The east coastal Zhejiang Province is named after its largest river, the Qiantang River (it was known as the Zhejiang River in ancient times). The province has a population of 51.8 million and an area of 101,800 square kilometers, and is one of the smallest provinces in China. But it has rich tourism resources, and its capital city Hangzhou is one of the seven ancient capitals in Chinese history.
Zhejiang has two world heritage sites, 18 national scenic and historic interest areas and 41 provincial ones. Among them, the most famous are the beautiful West Lake in Hangzhou, the great Yandang Mountain in Wenzhou, Putuo Mountain in Zhoushan and Tiantai Mountain in Taizhou.
History-rich Zhejiang has six state-level historic and cultural cities including Hangzhou, Shaoxing, Ningbo, Quzhou, Linhai and Jinhua. In addition, it has a number of key cultural sites under state protection, such as the vivid Buddhist stone sculptures on Feilai Peak in Hangzhou; the Tianyi Pavilion Library, China’s oldest library; and Guoqing Temple, the origin of the Tiantai sect of Buddhism.
Renowned as a land of rice and fish, silk and culture, Zhejiang appeals to domestic and overseas tourists with its beautiful natural landscape and cultural heritage. Welcome to the wonderland Zhejiang!
Hangzhou is on the middle and lower reaches of the Qiantang River; and is a famous historic city and a national key scenic popular tourist city. Its most renowned scenic spots are West Lake, Qiandao Lake, Tianmu Mountain and the Fuchun River. In 2007, it was honored as the “Top Tourist City” in China.
The West Lake Scenic Area
Located on west of Hangzhou, the national AAAAA scenic area covers an area of 59 square kilometers. It is surrounded by hills on three sides and has a lot of scenic spots. In addition to the Top 10 West Lake Surrounding Sceneries like the Spring Dawn at Su Causeway, Melting Snow at Broken Bridge and Three Pools Mirroring the Moon, there are 10 new sceneries around West Lake, such as Yellow Dragon Cave Dressed in Green, Flying Clouds Over Jade Emperor Hill and the Dream of the Tiger-Running Spring.
Three Pools Mirroring the Moon
As one of the Top 10 Sceneries, Three Pools Mirroring the Moon has three stone towers in the lake in front of a pavilion. When the moonlight illuminates the whole lake, the candles in the towers glimmer, creating a dreamlike world in the pools where the moon, the lake and the candlelight come together.
The tower, south of West Lake, is named after the mountain it stands on. It was built by a king for his concubine during the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms (907-960).
In 1924, the tower collapsed after years of ups and downs, but it was rebuilt in 2002. It is now 71.96 meters high and its base floor is the site of the Leifeng Tower museum.
Dragon Well (Longjing) and Tiger-Running Spring
The Dragon Well is situated on Fenghuang Hill southwest of West Lake. It is surrounded by thick forests and is rich in springs and tea. The Tiger-Running Spring is in Dinghui Temple on Daci Mountain southwest of West Lake. Longjing tea made with water from the Tiger-Running Spring is marvelous. The scenic area also has other scenic spots like Tiger-Running Temple and Jigong Palace.
Xixi National Wetland Park
The Xixi National Wetland Park is located in the western part of Hangzhou City, six km from the Wulin Gate and five km from the West Lake, The wetland took its shape first during the Han and Jin Dynasties (206 B.C- 420 A.D.), developed during the Tang and Song Dynasties (618-1279), flourished during the Ming and Qing Dynasties (1368-1911), but went into a decline during the Republic of China (1912-1949). In the past 60 years or so, the local government made effort to rebuild the wetland. Today, it covers an area of 11.5 square km, as against 60 square km in history. Its ten must-sees include the Snowy Reed, Gao Shiqi’s Residence, Fishing Village, Enjoying Music at Hezhu, Dragon Boat Festival, Plums at Qushui, Red Persimmons Mirrored in Water, Her- ons Flying Over Lotus Flowers, the Charm of Hong’s Villa, and Rowing Boat in Reeds. Walking on the Blessing Causeway, Wealth Causeway and Longevity Causeway is fun, too. Its urban, rural and cultural flavor makes the wetland the first of its kind in China.
