Hangzhou is the capital city of Zhejiang Province. It is a beautiful city with many touristic attractions. We started our journey at 9 am from Hangzhou airport to the Qinghefang Ancient Street. During the period of Southern Song Dynasty (1127AD-1279AD) this street was developed with shops, restaurants, tea houses and food courts as a centre for politics, culture and business and is still the same.
When we started walking through the street, we noticed some shops which were built many centuries ago during Qing dynasty such as Baohetang Pharmacy (from 1000 yrs.) Wang Xing Ji Fan Store (1874). This store is listed as the Three Wonders in Hangzhou along with two other shops silk and Longjing tea (Dragon Well tea). There is a famous restaurant named Zhuangyuanguan Restaurant (1870) famous for its Chinese cuisines. You can try some tasty Chinese food here. We as vegetarians didn’t have much luck and instead decided to visit Pizza Hut. We travelled within the city using a taxi and were lucky to have a local friend to guide us through.
Apart from these shops there are many other shops to visit especially the Chinese handicraft stores, toy stores, and ceramic stores. It was a wonderful experience while walking through the streets and exploring all the handicrafts.
There is a laughing Buddha statue in the centre of the street where you can click some pictures.
The streets are so colourful and the city looks like a red carpet in the night with the red lanterns which are famous for the Chinese tradition.
After walking through the Qinghefang streets, we had pizzas and continued our journey to the West Lake at around 2 pm. At the time of our visit, the G20 summit preparations were going on and there was super tight security in the city. We were the only non locals at the site and as expected, we were picked “randomly” from the queue. We had to show our passports and our luggage was checked.
After such an unpleasant experience, we entered the West Lake. We just had few hours left to catch our onward train to Lanxi, so we planned to have a quick glance. It was the most beautiful place I have ever seen. It is a fresh water man-made lake located in the centre of the city and it is surrounded by temples, bridges, gardens and pagodas. It is listed as World Heritage Site in 2011 by UNESCO.
West Lake has a total area of 6.5 square kilometres and the three sides of it is covered by mountains and the fourth side is the Hangzhou city. We completed our visit in a quick glance but it will take more than 3 hrs to visit the entire lake because it is divided into 10 scenic views. You can see the map for more information: Link.