Hangzhou

Travel Guide Asia China Zhejiang Hangzhou

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Introduction

Hangzhou (杭州) is home to the famous West Lake and considered one of the beautiful cities in China. It has a population of over six million people, is the present day capital of Zhejiang and has been an important city in Chinese history for the last 1,000 years. It was even the capital of China during the Southern Song Dynasty from the early 12th century to the Mongolian invasion of 1276. Many poets, philosophers and scientist made Hangzhou their home because of it was one of the leading cities in China until the Ming dynasty. During the Ming dynasty the harbour silted up, hurting the economy of Hangzhou.

Interestingly during the 16th and early 17th century the city became an important center for the Chinese Jewish community, which slowly assimilated into Chinese culture over the next two hundreds years. Today modern day Jews are helping Chinese Jews revive the culture. Hangzhou is also a great jumping spot to the countryside with amazing tea plantations on terraced fields. There is more to Hangzhou than just the wonderful West Lake. Experience amazing hikes, the clean air and amazing culture of one of China's best cities.

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Sights and Activities

West Lake

West Lake, or in Chinese Xihu (西湖), located west of the city is sorrounded by stunning mountains on three sides, with a surface area of about 6.5 square kilometres and a circumference of 15 kilometres. The lake was originally created in order to provide irrigation for farmers roughly 2,000 years ago. Over the years the lake was built up more and more, and a few time actually fell apart and had to be started all over again. Today West Lake is one of the most popular tourist sights in all of China and is featured on the 5 元 bill.

Other sights and Activities

Cheng Huang Temple is a spectacular building that is a temple, museum and tea centre, and one of many structures that dominate the Hangzhou skyline.
Guo's Villa (郭庄 Guo Zhuang). One of the best traditional private gardens in Hangzhou. It is one of the garden masterpieces of Jiangnan (the lower region of the Yangtze River) thanks to its incomparable surroundings and the smartly managed garden space. The garden develops as you enter further into it with regular switches between tight, closed spaces and sudden, open ones. The key feature, or spirit, is water. Cleverly juxtaposing shade and light, curved and straight, yin and yang, the garden of Guo Zhuang is a wonderful embodiment of the Chinese wisdom of Tao and the Way of Nature. The teahouse, Liang Yi Xuan (两宜轩 Belvedere of Both Good) sits in a prime viewing spot within the garden between two superb water "yards", one large and the other small. While there are plenty of "old villas" in China to visit—and many are similar—this one is also on the shore of the West Lake. The ¥10 entry fee keeps many people away, and you can have some tea (¥40) on the lakeside pavilions of the villa while avoiding the tourists.
Jade Emperor Hill (皇山公园 Yuhuang Shan Gong Yuan). One of the least-visited sites in Hangzhou despite its somewhat central location. The main temple on top of the hill offers a wonderful view of the city and lake below, and has a restaurant next door. There is another temple partway up the hill. The area can provide a quiet escape and a nice hike, as well as the chance to visit one of the few Daoist sites in the area (most other local temples are Buddhist). It is located directly south of Leifeng Pagoda. The main entrance isn't far from the Silk Museum. If you are playing along with the "10 Scenes of the West Lake" scavenger hunt still, the one that applies to the top of this hill is "clouds flying over Jade Emperor Hill".
Jingci Temple (净慈寺 Jìngcí Sì). Just off Nanshan Road, built in 954, the Jingci Temple has a huge 10-ton bell inside. Located on Nanping Road, they ring the bell 108 times here to ring in Chinese New Year. It is also rung every evening for much fewer times. Jingci Temple is the site of the legend of the miraculous well, which can be seen on the grounds of the temple.
Leifeng Pagoda (雷峰塔). On the shores of the southeast side of the lake and built in the year 977, all that remains of the original pagoda is the crumbling foundation, viewable from outside the glass case that it is housed in (Pagoda Remains Memorial Museum at the bottom floor of the pagoda). With escalators, elevators, and a totally new pagoda places on top of the foundation, there is not much to see within the pagoda; it was most recently rebuilt in 2000. However, the view of the city skyline is one of the best from here, and some of the smaller seating areas around the perimeter of the pagoda have a nice breeze and view of the structure. One of the 10 Scenes of the West Lake is "Leifeng Pagoda in Evening Glow", but this is best viewed from a distance (across the lake) just after sunset. The entry fee for the Leifeng Pagoda ¥40/person (Mar 2018) and it's not original, just rebuilt. If you don't pay to go in, you can still take pictures in front of it.
Liangzhu is a suburb of Hangzhou with a major archaeological site where an ancient city is being excavated. The Liangzhu Culture flourished in the region around Lake Tai 3400-2250 BCE, while cities such as Thebes, Nineveh and Mohenjo-daro flourished further West, and before the first dynasties of the Chinese Empire arose. They are now known mainly by the high-quality jade artifacts they left behind. In some ways they were quite advanced for the time period, with extensive irrigation and some cities, and their influence seems to have extended as far as Shanxi and Guangdong. However, they were still a Neolithic (late Stone Age) culture; they were to be the last such culture in this region. DNA studies show that they were of the Austronesian ethnic group, more closely related to today's Filipinos, Malays, Indonesians and Polynesians than to modern Chinese. This region was probably one of the sources for that group's migration into the Pacific. The site was listed as a world heritage site in 2019.

