Though it seems like I’ve done quite alot in Hangzhou, I was only there for a weekend. But, that was plenty to get a good taste of the city and enjoy some of its wonders.
Following is a summary of my visit for Hangzhou and my recommended 2-3 days travel itinerary :
Day 1 – Around Hangzhou’s West Lake
- West Lake – Walk around, ride a bicycle. I started out from the East.
- Head south and make a brief stop at the Qiang Wang Temple, and the new nearby Hangzhou Museum and West Lake Visitor’s Center.
- Visit Qing Hefang Jie – the old style shopping street.
- Take a stroll up to the Heavenly Wind at Wushan Hill (Wushan Tian-Feng).
- Continue to the southern side of West Lake and go see the Lei Fang Pagoda overlooking West Lake.
- Continue to the north-west to stroll through the beautiful Qu-Yuan Gardens and drop by General Yue Fei’s Mausoleum.
- Catch one of the local show – Zhang Yimou’s spectacular “Hangzhou Impressions” or go to the Song Dynasty Town and watch their grand one hour performance.
- Try and catch the Dancing Fountains of West Lake.
Day 2 – Around Hangzhou
- Visit the only Wetland Park in China – Hangzhou’s Xixi National Wetland Park. (~3-5 hours)
- Adore local culture, huge God statues and ancient temples at Lingyin Monestary (“Temple of Soul’s Retreat”). Be sure to try out the newly opened cable car taking you up to the hills for a panoramic views of Hangzhou. (~3-5 hours).
- If you’re staying in town – catch another one of the local shows.
Day 3 – Day-trip from Hangzhou
If you have an extra day, then a day trip from Hangzhou to Wuzhen, an ancient water town, has been recommended to me a few times by a number of people.
As for where to stay – a list of potential accommodation options can be found here. I can vouch for the Sunny Huansha Hotel. Another decent cheaper option is the Mingtown Hangzhou International Youth Hostel, just next to the West Lake on the east.
Enjoy. Let me know how your trip was.