Lingyin (Soul-retreat) Temple
This ancient temple northwest of West Lake is also called Yunlin Temple. It was built by an Indian Buddhist more than 1,600 years ago. It has grotesque mountains and lush green trees, and was dubbed a “hermitage of immortals”.
Feilai Peak by the side of Lingyin Temple, is a key cultural site under state protection. Its 470 stone sculptures have various sizes and facial expressions, and were created starting from Five Dynasties (907-960).
As a national nature reserve in Lin’an City of Hangzhou, Tianmu Mountain, divided into west and east hills, is a renowned summer resort in south China. Chanyuan Temple in Tianmu Mountain is a famous temple in the south of the Yangtze River. There are six rare views in the resort including big trees, cloud seas, flying springs, rare rocks, nunneries, and tea shoots. The big trees in particular, with their long history and diverse variety, are a rarity in the country.
Qiandao Lake (Thousand-Island Lake)
This manmade lake, in Chun5an County of Hangzhou, is made up of 1,078 islands and covers an area of 573 square kilometers. It is well equipped with a lot of recreational facilities. It has a lot of artificial scenic spots like Longshan Island and Wenxin Island, as well as a number of natural landscapes like the Heaven Pool and Yingshan Academy.
Website: www. 1000islandlake.com
Qiantang River Tide
Huzhou is located in northern Zhejiang Province, south of laihu Lake. It is the homeland of the Huzhou writing brush, which is listed as one of China’s first batch of national intangible cultural heritages. It also has the time-honored lower in “Tower and the Double Woods with Three Bridges.
Ancient Nanxun Town
Located in suburban Huzhou City, the town is a famous waterside town in the south of Yangtze River. It has preserved ancient buildings from the Ming and Qing dynasties (1368-1911). Among them, a hundred buildings from the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) are typical riverside residences. In the town, tourists can also visit the former residence of Zhang Shiming (1871-1927), a rich businessman in Huzhou during the Guangxu Period (1875-1908) of the Qing Dynasty. The residence covers more than 4,000 square meters, perfectly integrating the traditional Chinese halls and the French-style buildings. It is honored as the “No. 1 Luxurious Residence in the south of Yangtze River.
Mogan Mountain Scenic and Historic Interest Area
Located in Deqing County of Huzhou City, it is one of China’s four largest summer resorts.
Legend has it that during the Spring and Autumn Period (770 B.C.-476 B.C.), the swordsmith couple Mo Ye and Gan Jiang made swords there, hence the name Mogan Mountain. Chiang Kai-shek (1887- 1975) and his wife spent their holidays there many times. After the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, Party and state leaders such as Mao Zedong (1893-1976) and Zhu De (1886-1976) also spent their holidays at the resort.
China Bamboo Sea
Covering a total area of 6.67 million square meters, the scenic area is located in Gangkou Township, Anji County, home to Chinese bamboo. It is where director Ang Lee (1954- ) shot the award winning movie Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. It is composed of a vast sea of large bamboo as well as the amazing Wunii Spring. In Anji, tourists can visit the memorial hall and former residence of Wu Changshuo (1844-1927), a famous artist. Here tourists can also climb Longwang Mountain, reputed as the “Green Pearl in Northern Zhejiang.”
Located in northeast Zhejiang Province, the city features a lot of famous lakes and old waterside towns. The Beijing- Hangzhou Canal, the world’s longest artificial canal, surrounds the city.
As one of the three famous lakes in Zhejiang, the lake is in southeast Jiaxing, covering a total area of 0.43 square km. The first National Congress of the Communist Party of China was held in a ship on South Lake, which is now a key cultural site under state protection. Yanyu (Mist and Rain) Tower, at the center of the lake, was built in the Five Dynasties Period (907-960) and is considered one of China’s “Eight Greatest Towers,” famous for misty, rainy landscapes.
