Hangzhou’s West Lake, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is so influential in Chinese culture that many Chinese towns have built their own replicas. Well-known in Japan and Korea, the city was not revealed to the west until Marco Polo remarked, “without doubt the finest and most splendid city in the world.” Hangzhou was the capital of China from 1127, during the southern Song dynasty, until the Mongol invasion of 1276. One of the most celebrated periods in Chinese civilization, Hangzhou became the largest and most cosmopolitan city in the world, a “paradise on earth” for about 1 million residents. So many Buddhist temples were built that it became known as “temple country”. It was an era of great commerce and innovation; a cultural highpoint.

Hangzhou’s heritage has a strong bearing on the modern city of today. This capital of Zhejiang province, one of China’s wealthiest, famed for intelligence and savvy business dealings, Hangzhou has now made a name for itself as an emerging technology hub. It is home to global e-commerce giant Alibaba and drinks company, Wahaha. And yet, despite the pace of modern life or maybe because of it, locals still enjoy a stroll or a perfect pour of local Longjing tea along the shoreline as a favoured past time.

I really enjoyed the beauty of Hangzhou. I loved the West Lake and Peak That Flew From Afar & the Monastery. I feel that Hangzhou is a must see destination.


Custom Itineraries

Explore hangzhou through the eyes of a local

Famed for its fine green tea, lakeside temples and honeymoon couples, it will be hard not to feel the intoxicating romance of this scenic city once you arrive. Relax as the boatman steers your gondola slowly along the West Lake listening to the water lap against the paddle.

We customize each of our itineraries based on your interests and traveling style. The itinerary below forms a base to start the conversation.

You will be met by your guide and taken to your luxury hotel. As Hangzhou has a rich history of ceramic production, this afternoon you may wish to visit the site of a Song dynasty celadon Imperial Kiln.
Start your morning with a private Tai Chi class overlooking the peaceful West Lake, before climbing aboard your private gondola to tour the beautiful waters. After lunch we will take you to a tea plantation and the Buddhist temple district of Hangzhou.
Today we take you to a classical Chinese garden where you will get first hand experience in the ancient arts of the literati scholar. After lunch you will meet with an expert in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) at one of China’s oldest pharmacies.

Luxury Accommodations

The most sophisticated of China's secondary cities, it comes as no surprise that it was the first to offer first class resort hotels.

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Aman took over a Song dynasty village in Hangzhou's temple district and converted each of the village homes into separate rooms, decorated in a spare minimalist style. Statues in The Peak That Flew From Afar are partly within the precincts of this property.

Four Seasons

With only 81 keys, this property can almost be considered a resort. Four Seasons has ably incorporated local motifs into the hotel design, such as the use of traditional wooden latticework on Premier room balconies. The hotel's exquisite gardens reach down to the shores of West Lake.

Your Personal Traveling Concierge

Our China Hosts

Our China Hosts are part of what makes us unique; they help explain our success for over twenty years. Our China Hosts have been hand selected and expertly trained to provide you with the most unforgettable journey. From seamlessly ensuring flawless logistics, to deepening your cultural immersion, to effecting last minute adjustments, in the words of a guest, they take a trip "from excellence to perfection". Before you travel with us, it's hard to imagine what a China Host brings to the party. After, it's hard to imagine traveling without one.

suggested guide: kelsey

Kelsey graduated from Xi’an Foreign Language University with a degree in teaching English. After moving to Hangzhou in 2005, thanks to her passion for history and a wish to improve her English, she began to work as a travel guide. She quickly discovered she truly enjoyed the work, providing her guests with interesting and unique perspectives about the past, present and future of China and the world. She never knows what question she will be asked next, but her voracious appetite for books helps to keep her on her toes.

Fine Dining & Authentic Cuisine

Experience the finest in Chinese and Western cuisine

Hangzhou's cuisine is fresh, light and a little sweet. It is probably the Chinese cuisine most suited to the western palette and offers many scrumptious dishes, such as Longjing Xiaren, or shrimps cooked in Longjing tea, Jianjiao Qiezi or eggplant stir fried with (not very spicy) chili peppers and the much loved Tangcu Paigu, or Sweet and Sour Pork.


  • Capital city of Zhejiang Province
  • Population: 21.5 m (2016)
  • Literal Meaning of Hangzhou: Hang Prefecture

Brief History

  • 221-207 BCE – The county of Qiantang is established under the Qin dynasty
  • 589 – The prefecture Hangzhou is created
  • 907 – 960 – Hangzhou is the capital of Wu-Yue state
  • 1127 – Hangzhou becomes the capital of Southern Song dynasty
  • Late 13th Century – Marco Polo, who called the city Quinsai, visits Hangzhou
  • 1856 – 1860 – The city is occupied by the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom leaving the city almost in ruins
  • 1928 – 1949 – Hangzhou is ruled by the Republic of China under the Kuomintang
  • May 3, 1949 – the People’s Liberation Army enters Hangzhou and takes the city under communist control
  • April 4, 1999 – Jack Ma founds Alibaba in Hangzhou


  • Located in the north west of Zhejiang province in the south-central portion of the Yangtze River Delta, Hangzhou sits on the southern end of China’s Grand Canal linking it to Beijing
  • Altitude: 12m (39ft)
  • Main Body of Water: West Lake & Qiantang River
  • Total area coverage: 16,596 km2 (6,408 m2)