these seasons, the weather in Hangzhou is generally pleasant, with mild temperatures and less rainfall compared to other times of the year. You can witness the blooming cherry blossoms in spring or enjoy the colorful foliage and the scent of Osmanthus in autumn.
In spring, you can witness the blooming cherry blossoms and other vibrant flowers, adding a touch of natural beauty to the city. The temperatures are generally mild, making it an enjoyable time to explore outdoor attractions like West Lake and the surrounding gardens.
Autumn in Hangzhou is characterized by pleasant temperatures, clear skies, and stunning foliage. The city's parks and landscapes become adorned with colorful autumn leaves, creating a picturesque setting. It's a great time to take leisurely walks around the lake or hike in the nearby hills to enjoy the scenic beauty.
It's worth noting that Hangzhou is a popular tourist destination, and these seasons tend to attract more visitors. If you prefer fewer crowds, you may consider visiting during weekdays or choosing the shoulder months of spring and autumn, such as March or November, when the weather is still pleasant but the tourist numbers are relatively lower.
A recommended duration for a Hangzhou visit is around 1 to 4 days. This allows sufficient time to explore the major attractions and immerse yourself in the city's poetic beauty and romantic culture.
This allows you ample time to explore Hangzhou's top attractions, such as Lingyin Temple, West Lake, Leifeng Pagoda, Hefang Street, Hu Qing Yu Tang, Six Harmonies Pagoda, China National Tea Museum, and experience the local culture and cuisine. Additionally, this timeframe gives you the opportunity to venture beyond the city and explore nearby destinations like the tea plantations in Meijiawu Tea Village, or the ancient water towns of Wuzhen or Xitang. Of course, the specific number of days can vary based on your personal preferences and the activities you wish to engage in during your visit.
Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, is home to 3 World Cultural Heritage sites — the West Lake Cultural Landscape (includes the West Lake and its surrounding hills, gardens, and historic sites), the Grand Canal (passes through Hangzhou and is recognized as a remarkable feat of engineering and a significant cultural monument) and the Archaeological Ruins of Liangzhu City (history of over 5,000 years). Here are the three UNESCO World Heritage sites in Hangzhou:
1). West Lake: West Lake is a cultural landscape of exceptional beauty and a source of inspiration for artists and poets. It was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2011.
2). The Grand Canal: The Hangzhou section of the Grand Canal, as part of the entire Grand Canal system, was recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2014.
3). Archaeological Ruins of Liangzhu City: The Archaeological Ruins of Liangzhu City, located in the southwest of Hangzhou, represent an ancient civilization that thrived around 5,000 years ago. The ruins include remains of city walls, residential areas, burial sites, and a sophisticated water conservation system. The site was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2019.
Jiangnan (江南) literally means "south of the Yangtze River" in Chinese. It refers to the region located in southern China, encompassing cities and provinces such as Shanghai, Jiangsu (including Suzhou), Zhejiang (including Hangzhou), and parts of Anhui.
Hangzhou is indeed considered a Jiangnan city as it is located in the Jiangnan region, specifically in the province of Zhejiang. With its picturesque West Lake, rich cultural heritage, and its association with the poetic allure of Jiangnan, Hangzhou is often regarded as one of the most representative cities of the Jiangnan region.
Hangzhou is known for its rich culinary heritage and delicious cuisine. The following dishes and snacks represent the diverse flavors and culinary heritage of Hangzhou. They are beloved by locals and visitors alike, showcasing the city's rich gastronomic offerings. Here are some Hangzhou dishes and snacks that are highly recommended:
Recommended Hangzhou Dishes:
1). West Lake Fish in Vinegar Gravy (西湖醋鱼): This is one of Hangzhou's signature dishes. It features tender fish fillets cooked in a sweet and sour vinegar-based gravy, often garnished with ginger and garlic. The dish is known for its delicate flavors and is a must-try in Hangzhou.
2). Fried Shrimps with Long Jing Tea (龙井虾仁): Long Jing tea is a famous local green tea, and in this dish, fresh shrimp are stir-fried with the tea leaves. The combination creates a unique and aromatic flavor profile.
3). Dongpo Pork (东坡肉): Named after Su Dongpo, this dish consists of a braised pork belly that is cooked slowly in a soy sauce-based marinade until it becomes tender and flavorful. It is a rich and indulgent dish.
4). Beggar's Chicken (叫花童子鸡): Beggar's Chicken involves marinating a whole chicken with herbs and spices, wrapping it in lotus leaves, and then baking it. The lotus leaves impart a distinctive aroma to the chicken, resulting in a flavorful and moist dish.
5). Hangzhou-Style Duck Pickled in Soy Sauce (杭州酱鸭): This dish features duck marinated in a special soy sauce mixture and then braised until tender. The marinade infuses the duck with a savory and slightly sweet flavor.
6). Aunt Song Fish Broth (宋嫂鱼羹): This is a traditional Hangzhou dish that comprises a thick and flavorful fish broth made from freshwater fish. It is often garnished with green onions, coriander, and other seasonings.
7). Stewed Bamboo Shoots (糟烩鞭笋): This dish involves stewing tender bamboo shoots in a flavorful broth made from soy sauce, spices, and fermented rice. The result is a savory and aromatic side dish.
8). Beancurd with Eight Delicious (八宝豆腐): This dish features cubes of soft tofu served with eight different toppings, which can include mushrooms, bamboo shoots, carrots, and various seasonings. It offers a variety of textures and flavors in a single dish.
Recommended Hangzhou Snacks:
1). Fire Shrimp Submarine (油墩儿): Fire shrimp submarine is a popular Hangzhou snack that consists of shrimp wrapped in a crispy dough and deep-fried until golden brown. The name "fire" refers to the spicy seasoning used to enhance the flavor.