The town is located in the north of Tongxiang City and by the Beijing-Hangzhou Canal. Residents here live along the rivers. They have preserved the town’s old lifestyle and architectural features. The town is also the hometown of Mao Dun (1896-1981), a great writer in modern Chinese history. Visitors can see the Mao Dun memorial hall and his former residence.
Website: www.wuzhen .com.cn
Located in central Zhejiang Province, the city is listed among China*s famous historic and cultural cities. Within the city, there are nine cultural sites under state protection. Jinhua ham is a well-known brand of ham at home and abroad.
Hengdian World Studios
Named after its location in Hengdian Town, this is the world’s largest filming base. The famous director Zhang Yimou (1951- ) shot the movie Curse of the Golden Flower here. It has 13 feature filming sites, incl uding Hong Kong Street, the Palace of Emperor Qin and the Exhibition Town of Civilian’s Residences in the Ming and Qing dynasties. In addition to holiday-spending and relaxation, tourists can also experience film and TV shooting at a close distance.
Twin-Dragon Scenic Area
Located to the north of the city proper of Jinhua, the scenic area is the only national scenic and historic interset area in Jinhua. It is also one of the “36 Fairyland Caves” in the history of Taoism. The Twin-Dragon Scenic Area is well known for its water-eroded caves, Wong Tai Sin Taoism cul- ture, and summer resort. The three most amazing spectacles among all the attractions are the Twin- Dragon Cave, resembling two dragons lying on a boat; the cool Ice-Pot Cave, which has a narrow entrance but spacious body like a wine pot; and Chaozhen Cave, where Master Wong Tai Sin cultivated himself in line with Taoist doctrine.
Website: www.shuanglongdong .com
The city, situated in southwestern Zhejiang Province, is reputed as the “home of Chinese photography”. The Xiandu Scenic and Historic Interest Area administered by the city is a national AAAA scenic area. The technologies of casting the Longquan Sword, firing Longquan celadon porcelain and Qingtian stone carving are on the national intangible cultural heritage list and have been passed down for generations.
Xiandu Scenic and Historic Interest Area
Located in Jinyun County, it covers a total area of 166.2 square kilometers. The area delicately combines the beautiful mountains and waters with the idyllic scenery. It is made up of four major scenic areas including Xiandu, Huanglong Mountain, the Rock Gate and Dayang Lake, with Dinghu Peak as their centerpiece. The stone columns of the peak are more than 170 meters high. According to legend, the Dinghu lake at the summit is the place where the Yellow Emperor, a legendary ancestor of the Chinese nation, made pills of immortality and eventually ascended to heaven.
It is named after a folk saying which goes,”The waves (Bo) will calm once the sea is at peace (Ning).” The city, located in eastern Zhejiang Province, is well known across the nation as a culture- and history- rich city. It is home to 11 national historical and cultural sites such as Tianyi Pavilion and Hemudu Site. Plus, it has a national scenic and historic interest area called Xuedou Mountain in XikouTown.
Located in downtown Ningbo City, the pavilion was first built in 1561 — the 40th year of reign of the Jiajing Emperor in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644)— and is the oldest private library in existence in China. It is a two-story wooden building with more than 10,000 books, most of which are carved and handwritten copies of works from the Song and Ming dynasties (960-1644). The owner of the pavilion strictly followed the rule that “non-family members cannot enter the pavilion^,. The rule was not broken until the great thinker Huang Zongxi (1610-1695) was fortunate enough to gain access to the library at the end of the Ming Dynasty and the beginning of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). Since then, Tianyi Pavilion has been gradually opened to the public.
