August 30, 2009

A highlight of visiting Hangzhou is getting out to  Longjin Village or Meijiawu Village to drink your tea.  The Longjing (Dragon Well) Tea Fields, and other tea fields further west are best visited during the harvest period, usually from the first week of March till after May Holiday, when everyone is out in the field picking tea and the tea that you can purchase is of the best quality (tea crops from later in the year have had their leaves damaged by the rain).

 

 

August 30, 2009

Six Harmonies Pagoda, highly erected by the Qiantang River and to the south of the West Lake, is a perfect symbol of brick-and-wood structure built in the ancient China. It is first built in 970 AD in the Northern Song dynasty (960-1127), in a way to press down the evil of the river tidal bore in Qiantang River. The name “six harmonies” comes from the six Buddhist ordinances, meaning “harmonies of the heaven, earth, east, west, south and north”.The pagoda has fallen into ruins and gone through reconstruction many times. The original pagoda is nine storied with a light on the tip, serving as a navigation tower in the river.
 The present tower was the restoration in 1156. Seen from outside, the tower, with a height of 59.89 meters, have 13 stories while in fact only seven stories inside. The core of the present pagoda was built with the bricks left over from the Southern Song dynasty. The upturned wooden multi-eaves and wrapping structure were first built in the ending years of the Qing dynasty and have been refurbished many times.

 

August 30, 2009

 

The Huqing Yutang Museum of Traditional Chinese Medicine is a specialized museum in China. Founded in October 1989, the museum is located at the original site of the Huqing Yutang Chinese Medicine Mill & Shop built in 1874 of the Qing Dynasty (1364-1911). Huqing Yutang is the name of a famous pharmacy selling traditional Chinese medicine founded in the 19th century.

The house is typical of the garden architectural style in southern China. The museum is contained within the pharmacy and has a wide collection of valuable literature on traditional Chinese medicine as well as other varieties of traditional medicines.

Basic displays in the museum include the History of Traditional Chinese Medicines, the History of the Huqing Yutang and Samples of Chinese Herbal Medicines and Patent Medicines. Among the collections, the most precious are medicinal materials unearthed from the Mawangdui Han (206BC-220AD) Tomb in Hunan Province, Hemudu Site of Zhejiang Province, the Liangchu Culture of Zhejiang, and a Song (960-1279) sunken ship in Quanzhou of Fujian Province, and some hundred-year-old medicinal production tools. Besides, there is a simulated workshop of traditional Chinese medicines.

 

August 30, 2009

Lingyin Temple is a Buddhist temple located north-west of Hangzhou,. The temple’s name is commonly literally translated as Temple of the Soul’s Retreat. It is one of the largest and wealthiest Buddhist temples in China.
The monastery is the largest of several temples in the Wulin Mountains , which also features a large number of grottos and religious rock carvings, the most famous of which is the Feilai Feng, literally “the peak that flew hither”.

 

 

 

The Temple was founded in 328 AD during the Eastern Jin Dynasty by Indian monk Huili. From its inception, Lingyin was a famous monastery in the Jiangnan region. At its peak under the Kingdom of Wuyue (907-978), the temple boasted nine multi-storey buildings, 18 pavilions, 72 halls, more than 1300 dormitory rooms, inhabited by more than 3000 monks. Many of the rich Buddhist carvings in the Feilai Feng grottos and surrounding mountains also date from this era.

During the latter Southern Song Dynasty(1127-1279), the monastery was regarded as one of the ten most important temples of the Chan sect in the Jiangnan region. However, its prominence has not saved the temple from marauders. It has been rebuilt no less than sixteen times since then. The current buildings are modern restorations of late Qing buildings. Today the temple is thriving as a destination for both pilgrims and tourists. It is regarded as one of the wealthiest monasteries in China.

August 27, 2009

 

The West Lake came from a shallow bay in ancient times where Qiantang River ran into the sea. It was formerly named as Wulin Waters, Golden Buffalo Lake, Qiantang Lake and Xizi Lake. As it lies in the west of Hangzhou, it was later named the West Lake.
It covers an area of 6.38KM2, the average depth being 2.27M and the deepest being 5M. It has mountains on three sides and the city on the remaining one side. The lake and mountain are magnificent.
Centered on the West Lake, the West Lake Scenic Area is a national scenic area with a total area of 59 k㎡.  There are over 60 cultural relic sites of state, provincial and municipal levels and over 100 attractions. Among them, the most classic is the Ten Scenes and the New Ten Scenes at the West Lake.

August 27, 2009

Hangzhou  is in Zhejiang Province, China. It is one of the most important tourism cities in China, famous for its natural beauty and historical and cultural heritages. It is the political, economic and cultural center of the Zhejiang province as well. It covers an area of 16596km2 with a population of 6.60 million. 

Famed for its natural scenery, Hangzhou and its West Lake  have been immortalized by countless poets and artists. The city was the capital of the Southern Song Dynasty from 1127 until the Mongol invasion of 1276, during that time the city’s population is estimated to have been as high as one million, making it the largest city in the world. Even Marco Polo claimed to have passed through, calling it “beyond dispute the finest and the noblest in the world”.

As a famous scenic city in China, Hangzhou attracts more than 20 million domestic and foreign tourists every year. Hangzhou is known for its natural beauty of West Lake worldwide. Above is paradise, below is Suzhou and Hangzhou expresses peoples indeed praise to Hangzhou. In the Yuan Dynasty, the famous Italian traveler Marco Polo described this city as the finest and most splendid city in the world.
Geography and climate
Hangzhou is located in northern Zhejiang province, eastern China, at the southern end of the Grand Canal of China, on the plain of the mid-lower reaches of the Yangtze River. The prefecture-level region of Hangzhou extends west to the border with the hilly-country Anhui Province, and east to the flat-land near Hangzhou Bay. The city center is built around the eastern and northern sides of the West Lake, just north of the Qiantang River.

Hangzhou’s climate is Humid Subtropical  with four distinctive seasons, characterized by long, very hot, humid summers and short, cool to cold, cloudy and dry winters (with occasional snow). The average annual temperature in Hangzhou is 16.2°C. Hangzhou receives an average annual rainfall of 1450 mm. Hangzhou is affected by the Plum Rains of the Asian Monsoon in June. In late summer (August to September), Hangzhou, along with other cities in Zhejiang province, suffer typhoon storms, but typhoons seldom strike it directly. Generally they make land along the southern coast of Zhejiang, and affect Hangzhou with strong winds and stormy rains.