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Events and Festivals

2009 West Lake Music Festival

  • 2009 West Lake Music Festival (2009 西湖音乐节) will be starting on October 31st at 2pm and lasting until November 1st at 10pm. It will be at the The Lawn in Orioles Singing in the Willows Park (柳浪闻莺大草坪) which is at the intersection of Nanshan Road (南山路) and Hefang Street (河坊街), on the east side of the West Lake. Tickets are 200 RMB (two-day pass) or 150 RMB (one day), and bands include October Capricorn (十月摩羯), Mushroom (蘑菇团), Moriz (from Mauritius), Carsick Cars, Lions of Puxi, Zhang Xuan (张悬), Zheng Jun (郑钧), Flying Fruit (羽果), Sugar Mama (from the USA), Pet Conspiracy (宠物同谋), and Muma (木玛).

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Weather

Hangzhou has a pleasant climate though summers can be hot and humid. Maximum temperatures during the June to September period are around 30 °C and nights are a balmy 24 °C or 25 °C. Winters last from December to March when it's between 8 °C and 12 °C during the day and still above zero at night. Occasional frost and snow are possible though. Rainfall (or some snow in winter) is possible in all months, though summers see more heavy showers with higher amounts in total.

JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Avg Max8 °C9 °C13.7 °C20.2 °C25.1 °C28.4 °C33.1 °C32.6 °C27.4 °C22.4 °C16.9 °C10.8 °C
Avg Min1 °C2 °C6 °C11.8 °C16.8 °C21 °C24.9 °C24.5 °C20.3 °C14.5 °C8.7 °C2.9 °C
Rainfall59 mm88 mm115 mm130 mm159 mm185 mm129 mm145 mm171 mm89 mm58 mm48 mm
Rain Days1213161616151213131199

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Getting There

By Plane

Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport (HGH) is a major airport with extensive domestic service and some limited international service. All major cities in and most minor cities in China have direct flights from Hangzhou. International flights mainly serve other cities in North East Asia like Tokyo and Seoul. Since May 2010, KLM flies 3 times weekly between Hangzhou and Amsterdam, the first direct flight to Europe. Low-cost carrier Air Asia X operates the Hangzhou - Kuala Lumpur route. To get to and from the airport there are buses to downtown Hangzhou. There are also buses to other areas nearby in Zhejiang and a direct bus to downtown Shanghai.

Shanghai Pudong International Airport (PVG) has a direct shuttle bus connection to Hangzhou. It costs around 25 RMB. There are airport buses to downtown Hangzhou and Xiaoshan as well as to prefectures further away such as Yiwu.

By Train

The high speed (CRH) train from Shanghai's Hongqiao Station to 1 Hangzhou East Station is 50 minutes non-stop (¥73) and is frequent. There are also trains from Guangzhou, Beijing, Chengdu, and everywhere in between. There is a main 2 Hangzhou Station at the end of the line as well, reopened after a period of renovation although it lacks the facilities of Hangzhou East, as well as serving fewer trains.

By Bus

Hangzhou has four bus stations (N, E - "Jiubao" on Shengjia Rd, W, and S). Usually, the direction of your destination corresponds to the bus station's name, e.g. if you are going to Shanghai, you will want the East Bus Station. If you are going to Huangshan, buses leave from the West Bus Station; Nanjing is served by a frequent service from the North Station, and so on. Wuzhen (90 mins by bus, frequent morning departures) is now serviced by Jiubao Bus station, no longer the defunct Genshan Xilu bus station. It costs ¥50 and 45 mins to get to Jiubao bus stn from the eastern shore of West Lake by taxi. Bus K12 then bus K101 can also make the trip, allow 90 min to arrive at the Jiubao bus stn, and another 90 min to get to Wūzhen.