Situated at the foot ofTaibai Mountain in Jinzhou District of Ningbo City, the temple was originally built in 300, the first year of Yongkang in the Jin Dynasty. Covering 45,000 square meters, it is the ancestral temple of the Soto sect of Japanese Buddhism, and is also a key cultural site under state protection.
Liangzhu Culture Park
Located in Jinzhou District of Ningbo City, Liangzhu Culture Park is the only park with love as its theme. Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai, known as the Chinese Romeo and Juliet, play the leading roles in a sadly beautiful love story among Chinese folk tales. People in the Song and Ming dynasties built a joint tomb for the two lovers, upon which people nowadays have built a love park for tourists to visit.
Xikou Xuedou Mountain Scenic and Historic Interest Area
The area, occupying 85 square kilometers, is situated in Fenghua City under the administration of Ningbo. As the only national scenic and historic interest area in Ningbo City, it is composed of three parts — Xikou Town, Xuedou Mountain and Ting-xia Lake. Xikou Town has many attractions, such as the former residence of Chiang Kai-shek’s family and the tomb of Chiang’s mother, as well as Wen-chang Pavilion, where Chiang (1887-1975) and his wife (1897-2003) stayed during their home visits.
Located in western Zhejiang Province, Quzhou City houses three historic and cultural sites under state protection — the temple for the Southern Sect of Confucius, the dagoba in Longyouhu Town and Jiang- lang Mountain with Danxia landform, one of World Heritage sites.
Situated on the side of Tongtan Mountain in northern Longyou County, the Longyou Grottoes are a huge ancient manmade underground architectural cluster. People have millions of questions about the grottoes. When was it excavated? By whom? I low? And for what? 7 These questions could remain unsolved mysteries for generations to come.
Situated in central north of Zhejiang Province, Shaoxing City was one of the first batch of famous historic and cultural cities in China. It houses nine historic and cultural relics under state protection. Shaoxing is home to many celebrities who have influenced Chinese history. It is also a well- known land of rivers, lakes and bridges. There are more than 600 ancient bridges before the Qing Dynasty (1644-191 I) in existence in the city.
Former Residence of Lu Xun
Located on Lu Xun Road in Shaoxing City, the residence is a big courtyard built with bricks and wood. It has a history of 200 years and is under state protection. The literary giant Lu Xun (1881-1936) lived here for more than 10 years, during which he came up with many of his stories. Most of the surrounding spots are well preserved, such as the Baicao Garden, Sanwei Study and Xianheng Restaurant. The Lu Xun Memorial, presenting various objects relevant to Lu Xun, sits to the east of his former residence.
Situated in the middle part of the coastal area of Zhejiang Province, the city is a rising tourist city in the province. It is home to Tiantai Mountain, a key national scenic and historic interest area, and Linhai, a national historic and cultural city.
Tiantai Mountain Scenic and Historic Interest Area
It is a national AAAA scenic area in Tiantai County in the central eastern part of Zhejiang Province. It is a holy land worshipped by religious pilgrims. It is also well known in the world for its “tranquility, fantasticality, purity and antiquity”. Major attractions include the “flying waterfall over the rock pillar”, Fangguang Temple and Guoqing Temple. Guoqing Temple, a cultural site under state protection, was first built in the Sui Dynasty (581-618), and was revamped during the reign of the Yongzheng Emperor (1723-1735) of the Qing Dynasty.
Dalu Island Forest Park
It is the only national forest park on the sea. The park is situated in Yuhuan County and is composed of two islands — Dalu Mountain Island and Xiaolu Mountain Island – covering 1.75 square kilometers. The former has such attractions as Luohan Rock, Longmen Bridge, the Stone Cave Cluster, Longyou Cave and Cable Bridge. A large number of marine animal sculptures, created by Professor Hong Shiqing (1929-2008) of the China Academy of Art, are showcased in the park. These sculptures, exotically shaped with exaggerated expressions, have become an amazing artistic spectacle in the forest park.
