Hangzhou Photo Gallery

Known throughout its history as a beautiful paradise, Hangzhou served as the capital during the Southern Song Dynasty from 1138 to 1279. Marco Polo pronounced Hangzhou "the finest, most splendid city in the world . . . where so many pleasures may be found that one fancies oneself to be in Paradise." Today, Hangzhou's claim to paradise does not lie in its streets, which are ordinary, but in its shoreline and the surrounding countryside.

It's an easy day trip option from Shanghai, with high-speed trains taking about an hour to reach Hangzhou.

Qinghefang has been thoroughly renovated and is now a pedestrianized shopping street.

Drum Tower

The Hu Qingyu Tang was originally established during the Qing Dynasty by merchant Hu Xueyan as a Chinese medicine shop. It is still a clinic and pharmacy today.

The clinic was bustling with customers and pharmacists putting together the herbal ingredients.

Hangzhou History Museum

Stamps are exhibited under a glass screen for protection. Upon tapping the glass, an enlarged copy appears on the computer screen above, giving a far clearer view of the design.

Hangzhou lies at one end of the Grand Canal, which runs over 1700 km north towards Beijing. Many merchant towns appeared along its banks as trade flourished.

Zhejiang Museum

West Lake covers 8 sq km in the heart of Hangzhou and its classic beauty has been well-documented throughout China's history. Surrounded by hills and shaded by graceful willow trees, it is a peaceful escape from the bustling city.

Gu Shan Island dates from the Tang Dynasty and now is home to the provincial museum. Connecting it to the mainland is the Bai Causeway, pictured here.