Hangzhou is a blessed city with an advantageous location and favorable climate, which also contribute to the city’s many splendid specialties, some of which were imperial tributes in ancient China. So, when visiting Hangzhou, don’t forget to treat yourselves to some of Hangzhou’s greatest treasures.
Xihu Longjing Green Tea
Xihu Longjing Green Tea is a household name in China where it also leads the table in the top ten teas. Xihu Longjing Green Tea, with a history of over 1200 years, is mostly produced in the Longjing Village and Xihu District areas. This specialist tea is green in color, and even with its strong aroma it still tastes refreshing. It is shaped like the tongue of a sparrow and has four characteristics "green color, strong fragrance, sweet, and fine shapes."
Longjing green tea gets its name from the Longjing well, which is located at Longjing tea village at the northwestern foot of Wenjiashan Mountain in the west of West Lake. It is named so because when you stir the water in the well with a stick, a pattern of a dragon appears on the water’s surface.
According to production, Longjing tea is divided into three categories, respectively, Xihu Longjing, Qiantang Longjing (Xiaoshan and Fuyang), Yuezhou Longjing (Shaoxing area and Shengzhou city).
According to the different picking times, Longjing green tea is then divided into two categories, with those picked before Qingming Festival (April 4 to 6) called Mingqian tea (明前茶) and those after Qingming Festival but before Guyu (Grain Rain: April 19 to 21) Yuqian tea (雨前茶). Mingqian Tea usually costs more than Yuqian Tea.
Hangzhou has long been known as the “Capital of Silk” and has occupied a dominant position in China’s traditional silk and fabrics manufacturing industry. The silk-related archaeological findings unearthed from the over 4700-year-old Liangzhu Culture show the evidence of the long history of Hangzhou silk, and the row-upon-row of silk stores in old Hefang Street have also witnessed the prosperity of the ongoing silk economy.
Hangzhou silk is smooth in texture and brilliant in color. As early as the Han Dynasty (202-220), Hangzhou silk has been exported abroad. Hangzhou silk is of large variety and famous brands in Hangzhou include Wensli, Dujinsheng and Xi De Bao.
Wang Xing Ji Fan
Wang Xing Ji Fan is a traditional handicraft of Hangzhou and is reputed as one of the “three treasures of Hangzhou” along with Hangzhou silk and Longjing Green Tea.
Hangzhou Wang Xing Ji Fan Factory used to be called Wang Xing Ji Fan Shop which was started by Wang Xingzhai in 1875, who became a famous fan maker in his 20s. In fact, Wang Xingzhai’s family had been engaged in fan production for generations. The black-paper fans they produced were prized many times in Italy Milan, Panama Pacific International Exposition and West Lake International Exposition, and were also offered to emperors as imperial tributes.
The sun is shining and the autumn wind is just right. In such good weather, it is a good idea to travel back in time in the Hangzhou Confucius Temple. Here, you can cultivate your mind and soul. In the temple, tablets can be seen everywhere, positioning people instantly in the ancient seat of learning in the capital city of the Southern Song Dynasty. Here, you can stop and appreciate the ancient moss-covered stone tiles, which seems to narrate the thousands-of-year history of the Confucius Temple.