2). Pancake with Fried Bread Stick and Scallion (葱包桧): This snack features a pancake filled with a fried bread stick (known as "You Tiao" in Chinese) and scallions. The combination of crispy bread sticks and savory scallions creates a delightful taste and texture.
3). West Lake Lotus Root Powder (西湖藕粉): This snack is made from lotus root powder, which is mixed with water and then steamed to form a jelly-like texture. It is typically served cold and topped with ingredients such as peanuts, preserved vegetables, and chili oil.
4). Chinese Orecchiette (猫耳朵): Chinese Orecchiette translates to "cat's ears" in English, referring to the shape of the snack resembling a cat's ear. These small, round dumplings are made from glutinous rice flour and can be served sweet or savory, often with a variety of fillings.
5). Deep-Fried Bean Curd Roll (炸豆腐卷): This snack comprises bean curd sheets rolled up with various fillings, such as mushrooms, vegetables, or seasoned minced meat. The rolls are then deep-fried to achieve a crispy exterior.
Su Dongpo (1037-1101, 苏东坡), also known as Su Shi (苏轼), was a famous poet, writer, artist, calligrapher, and statesman during the Song Dynasty. He had a strong connection to Hangzhou and its surrounding areas, and his poetry often praised the natural beauty of the region. Su Dongpo's contributions to literature and his love for Hangzhou have made him a beloved figure in the city's history and culture. People in Hangzhou admire his talents, his appreciation for the local landscapes, and his contributions to the arts.
Su Dongpo served as an official in Hangzhou twice during the Song Dynasty. Here are more details about his official positions in Hangzhou:
First Tenure: Su Dongpo's first appointment in Hangzhou was in 1079 when he was appointed as the Deputy Magistrate of Hangzhou. During this time, he played a crucial role in improving the local administration and implementing various reforms to benefit the people. He focused on issues such as flood control, water management, and agricultural development, aiming to improve the livelihoods of the local residents.
Second Tenure: Su Dongpo was appointed to Hangzhou for a second time in 1089, this time as the Prefect of Hangzhou. As the Prefect, he continued his efforts to promote good governance and socioeconomic reforms in the region. He introduced measures to alleviate poverty, supported education, and encouraged the development of local industries. Su Dongpo's tenure as the Prefect of Hangzhou was marked by his dedication to public service and his commitment to improving the lives of the people.
People in Hangzhou also hold a deep admiration for Su Dongpo due to his significant contributions to Chinese literature, calligraphy, and culture. Su Dongpo spent several years of his life in Hangzhou and composed numerous poems praising the picturesque landscapes and serene atmosphere of the area. His writings captured the essence of Hangzhou's beauty and played a role in solidifying the city's reputation as a "paradise on earth."
Su Dongpo's poems often depicted the enchanting scenery of West Lake, the surrounding hills, and the cultural sites of Hangzhou. His words evoked a sense of tranquility, harmony, and appreciation for nature, resonating with the hearts of many. His works also touched on various aspects of life, including friendship, love, philosophy, and social commentary, making him relatable to people across different generations.
Beyond his literary achievements, Su Dongpo was also a skilled calligrapher and painter. His calligraphy style, characterized by its boldness and vitality, remains highly regarded in Chinese art. His influence extended to various fields, including politics and governance, as he actively participated in public service and advocated for social reforms during his time.
The legacy of Su Dongpo continues to inspire and captivate the people of Hangzhou, as well as admirers of Chinese culture worldwide. His deep appreciation for Hangzhou's natural beauty, his literary prowess, and his multifaceted talents have made him an iconic figure in the city's history and a symbol of its cultural heritage.
The Grand Canal is a vast waterway system in China which is known as the Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal (京杭大运河). The Grand Canal, also a world heritage site, is the longest and oldest man-made canal in the world. It stretches over 1,100 miles (1,800 kilometers) and connects Beijing in the north to Hangzhou in the south, passing through various cities and provinces in eastern China.
Hangzhou is indeed a significant part of the Grand Canal. The canal flows through Hangzhou, providing the city with a vital waterway connection. Hangzhou's section of the Grand Canal played a crucial role in the city's historical development and its status as a prominent center of trade and culture in ancient China.
The Grand Canal was initially constructed during the Sui Dynasty (581-618 AD) and later expanded and renovated during the Yuan, Ming, and Qing dynasties. It served as a vital transportation route for goods, cultural exchange, and economic development between the northern and southern regions of China. Today, the Grand Canal remains an important cultural and historical symbol and a popular tourist attraction, showcasing the engineering marvels and the historical significance of the canal system in China.
Destination(s): Beijing, Xian, Shanghai
Date of Experience: Oct 26, 2023
Tour Customized by: Leo
You May be Interested in This Tour: 8 Days Shanghai Xian Beijing Classic China Tour
My experience with Asia Odyssey Travel was exceptional as they provided thorough assistance throughout my train tour, from start to finish. From my initial contact with Mike to the follow-up from Lucy, their service was fantastic. Mike maintained excellent communication throughout the entire process, and when I needed to make amendments to my train tickets, he promptly and efficiently resolved the changes. Everything went smoothly, and I couldn't find any faults with their service. I highly appreciate their dedication and professionalism in ensuring a seamless experience.
Destination(s): Beijing, Xian, Shanghai, Tibet
Date of Experience: Jun 23, 2023
Tour Customized by: JoJo
You May be Interested in This Tour: 16 Days Classic China, Panda & Holy Tibet Tour in Small Group
Destination(s): Beijing, Xian, Shanghai, Tibet, Chengdu/Sichuan
Date of Experience: Jul 07, 2023
Tour Customized by: Leo
You May be Interested in This Tour: 16 Days Classic China, Panda & Holy Tibet Tour in Small Group