Located on the southeastern coast of Zhejiang Province, Wenzhou City boasts forest-clad mountains and limpid streams, as mirrored in two national scenic spots — Vandang Mountain and Nanxi River.The Liu Ji (131 1-1375) Shrine, situated in Nantian Town of Wencheng County, has been listed as a cultural site under state protection.
It is made up of three Yandang hills — the north and middle ones in northeastern Yueqing City, and the south one in Pingyang County. It is a national scenic area. Among them, the north hill has the most peculiar scenery as reflected in its “five uniquenesses” — peculiar summits and stones, flying waterfalls and flowing streams, ancient and misshaped caves, dangerous mountain entrances, and calm lakes on the mountain summit. During the rainy season, visitors can enjoy Dalongqiu Waterfall, which drops 190 meters from the top.
The city, praised as a city of a thousand islands, is composed of 1,339 islands in northeastern Zhejiang Province. Visitors can take in the beautiful scenery decorated by numerous islands. In the meantime, they can immerse themselves in Putuo Mountain, one of the four major Buddhist moun- tains in China, and Dinghai City, the only cultural and historic island city in Zhejiang Province.
Putuo Mountain Scenic and Historic Interest Area
The area, taking up 12.93 square kilometers, is actually a small island among the Zhoushan Islands. It is one of the first batch of key national scenic and historic interest areas in China. Putuo Mountain is a holy land for Buddhist pilgrims and holds more than 70 temples, of which the three best known arc Puji Temple, Fayu Temple and Huiji Temple. The bathing beaches in the area — Baibusha and Qianbusha also attract a large number of tourists.
Shengsi Islands Scenic and Historic Interest Area
Located in the north of the Zhoushan Islands, it consists of 394 big and small islands and is known as the only island scenic and historic interest area. It embraces four major scenic spots including the Sijiao Reef, Flower Island, Shengshan Moun- tain and Yangshan Mountain. The big beach, with soft sands and gentle flow, is a well-known summer resort. It is called the “southern Beidaihe”.
Recommended Tourist Itineraries
Quality Sightseeing Tour in Hangzhou
Day 1: Lingyin Temple — Leifeng Tower — West Lake Boat Tour — “Impression West Lake” Show in Chinese Silk Museum. Spend the night in Hangzhou.
Day 2: Xixi National Wetland Park — Liuhe Pagoda — Wangxingji Fan Factory — TCM Hall of Guangxingtang — Qinghefang Street — Night Tour of the Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal. Spend the night in Hangzhou.
Day 3: Yuhang Liangzhu Culture Museum — Jingshan Temple — West Tianmu Mountain in Lin’an — Red Latern Rural Village in Tonglu County. Spend the night in Tonglu, Hangzhou.
Day 4: Central part of the Qiandao Lake — Watch fish-catching with huge net — Fish feast. Departure.
Eco-Tour in Rural Huzhou
Day 1: Ancient Nanxun Town — Anji Bamboo Museum Garden — Bamboo shoots for dinner. Spend the night in Anji.
Day 2: Datang Tribute Tea Park 一 Rural tour in Guzhu Village — Museum of Huzhou Writing Brush — Huzhou Taihu Lake Tourist Resort. Spend the night in Huzhou.
Day 3: Mogan Mountain Scenic and Historical Area in Deqing — Xiazhu Lake Wetland Scenic Zone. Departure.
Tour of Waterside Town of Jiaxing
Day 1: Ancient Xitang Town — Nanhu Lake Scenic Area — Yuehe River Scenic Area — Night tour of the Round-City Canal.
Day 2: Jiulong Mountain Holiday Resort — Hangzhou Bay Bridge — South-North Lake Scenic Area — Haining China Leather City.
Day 3: Ancient Yanguan City — Haining Tide — Dongzha Scenic Area in Wuzhen — Xizha Scenic Area — Night Tour of Xizha.
Cultural Tour of Ancient City of Shaoxing
Day 1: Hometown of Lu Xun — Donghu Lake Scenic Area — Night tour of Shen Garden. Spend the night in Shaoxing.
