Unlike Chinese megalopolises, Hangzhou fells like heaven on earth with its famous West Lake, encircled by the mountains of Yulong and Fenghuang. The Pagoda of Six Harmonies, built more than 1,000 years ago, can only embellish this Epinal engraving of a China of long ago.
From the Buddhas of Mount Felai to the splendid traditional pharmacy in the Qinghefang Guji district, there is no shortage of cultural sites in this city that neighbors Shanghai. A historical heritage which, like the magnificent temple of Lingyin, among the 10 largest in China, stands proudly to greet its visitors, all keen to enjoy the fascination of Chinese culture. Other sensations await you as you stroll along the aptly named street of Food, on the edge of the Shengli River. This street is famous for its dizzying choice of restaurants, the most Chinese of organization and the hundreds of red lanterns that float above your head. There's no doubt that a dish of pork Dongo, or shrimp cooked in tea, will earn your culinary curiosity.
And what better way to digest your meal than a regenerative walk around the green pathways of the National Tea Museum? An absolute must for anyone keen to explore this treasure of Chinese civilization, while enjoying the setting that's as harmonious as it's tranquil. Even more relaxing are the hot springs of Tuankou which the boldest among you can reach by traveling over the mountainous hinterland of Hangzhou. Reputed to be the largest natural hot spring in the country, this sophisticated and refined place is a truly energizing bubble of air. The perfect place to escape from the noise and bustle of the metropolis. Finally, it's worth stopping off in the city of Tiandu Cheng, close to the city, for one reason alone: it is a miniature reproduction of Paris! The kind of unusual and confusing destination that you could only find in China.
where to stay
Hangzhou • China
Sofitel Hangzhou Westlake
Sofitel Hangzhou West Lake sits on the picturesque banks of the West Lake, besid...
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