From Shanghai: Buses depart from the north bus station (Hengfen Lu), the PuDong bus station (Bailianjing, PuDong Nan Lu), and from Xujiahui Bus Station, tickets cost ¥58. These buses arrive at the north bus station of Hangzhou.

Shanghai Pudong International Airport : direct long distance bus from the Airport to Hangzhou on Tiyuchang Rd, avoiding transfer via Shanghai. From Arrivals in the Airport, follow the clearly marked signs to the Long Distance Coach Terminal (well after the Maglev Terminal) and take the elevator down one level to the concourse. Hourly departures, on the hour in the evenings. Last departure is 21:00. Take cash for fare.

To Shanghai Pudong International Airport: There are buses between Yellow Dragon Stadium and Pudong Airport (direct) and Wulinmen Ticket Office and Pudong Airport (with a stop en route at Hongqiao). Tickets can be purchased at the area with all the buses in front of the Yellow Dragon Stadium or at the Wulinmen Ticket office near the KFC on Tiyuchang Rd. (¥100, 2.5 hour journey).

To Hongqiao Airport (direct),: Wulinmen Ticket Office near the KFC on Tiyuchang Rd (¥100).

By Boat

The overnight boat service between Hangzhou and Suzhou/Wuxi has been discontinued. You can still take a ferry along the Hangzhou-Beijing Grand Canal to the north of Hangzhou proper.

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Getting Around

By Taxi

Hangzhou has a large number of taxis which allow for quick and convenient travel within the city proper. Most of the city's taxis are turquoise-green in colour, and easily identifiable by the word Taxi printed in both English and Chinese on the vehicles. Taxis for hire are marked by the green (or sometimes yellow-orange) light-up signs above the dashboard on each car.

Hangzhou taxi drivers almost always use the meter as required by law. Hangzhou taxis are notoriously expensive compared to other Chinese cities. Trips start at ¥11 and are priced by the kilometre, with surcharges for idling time and trips over 10 km. It's advisable to take a receipt each time use you a taxi, should you wish to contact the taxi company or driver at a later time to dispute a fare, recover a lost article, etc. Avoid the taxi touts at the train station and major tourist attractions, and instead use the designated taxi queue or flag one off the street.

Hardly any of the city's taxi drivers speak English or any other foreign language, and it's important that you be able to point out your destination on a map, present the driver with the name of the destination (in written Chinese), or properly pronounce the name of the destination in Chinese.

Hangzhou taxis are not allowed to carry more than four passengers, although you may be able to convince or bribe a driver to allow you to "hide" an extra passenger on the back seat. This can be worth the trouble or expense if it saves your group from needing to take two taxis. It's also not unusual, especially at late or slow hours for the taxi driver to collect multiple customers to make the journey more profitable. This will normally be explained in Chinese. This is uncommon at normal hours, however.

Like all public transport, taxis are difficult to come by during the tourist weeks (Chinese New Year, May Golden Week, and October National Week); also, available taxis at 07:30-08:45 and 16:30-19:00, and every time it rains, are difficult to find, as they are always full or in the middle of a shift change. A taxi with an imminent shift change - which usually occurs about 15:00-17:00 - will be showing a plate in the windscreen (Chinese characters of course) and will only take you if your route coincides with theirs. Being familiar with areas that taxis frequent or places where taxi passengers are likely to be dropped off will aid you in finding a ride. Try not to get upset when your hailing position is gazumped by a new arrival 20 metres before you on the road. The only rule is: it is the quick and the dead.

Taxi drivers will also negotiate for long distance trips, or full-day/half-day hiring. A trip to Pudong airport in Shanghai will be ¥600-1,000 depending on time of day or night.

In outer centres of Hangzhou, small five seater vans are usually available at bus terminals for onward transfers. These operate quite independently and the normal taxi rules do not apply. They will take you anywhere at a negotiated price.

By Public Transport

The easiest way around Hangzhou is the metro system, with 3 lines and 78 stations operational, covering 82 km as of June 2018.

Hangzhou has an extensive bus network. Bus schedules, routes, and on-board announcements are all in Chinese. For those arriving in Hangzhou by train, note that bus K7 goes from the Hangzhou Rail Station to the West Lake for ¥1. Fares can be paid in cash (coins or bills, no change given), by using a dedicated bus card, or by tapping the same card used to rent bikes (see below). The fare will be displayed on the bus stop and on the farebox.