Day 2: Lanting Scenic Area — Da Yu Mausoleum Scenic Area — Cangqiao Street. Spend the night in Shaoxing.
Day 3: Self-guided tour — Visit the ancient city on foot or by trishaw. Free walk in historical and cultural streets, such as Baziqiao Street and Hometown of Wang Xizhi. Departure.
Ocean Custom Tour of Zhoushan Islands
Day 1: Jihu Lake Beach to experience the fisherman’s life in Wulong County. Spend the night in Shengsi.
Day 2: Giant statue of Nanhai Bodhisattva — Puji Temple Scenic Area. Spend the night in Putuo Mountain.
Day 3: Luojia Mountain of the Putuo Mountain Scenic Area — Sand Sculpure Park — Wushitang Scenic Spot — Guanyin Culture Garden. Eat seafood for dinner at Shenjiamen Night Market, and spend the night in Shenjiamen.
Day 4: “The Brave Archer”, Film City, Anqi Peak and Peach Blossom Valley in the Taohua (Peach Blossom) Island. Departure in the afternoon.
Romantic Tour of Taizhou
Day 1: Shiliang Flying Waterfall (No.l world wonder) — Guoqing Temple. Spend the night in Tian tai.
Day 2: Ancient Great Wall in South China — Changyu Sone Cave Scenic Area — Millenium Sun_ light Park. Spend the night in Wenling.
Day 3: Shenxianju National Scenic Area in Xian- ju. Spend the night in Xianju.
Day 4: Visit Grand Buddha Temple in Xinchang Departure.
Festivals and Celebrations
Hangzhou West Lake International Expo
Time: October to November each year
What’s on: Different exhibition themes, conferences and celebrations every year.
China International Tidal Bore Watching Festival
Time: From the 16th day to 20th day of the eighth lunar month (September)
Venue: Yanguan of Raining City
What’s on: Watching the Qiantang River tide, southern food festival, lake entertainment forum.
China Zhoushan International Sand Sculpture Festival
Time: July to October each year
Venue: Zhujiajian of Zhoushan City
What’s on: International sand sculpture competition, float parade and special cultural and art programs with Zhoushan Islands characteristics.
Ningbo International Garment Festival
Time: October each year
Venue: Ningbo City
What’s on: International garment expo, seminars, cultural and art performances and business and trade talks.
China Yiwu International Tourism Commodities Fair
What’s on: Exhibitions and trade, meetings and forums and festive activities.
Zhejiang cuisine is represented by Hangzhou, Ningbo and Shaoxing local cuisines. In terms of cooking, Zhejiang cuisine uses ingredients from the south while cooking them in a northern way in pursuit of a fresh, delicious, crispy and delicate flavor. Dishes in port cities like Ningbo and Wenzhou mostly feature seafood. In addition, there are lots of local snacks such as Wufangzhai pyramid-shaped rice dumplings, Ningbo stuffed dumplings and Huzhou Ding Lianfang stuffed bun (actually meat wrapped in thin sheets of bean curd).
Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport has plenty of air routes extending to more than 80 cities at home and abroad. It has regular passenger and cargo air routes to Hong Kong, Macao, South Korea, Singapore and Japan, etc.
There are two railway stations in Hangzhou: Hangzhou Railway Station and Hangzhou East Railway Station.
Highways: There are four long-distance bus stations in Hangzhou, linking the city to more than 12 provinces and one municipality across the country including Guangdong, Hubei and Shandong.
Hangzhou has many shopping centers with a number of specialties, including West Lake Longjing tea, Zhangxiaoquan scissors and West Lake silk umbrellas and silk.
Zhejiang has four distinct seasons with warm winter and hot summer. The best seasons to visit the province are spring and autumn. In May and June, it is the rainy season. During the May Day holiday, people tend to crowd here for sightseeing, therefore travelers should avoid this busy period.