ABOVE IS PARADISE, BELOW IS HANGZHOU
Historic Hangzhou dates back to the sixth century AD and is one of the ancient capitals of China. It served as the capital of the Southern Song Dynasty in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. Today Hangzhou is known as one of the most beautiful cities in China and it still retains much of its historical and cultural heritage.
The central feature of the city is the attractive West Lake and its shoreline. Take a delightful stroll around this picturesque area to explore the verdant gardens, traditional temples and inspiring pagodas. Cross the ancient willow-lined Bai Causeway, walking in the steps of the Tang Dynasty poet Bai Juyi and reflect on the beauty that was his inspiration 1,200 years ago. For relaxation take a leisurely cruise across the tranquil waters and in the evening watch the spectacular “West Lake Impression” show.
The cultural heritage of the city is best preserved in the picturesque Temple of Inspired Seclusion, one of the most important Buddhist temples in China. Located on a wooded hillside, the colorful buildings are surrounded by serene gardens where rocky outcrops are carved with numerous statues of Buddha. Also visit the Six Harmonies Pagoda built on a hillside overlooking the Qiantang River for the purpose of calming the turbulent waters below. Hangzhou is also famous for its tea plantations where the young leaves are picked by hand. Visit the fertile slopes and enjoy an oriental tea-tasting.