You are expected to board via the front doors and leave through the rear (with the exception of the B routes). Buses have very little empty space even when they are not full (which is not common), so do not plan on bringing baby strollers or other cumbersome items. Be prepared at all times for fast turns and sudden braking. The suspension usually is not up to modern standards, and the driving can be aggressive.

Ferry down the Grand Canal takes 30 minutes but only makes 5 trips per day, the first at 07:30 and the last at 18:00. It starts at Wulin Gate/West Lake Culture Plaza and ends at Gongchen Bridge, with one stop at Xinyifang Grand Canal Culture Plaza. The boats stop first at Xinyifang, then to the newly developed Canal Culture Square, where you can see the Canal Museum, see if there are any events in the square, and check out the new Xiaohe Street- a series of "historical" alleys with shops and restaurants similar to Hangzhou's Hefang Street; the area's renovation was completed in 2008. Cost is ¥3.

While really worth taking the trip, Hangzhou now has plans to connect a series of canals and streams throughout the city with the Grand Canal, West Lake, Yuhang River, and Qiantang River, making for increased water transport and a Venetian feel when completed.

There are also passenger boats running along the Grand Canal from near the Qiantang River

Getting to the islands on West Lake, you get to choose between tourist trap Dragon or "Gaily-painted" pleasure boats (¥45 and ¥35). There are also medium-sized power boats (¥25), or for ¥160 you can hire a driver to paddle you around for about an hour. The boats are available in Hubin #X (1, 3, 6) parks and other obviously marked areas all over the lake.

By Foot

A walk beside the west lake is really pleasant when the weather is nice.

By Bike

While traffic in Hangzhou may seem chaotic to some foreigners, the city is comparatively bike-friendly. All but small side roads have dedicated bike lanes, often divided from motor traffic by barricades or medians.

Making use of the city's extensive public bike system can be a cheap and convenient way to experience the city. There are many different brands seen throughout Hangzhou, such as HelloBike (red-white or blue-white, by Alipay), the orange Mobike, or yellow Ofobike. These are cheaper at ¥1-2 per ride (up to 2 hours).

The HelloBikes can be paid for with Alipay, and also have a ¥12/month plan for longer term users. Quality is hit or miss, but if you are lucky, you can find one in good working order. Blue and white ones are usually better than red and white ones.

There is also a better maintained brand of bikes that you will see at dark green colored stations. These fire-engine-red public bikes are ubiquitous on the street of Hangzhou, and the rental stations that dispense them are generously spread across the core of the city and around West Lake, stretching all the way up to the suburbs and down to the river near the Six Harmonies Pagoda. The one disadvantage to these bikes is that you must park them at a station and walk the rest of the way.

To use the bikes, you'll need to purchase a stored value card at one of 5 sites, for example 20 Longxiang Qiao across from the Agricultural Bank of China. If you have trouble finding it, go to the Hyatt and ask for directions; they will point you down the correct street. Also, each bike station gives out free tourist maps including a bike map that shows all the bike stations around the city. To obtain a value card (also known as an IC card), you must present ID (such as a passport) and pay ¥300, of which ¥200 is a deposit with the remaining ¥100 to cover rental fees. Bikes may then be rented by tapping the card against one of the automated bike racks holding the bikes. A beep and the audible sound of the rack unlocking will indicate that the bike can be removed. You can use any of the available bike racks scattered about the city, if you wish to visit an attraction or get a new bike. The bike is free for the first hour, ¥1 an hour for the two hours after that, and ¥3 an hour thereafter. For example, if you rent a bike for six hours when you return to the main bicycle "hub", you'll receive ¥289 of this deposit back, which covers the ¥11 worth of bike riding.

IC Cards or the bike rental cards can also be used on local buses (9% discount on public buses). Multiple people may use the same card for their bus fare - just swipe the card once for each person getting on the bus.

Be careful to choose a bike with air in the front and back wheels, working brakes and appropriate seat height. However none of the bikes were designed for reasonably tall people, so if you have long legs you may end up chaffing your knees on the handlebars. During rush hour, local residents also actively use the bikes. Therefore, most bike stalls will be full and you might not easily find a station with empty racks to return your bike.

