The Best Things to Do When Visiting Hangzhou
Take a long walk along the West Lake in the early mornings to savor the city at its most peaceful. The lake is quiet and serene; all around the scene is still, with faint lights blinking gently from far away. Walking back, take a few minutes to decide what to satiate a grumbling stomach with, for the varieties of breakfast food are numerous, and it would take one quite a while to try them all.
Rushing back to catch up with the city’s pace, you are now at Hefang Street, a location that has long been a market bustling with activity, dating back to the Southern Song Dynasty. The air is heavy with the aroma from various cafes, restaurants, and other food establishments, mixing with snack sellers’ wares. The street isn’t defined just by its culinary offerings, for it is home to a number of unique trades, from silk shops to a 100-year-old pharmacy, Hu Qi Yu Tang.
Hefang Street is indeed the place that best embodies the history and culture of Hangzhou, while walking down lush green Nanshan Road is a treat for those inclined towards literary and artistic pursuits, with numerous artful shops and coffee joints perfect for taking the time to relax and enjoy this beautiful scene with a cup of coffee.
Longjing Tea Village
Beishan Road is arguably the most prominent of historical areas in Hangzhou if you are interested in the former residences of famous Chinese people. One can see Chun Yun cottage, Sui Villa, Ru Villa, Yi Villa, Xi Villa, Sheng Villa, Baoqing Villa, Puti Buddhist House, among others.
By the time tulips bloom, Taiziwan Park instantly transforms into a fairyland. Now is the best time to go see rapeseed flowers. One of the greatest places to watch them is Xianghu Lake Scenic area, where there is a 400-acre field. When the flowers are in full bloom, the whole residence turns into a mesmerizing golden ocean.
Maojiabu is another stunning scenic area, where before your eyes unfolds a stretch of folk architectural style houses nestled in the shadows, with willow trees drooping along the bank of the lake and reeds swaying in the wind.
Other than the West Lake, you can go have a taste of tea at Longjing Village, the tea growing area closest to the West Lake, after which you might want to stop at Bamboo-Lined Path at Yunqi located at Nine Creeks and Eighteen Gullies, towards the west of the West Lake.
With the arrival of summer comes new life in Hangzhou’s night. You will witness a Hangzhou totally different from the one you saw before, where the scene along West Lake is now dotted with night markets. Another night market you should not miss is at Xinyi square, a historic walking area near the river, where one can find a lot of interesting and cultural activities to take part in.
In Jiande, there is an ancient town that has experienced thousands of years of wind and rain. It has a beautiful name called Meicheng (Plum Blossom Town). Meicheng was the state town of the then Yanzhou and is now the county town of Jiande. It has a history of 1700 years.