At one point in time, you might have had about Hangzhou city in China. It has not only been talked about on several occasions but has also inspired a lot of creative works like books, designs, and poems. But why is that? In this article, we will look at all there is to know about the city. Read on to find out.
Where is Hangzhou located in china?
Hangzhou is the capital of China’s Zhejiang province. It is located in the northwestern part of Zhejiang province on the north side of the Qiantang River estuary. It sits on the eastern foot of a range of hills and the shore of Xi lake. It is on the southern end of the Grand Canal of China and the Hangzhou bay.
What is Hangzhou famous for?
Hangzhou city was defined by famous European traveler; Marco Polo as the finest and noblest city in the world. This with no doubt means the city has some conspicuous features that made it stand out to this Venice explorer. One thing the city is known for is the West Lake. It is a freshwater lake that has inspired poets and painters over the years. It is a natural attraction and a historic relic that has been an inspiration for several designs.
Around the lake, there are temples that hold value to the culture of the people. There is Yue Fei Temple which is the memorial to Yue Fei. Other temples are also memorials for great people who once lived in the area.
Hangzhou has great architectural designs and beautiful gardens. It is known for its strategic geographical location; it is surrounded by a lake, hills, and valleys. This aspect of the city fuses nature and humanity. This has motivated many designers and poets. This makes it appreciated by the tourists and the architecture is a sight to see.
Hangzhou is also famous for its silk and tea trade. The city was one of the seven ancient capitals of china that had silk fabrics. To date, it is one of the places with the best silk trade in the world. The silk is traded domestically and internationally majorly through the Silk Road. It is also a production site of Longjing tea.
Hangzhou West Lake
This freshwater lake has three causeways that divide it into five sections. In the middle of the lake stands three artificial islands; Huixin Pavilion, Ruan Gongdun, and Xiaoyingzhou. There is also Gushan which is a natural island. There are several temples and gardens located within the lake. The lake has a surface area of 1580 acres and a surface elevation of 33ft.
The lake has a beautiful scenic view that has influenced poets and painters over the years. It was made a UNESCO world heritage site in 2011 for having influenced several garden designs and paintings. It is a symbol of the fusion between humanity and nature.
West Lake has also inspired a lot of legends that have been passed down through generations. One of the legends that remains popular involves a love story between a mortal man and a snake spirit who met at West Lake. The legend narrates that the two fell in love but were opposed by a monk. They however ended up having their happy ending. Legends like these attract tourists from all over the world to the lake.
West Lake also is a source of fish that the locals and tourists consume. This makes it an important part of the city. The lake was first called Wu Forest River. It has undergone renovation projects in recent years which include the Southern Side Renovation Project. It has also attracted several activities around the area and has since made the city one of the most populous places in china.
During the Sui dynasty, a prefecture named Hangzhou was created at the Yangtze River delta. This was about the time when people started to settle around the delta. It slowly started to become a local center as the population continued to grow. When the southern section of the Grand Canal was completed in 609 BC the place picked up the name Hangzhou and became the capital of Wu-Yue. The place later became a center of commerce when the Jin dynasty took over and the Song rulers made it their capital. Later in the 13th century, Marco Polo visited and called it Kinsai. He was delighted by the natural scenery as it reminded him of Venice. Hangzhou has since not forgotten Marco polo and has honored him with a statue that stands near the west lake.
Hangzhou retained its importance under Ming and Qing dynasties that reigned from 1368 to 1912. Its fame spread out across nations and renowned poets and designers visited the place for inspiration. It became immensely wealthy due to the lands’ fertility and the silk industry that was booming.
Hangzhou, for being a great tourist attraction site is characterized by sweet dishes that have light flavors and beautiful presentation. The foods also represent the coexistence of humans and nature. They are fresh, sweet, and tender. One of the main dishes is the fish harvested from the west lake.it is cooked using a sweet and sour sauce that is poured on the steamed fish. This method of cooking retains the fish’s freshness while still giving it an appetizing touch.
Another famous food is Dongpo Pork. It is a dish that was named after a famous poet; Su Dongpo. It was his favorite meal after he was banished to Hangzhou. It is prepared by stewing bacon with wine for hours. The final bacon is red and moist when platted.
Longjing tea is also one of the city’s best delicacies. It has a fresh fragrance and is celebrated by tourists and locals. It is often served with stir-fried shrimps. Tea is part of Hangzhou’s popularity. Other dishes are Tofu, Stewed Bamboo Shots, Chestnut Soup, and Beggars’ Chicken. These foods are a part of Hangzhou’s culture and represent nature and heritage.
How far is Hangzhou from Shanghai?
Hangzhou is located in the northwestern part of Zhejiang province while shanghai is on the central coast of china. The distance between the two places is approximately 161km which is a two-hour drive. Shanghai is northeast of Hangzhou. The best and quickest way to navigate between the two places is by train. A bullet train takes 1 hour while a normal train takes 2 hours.
Hangzhou is a great city that upholds culture and balances humanity and nature. It is indeed true what Marco Polo said; Hangzhou is beyond dispute the noblest and finest in the world.