Bikes are returned by reinserting them into an empty bike rack and tapping one's card against the top of the rack. Another beep, a solid green light, and the sound of the rack locking will indicate when the bike has been received successfully. Make sure the bike rack lock receives your bike; it is doesn't, the bike won't be registered returned in the system, and you will lose both your bike rental and deposit money and get no refund. The system opens for business at 06:00, and bikes not returned by 21:00 each night must be taken back to the Longxiang Qiao location (open 24/7) - so keep an eye on the clock during evening rides. After ten days from purchase of the card, it may be returned for an 89% refund.

It is perfectly acceptable to rent bikes and return them within the hour and then immediately rent another bike so you never have to pay anything.

Plan ahead if staying out late. You will sometimes find that bikes are hard to find around tourist hotspots such as West Lake after 10-11pm, as most patrons have already ridden them home.

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Language

The local language in Hangzhou is Wu Chinese (generally known these days as Shanghainese, although each city has a different variation). It is spoken over quite a broad area including most of East China. Wu is not mutually intelligible with Mandarin (standard Chinese) or any other Chinese dialect. However, as anywhere in China, most locals are bilingual in the local dialect and Mandarin and, like other prosperous coastal cities, Hangzhou has many migrants from other provinces who speak Mandarin but not the local dialect. If you speak Mandarin you will be able to talk to almost anyone in Hangzhou except a few elderly or rural folk.

English is not widely spoken, though the more expensive hotels will likely have staff who speak at least basic English. Be sure to have the names of your destinations written in Chinese to show taxi drivers so they can take you to where you want to go. Carry a business card for your hotel so you can always get back there.

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Eat

Hangzhou is one of the premier places to eat in China, and its local cuisine features dishes that consist more of pork and seafood rather than beef and lamb, as those are typically found in the north and west regions of China.

Typical Hangzhou specialties include dongpo rou (东坡肉 dōngpō ròu), an extremely fatty chunk of pork in a syrupy sauce, and cuyu (醋鱼 cùyú), which is fish with a vinegar sauce. There are some characteristic local snacks, for example, small steamed buns (小笼包 xiǎolóngbāo), Xiaoshan dried turnip (萧山萝卜干 xiāoshān luóbo gān), & noodles with preserved vegetables (片儿川 piàn'ér chuān). In Wushan Square, you can find lots of food; the prices are cheap and the quality fine.

If you do not like Hangzhou cuisine, you can find plenty of excellent Sichuan, Shanxi, and Xinjiang restaurants throughout the city. There are also some Western restaurants, but those tend to be expensive.

For budget restaurants, even near the lake, just head into an alley and get some food from a small restaurant or street-side stand. You should judge for yourself how sanitary the food is, but you generally do not need to worry about this in Hangzhou relative to other Chinese cities. These restaurants are all quite similar.

If you like dumplings and have just come down the north side of Baochu hill (past the cave and in view of the soccer stadium), one option is to continue across Shuguang Road and up Hangda Road (0.5 blocks east and 1 block north) to Tianmushan Road. At the corner of Tianmushan and Hangda Roads are 2 decent dumpling restaurants with English menus available (one is upstairs from the other). They have many of varieties of dumplings, including all-vegetable. From ¥6-18 for a plateful.

For American junk food, Hangzhou has many KFCs, several McDonalds, and an increasing number of Pizza Huts throughout town, especially near the lake. If you like Pizza Hut style pizza, but don't want to pay Pizza Hut prices, there's a much cheaper Pizza Hut 'clone' on You Dian Road, corner of Hubin Road, right near the lake.

Other restaurants that are good and aren't as tourist-trappy can as Lou Wai Lou are located near the West Lake, usually to the East past Hubin Road in the Yan'an Road area.

For Xinjiang, try Jade Dragon Xinjiang Special Restaurant (龙翠阁新疆特色餐厅) inside the Handnice Hotel (Originally of Tiandu Hotel on Zhongshan Bei Road) at the east side of Hangzhou Yellow Dragon Sports Stadium. Some say the Xinjiang restaurant on the 5th floor of Sanrui Tower (三瑞大厦) on Qingchun Road is better and more authentic, and on the east side of town, Xinjiang Pamir Muslim Restaurant (新疆帕米尔餐厅) has many Xinjiang people dining there.

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Drink

The drink of choice in Hangzhou is tea, as the local Longjing (龙井, also Lung Ching, literally "Dragon Well") is the most famous green tea in China. Longjing is divided into seven grades, the two top being Superior (旗枪 qiqiang) and Special (雀舌 queshe), and the rest numbered from 1 down to 5. Prices for the very best stuff are extremely high— in 2005, a mere 100g plucked from Qing Dynasty emperor Qian Long's personal trees sold for over US$17,000 — but a few cups in a local teahouse shouldn't cost you more than a few dozen yuan. There is a wholesale market in Zhuangtang, however, most of the tea comes from trees outside of the "special" fields in Hangzhou. Prices are ¥15-1,000/500g depending on a multitude of variables.

