Square: 16,596 km2– Population: 9.188 million (2016)
Hangzhou is the capital and most populous city of Zhejiang Province in east China. It sits at the head of Hangzhou Bay, which separates Shanghai and Ningbo. Hangzhou grew to prominence as the southern terminus of the Grand Canal and has been one of the most renowned and prosperous cities in China for much of the last millennium, due in part to its beautiful natural scenery. The city's West Lake is its best-known attraction.
Noted as one of Chinas seven ancient capitals, Hangzhou is known as one of China’s most historic cities. Hangzhou was known as Qing tang County until the Southern and Northern Dynasties (420 - 589). In 589, during the Sui Dynasty (581-618), it was given the present name Hangzhou, which was recorded in history books for the first time. It roughly meant the city across the river or the city accessible only by boat. In the late sixth century, Hangzhou saw the extension of the Grand Canal, which was started in Beijing and ended in Hangzhou. The Canal changed Hangzhou from a sleepy fishing village to an economic, agricultural and cultural center. In 907, Hangzhou began to serve as capital of Wuyue after King Qian Liu chose the region to found his kingdom, which lasted 79 years. During this period sea transportation was established with Japan, Korea, and India, which contributed to the expansion of commercial activities in the city.
Hangzhou underwent dramatic development when the Southern Song Dynasty (1127-1279), pushed by the conquering Jin (Golden Tarta), established its capital there, officially called Linan, which means “Temporary Peace”. This was the most glorious period in Hangzhou s history. In the short period of a hundred years, the population increase to 1.24 million and the city was by far the biggest urban concentration in the world at the time. Moreover, its various industries, including porcelain manufacturing, textile, shipbuilding, papermaking and printing became highly developed and innovative. Under the Yuan Dynasty (1229-1368), the national political center moved north but Hangzhou remained an important city of southeast China as the seat of the provincial government.
During Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) Hangzhou was considered one of the richest and largest cities and counties in the empire. Emperor Kangqi and Qianling made Hangzhou their vacation home and visited the city yearly. Today Hangzhou still attracts countless Chinese and foreign tourists every year. Hangzhou is very accessible from nearby Shanghai and is a place that many people will visit for a relaxing weekend or “long-week” vacation.
"There is a paradise in heaven, On earth there is Hangzhou” ... the words in a song about Hangzhou, one of the seven ancient capitals of China and the capital of the Zhejiang Province. The city is a wonderful mix of old and new with West Lake as the heart of the city. This historical place is famous all over China for its beauty and culture and is one of the most visited tourist cities in the world. It is said that if you have you not been to Hangzhou you have not seen the real China.
Hangzhou is an elegant and harmonious city with a leisure perspective that no other city in China. This is the birthplace of the famous Dragon Tea with a history over 1,200 years. Here you find shopping streets that are still genuine but also shopping centers that showcase every modern Chinese and international brand and fulfill every shopping need.
Hangzhou’s West Lake is probably the most famous lake in China. It is completely man-made in the imperial garden style and highlights a strong Buddhist influence. Peak Flown in from Afar is famous for its thousands of Buddhist carvings, and nearby Lingyin Temple is a classic and celebrated example of a Buddhist temple. Hills embrace the West Lake on three sides; with the city proper to the east of the lake. For hundreds of years, the Chinese people have praised the West Lake area as a land of intoxicating beauty. It is like a shining pearl inlaid on the vast land of China, reputed for beautiful scenery, a multitude of historical sites, brilliant cultural relics, and a profusion of native products. Legend has it that the West Lake was a heavenly jewel fallen to earth and it has inspired painters for centuries.
Hangzhou is the provincial capital and also, the center of politics, economy and culture of Zhejiang province. It is not only the famous tourist place, but also an industrial city with that is considered an important manufacturing base and logistics hub.
The economy of Hangzhou is well developed. Since the implementation of the policies of reform and opening up, Hangzhou has made significant progress in developing its foreign economic relations and trade, which play an important part in Hangzhou's economy. The city’s key industries includes information technology, new medicine, large-sized machinery, auto components, household electrical appliances, electronics and telecommunication apparatus, fine chemicals, chemical fiber and food processing. Hangzhou also has fertile soil and rich natural resources, a temperate climate and abundant rainfall that makes it a productive place for agriculture products.
Hangzhou is equipped with a sound communications and infrastructure system; its power and water supply have been designed to allow for continued economic development. The city is easily accessible by air, land and water transportation from most places in China. The city government is making endeavors to make Hangzhou a city a continuing location that encompasses its unique position as world-renown tourism city that embraces diversified ancient culture along with a modern world-class business environment.