Traditionally, tea from Longjing is best served with spring water from Hupao (虎跑, "Tiger Run"), which is located next to the West Lake. You might have to purchase the tea from the tea shop in Hupao, instead of bringing your own. It's about ¥20 per cup, but you get a thermal full of hot water with the purchase. Do consider mixing the leaves with bottled water, as construction project run off introduces chemicals other than water into the streams.

For bars, Nanshan Road all night every night should keep any visitor occupied. An up-and-coming part of town is on Shuguang Road has several old and new bars that are a little less hectic than those of Nanshan Road, including local expat hangout Maya Bar, packed-out local You To, rock music bar Travellers, and many more. Shuguang Road runs north from the north-west corner of the Lake. The Huanglong soccer stadium is full of dance / performance bars around the perimeter of the building.

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Sleep

Hangzhou Garden Youth Hostel. Opened in 2006 on ZhaoGong Causeway near the Hangzhou Botanic Gardens on the western shore of West Lake. It is part of Hostelling International and consists of a beautifully restored historic courtyard building. Dorm rooms have very clean, upmarket ensuite bathrooms with 24-hr hot water. The hostel is very convenient for walking and sightseeing around West Lake, but it's far from restaurants and nightlife. It is a 15-minute walk to the bar/tea house/restaurant strip on Shuguang Road.
Hangzhou International Youth Hostel, Nanshan Road (Right on the east side of the lake and just off "bar street", next to Qing Temple). Run by Hosteling International and has a friendly staff. ¥40 w/membership, ¥45 without membership, per night, 6 people to a room (you can get doubles as well for about ¥200, including a lakeview double for ¥250). All rooms and toilet/shower are extremely clean. Despite being literally a few paces from the clubs of Nanshan Road, this hostel is set back far enough to be relatively noise free and features a comfortable courtyard/patio with a pond. The lobby also has a boring bar and an all-right breakfast.
My Inn Hotel (我的客栈), 264 QiuTao Rd, ShangCheng District; 杭州市上城区秋涛路264号(长途汽车南站对面) (Adjacent to Metro 1 Wujian Road, and South Bus Station), ☏ +86 4008280082. Comfortable rooms without TV, although has a computer in rooms with internet at ¥20 (optional). Bathrooms are clean, there is a convenience store in the lobby, and laundry, kitchen and business facilities in the building. Plenty of bus routes can be taken at the hotel front street. ¥99 per night.
Pod Inn (布丁酒店). Several locations in Hangzhou, including two near West Lake. Similar in concept to My Inn with small, two person rooms starting at ¥95 a night and larger rooms at higher price points.
West Lake Youth House, 62-3 Nanshan Rd (At the southern end of West Lake), ☏ +86 571 87027027, fax: +86 571 88030237. No. Excellent rooms, friendly staff. ¥50 dorm, ¥200 double.
Hangzhou Touran Backpack Hostel, No.3 Si Yan Jing, Hupao Road Xihu Hangzhou, 310013, China (杭州市西湖区虎跑路与满觉陇路交叉路口,四眼井3号(靠近儿童公园), 西湖区 (杭州, 310013)), ☏ +8657186094311, ✉ tour.an@163.com. Very friendly staff. 42¥ dorm.
Enjoyor Hotel, 65 Qingchun Rd, ☏ +86 21-61226688 ext 7800. Shangcheng District. This hotel has 168 rooms, and also offers hydropathy treatments, a variety of dining options, and helpful services.
Hangzhou Overseas Chinese Hotel (杭州华侨饭店), Hu Bin Road 15, ☏ +86 571-87685555. At the beginning of this pedestrian lakeside area, right next the Hyatt. If you get a lakeside room, you have the same views and location as the Hyatt for one-quarter the price. Skip breakfast as it is all-Chinese, not very clean and full of other guests smoking their way through their meals. Otherwise, the rooms are clean and everything can be reached by foot. Also, taxis pass continuously in front of the hotel day and night, meaning that you never need to call for one. High-speed internet available on the 4th and 5th floor only.
Hangzhou Sunny Huansha Hotel, 17 Huansha Road, Shangcheng District. A 3-star hotel offering 100 aptly furnished rooms with smart amenities such as desktop computer with free internet access. Primarily a business hotel, it has a well equipped business center and multi functional hall that can accommodate up to 200 guests. edit
Redstar Culture Hotel, 280 South Jianguo Road, Shangcheng District, ☏ +86 571-87703888. A four-star hotel next to the Hangzhou Railway Station Square. Maximize your reservation by attending a gala at its 900-capacity theater and enjoy a sumptous meal on their Chinese restaurant that offers Jiangsu, Sichuan, and Zhejiang cuisines.
SouthLine Hotel (Nanxian Dajiudian), ☏ +86 571-8777-3939, ✉ southline@vip.163.com. A small but clean, well-located and reasonably well-appointed mid-range hotel one-half block off the lake and right next to the Zhejiang Art Academy on Nanshan Rd. Prices range from US$40 per night to over $100. The friendly staff speaks limited English.
SSAW Hotel Hubin, 221 Jiefang Rd. Shangcheng District. 4-star hotel near Hubin Walk Street and Nanshan Leisure Avenue features elegant rooms, conference facilities, restaurant and bar, fitness center, and concierge and tour desks.
Braim International Hotel. Offers 5-star accommodation near the World Exhibition Center and West Lake. The hotel offers 297 rooms, restaurant and café, outdoor pool, and conference facilities. Address: 195 Jiaogong Road, Xihu District. Phone Number: +86 21-61226688 ext 7800.
Braim Seasons Hotel Hangzhou, 166 Zhonghe Middle Rd (junction of Zhonghe and Jiefang Roads), ✉ tprsvns@hubs1.net. Shangcheng District. 4-star hotel with spacious rooms, free internet access, business center, and restaurant.
Culture Plaza Hotel Zhejiang, ✉ tprsvns@hubs1.net. Address: 38 Wen Er Road. 4-star hotel north of West Lake. It has 174 rooms with high-speed internet access and IDD phone. Facilities include the Super Book Market and the sprawling Wenhua Meeting Room.
European Style Holiday Hotel, 18 Xihu Street, Shangcheng District, ☏ +86 571-28937288, fax: +86 571-28930799. A four-star hotel near the railway station.
Friendship Hotel Hangzhou. A four-star hotel on Pinghai Road, Hangzhou’s central business district. Amenities include rooms with West Lake or city views, multicultural restaurants, versatile function halls, and meeting rooms. Address: No. 53 Pinghai Road, Shangcheng District. Secured reservations are instantly confirmed online.
Hangzhou Sunny Hotel, 108 Jie Fang Rd (Shangcheng District), ☏ +86 21-61226688 ext 7800. More than 320 rooms, 7 restaurants.
Huachen-Tang Palace (Huachen International Hotel), 25 Pinghai Road. Four-star hotel that is 5 minutes walk to the West Lake and with a fabulous international buffet breakfast.
Hyatt Regency Hangzhou, 28 Hu Bin Rd (right on the eastern shore of the lake), ☏ +86 571 8779 1234, ✉ hangz.reservation@hyattintl.com. 5-star hotel. The hotel is part of a multi use complex including an upmarket department store.
Lakeview Hotel (Wang Hu Hotel), 2 West Huancheng Road, Xihu District, ☏ +86 571-87078888. 4-star hotel with rooms equipped with cable TV, high-speed internet access, bathroom with tub, hair dryer, and mini-bar. Some of its amenities include Lakeview Hotel Shopping Center, hame rooms (for chess, card games, and billiards), and a swimming pool. Fabulous international buffet breakfast. ¥368 and up.
Ramada (Haihua Binguan), Qingchun Road (near the West Lake). Between Wulin Road and the West Lake, although lake-view rooms are somewhat limited and not very intimate.
Shangri-La, 78 Beishan Rd. Shangri-La is an older style hotel building on lush green grounds. Has bikes available to rent at ¥25 per hour. ¥1100. edit
Victoria Regal Hotel Zhejiang, 89 Yan An Road, Shangcheng District, ✉ tprsvns@hubs1.net. 5-star hotel offering 200 rooms with handsome interiors. Leisure and business facilities include the Ban Dao Buffet Center and the Viscount Grand Ballroom.
Xin Ding Garden Hotel, 135 Yanan Road, ✉ tprsvns@hubs1.net. 5-star hotel near West Lake with 118 rooms, business facilities, savory local and international cuisine, and free high-speed internet access.
Zhejiang Grand Hotel, 595 Yanan Rd, ☏ +86 21-61226688 ext 7800. Xiacheng District, 307 rooms, no frills. It also has 9 function rooms for events. An entertainment club and spa are some of the recreational facilities.
Zhejiang Xizi Hotel, 37 Nanshan Road, Xihu District, ☏ +86 21-61226688 ext 7800. Near the historic Leifeng Pagoda in the West Lake area. Magnificent views, excellent facilities, and good service.
Zhejiang Narada Grand Hotel (Zhejiang Shimao Junlan Dafandian), 122 Shuguang Road (Shuguang Lu). A the foot of Baoshi Mountain, close to West Lake.

You can use the form below to search for availability (Travellerspoint receives a commission for bookings made through the form)

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Learn

Zhejiang University - Courses in Chinese language and culture are ¥18,000 a year, ¥9,000 a term, or ¥800 a week and are taught mostly in Chinese (with occasional English).
Zhejiang Library (浙江图书馆) (To the south of the Huanglong stadium). One of the oldest public library of China.The area of the library is near 47,000 m². It was established in 1900, which is named Hangzhou library,and changed the name to Zhejiang library in the 1909. It has about 3,900,000 volumes which include English, Japanese, Russian, German, and French.

Private Chinese language schools like Hutong School offer a range of Mandarin courses that can be tailored to suit your needs. It's possible to take business Chinese, HSK preparation, or intensive courses.

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Keep Connected

Internet

Wangba (联网) means internet bar in Chinese. Almost every town will have an internet bar or gaming center. The best way to spot an internet bar is to look for the 网(ba) character, which means net, and large digitized images of computer game characters. Often, there will be a sign saying Green Power in English at the entrance. Most gaming centers cost about RMB3 an hour. You prepay at the main desk and are then given a plastic card or a piece of paper. Once you are done you return the card or piece of paper and get reimbursed for the money you didn't spend. Be prepared for a place that might be dingy, basic and messy. Internet bars in China tend to get crowded starting in the late afternoon to the late evenings.

Some hotels provide access from the rooms that may or may not be free; others may provide a wireless service or a few desktops in the lounge area.
Also, quite a few cafes provide free wireless Internet service. Some cafes, even provide a machine for customer use.

Phone

See also: International Telephone Calls

The country calling code to China is 86. To make an international call from China, the code is 00.

When making international phone calls it is best to buy an IP card. They typically have a value of ¥100 but sometimes can be had for as little as ¥25. The cards have printed Chinese instructions, but after dialing the number listed on the card English-spoken instructions are available. As a general indication of price, a call from China to Europe lasts around 22 minutes with a ¥100 card. Calls to the U.S. and Canada are advertised to be another 20% cheaper. There is no warning before the card runs out of minutes.

If you already have a GSM 900/1800 cellphone, you can roam onto Chinese networks, but calls will be very expensive (¥12-35/minute is typical). If you're staying for more than a few days, it will usually be cheaper to buy a prepaid Chinese SIM card; this gives you a Chinese phone number with a certain amount of money preloaded. Chinese tend to avoid phone numbers with the bad-luck digit '4', and vendors will often be happy to offload these "unsellable" SIM-cards to foreigners at a discount. If you need a phone as well, prices start around ¥100/200 used/new. Chinese phones, unlike those sold in many Western countries, are never "locked" and will work with any SIM card you put in them. China's two big operators are China Mobile and China Unicom. Most SIMs sold by the two work nationwide, with Unicom allowing Hong Kong/Macau/Taiwan usage as well. There is usually a surcharge of about ¥1/min when roaming outside the province you bought the SIM, and there are some cards that work only in a single province, so check when buying.

Post

China Post (中国邮政) is the official postal service of the People's Republic of China, operated by the State Postal Bureau of the People's Republic of China (website in Chinese only), and has more details about price to send letters, postcards and parcels, both domestically as well as internationally. The Chinese postal service is very good. Remember that in more remote places usually only one post office in a city can handle sending international boxes or letters. Also many times it might be worth having the name of the country you are trying to send to in Chinese characters, because small town people might not know what Estonia is in English. Post offices have a striking green logo and can easily be found everywhere in the cities. They are mostly open every day (including weekends!) from 8:00am to 6:00pm, though small offices might have shorter opening times, while the bigger ones in central and touristic areas are sometimes open during evenings as well.

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Quick Facts

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Coordinates
  • Latitude: 30.252501
  • Longitude: 120.165024

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This is version 47. Last edited at 15:10 on Jan 7, 20 by Utrecht. 18 articles link to this page.

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