Hangzhou, traditionally romanized as Hangchow, is the capital and largest city of Zhejiang Province in eastern China. It is located near the mouth of Hangzhou Bay, which connects Shanghai and Ningbo. Hangzhou rose to prominence as the southern terminal of the Grand Canal and has been one of China’s most known and rich towns for most of the past millennium, thanks in part to its stunning natural environment. The city’s most well-known attraction is West Lake.
Hangzhou is a sub-provincial city that serves as the hub of the Hangzhou metropolitan region, China’s fourth-largest. During the 2010 Chinese census, the metropolitan area had a population of 21.102 million people spread over an area of 34,585 km2 (13,353 sq mi). In 2015, the recorded population of Hangzhou prefecture was 9,018,000 people.
Hangzhou was awarded the 2022 Asian Games in September 2015. It will be the third Chinese city to hold the Asian Games, after Beijing in 1990 and Guangzhou in 2010. President Xi Jinping stated on November 16, 2015, that Hangzhou will host the eleventh G-20 meeting on September 4–5, 2016.
Hangzhou – Info Card
|POPULATION :||• Sub-provincial city 9,018,000
• Urban 7,081,700
• Metro 21,267,000 Hangzhou Metropolitan Area (including Hangzhou, Shaoxing, Jiaxing, Huzhou)
|TIME ZONE :||China Standard (UTC+8)|
|LANGUAGE :||Standard Chinese or Mandarin (Putonghua, based on the Beijing dialect), Yue (Cantonese), Wu (Shanghainese), Minbei (Fuzhou), Minnan (Hokkien-Taiwanese), Xiang, Gan, Hakka dialects, minority languages (see Ethnic groups entry)|
|RELIGION :||Daoist (Taoist), Buddhist, Christian 3%-4%, Muslim 1%-2%; note: officially atheist|
|AREA :||• Sub-provincial city 16,840.76 km2 (6,502.25 sq mi)
• Urban 3,317.9 km2 (1,281.0 sq mi)
• Metro 34,585 km2 (13,353 sq mi)
|COORDINATES :||30°15′N 120°10′E|
|SEX RATIO :||• Male: 51.83
• Female: 48.17
|ETHNIC :||Han Chinese 91.5%, Zhuang, Manchu, Hui, Miao, Uyghur, Tujia, Yi, Mongol, Tibetan, Buyi, Dong, Yao, Korean, and other nationalities 8.5%|
|AREA CODE :||571|
|POSTAL CODE :||310000|
|DIALING CODE :||+86 571|
|WEBSITE :||Official Website|
Tourism in Hangzhou
Hangzhou is well-known for its ancient artifacts as well as its natural beauty. It is regarded as one of the most beautiful cities in China, as well as one of the most picturesque. Despite numerous recent urban developments, Hangzhou has retained its historical and cultural legacy. Tourism is still a key part of the Hangzhou economy today. West Lake, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is one of Hangzhou’s most popular attractions. The West Lake Cultural Landscape encompasses 3,323 hectares (8,210 acres) and contains some of Hangzhou’s most significant historic and picturesque sites. A gorgeous region next to the lake features ancient pagodas, cultural monuments, and the natural beauty of the lake and hills, notably Phoenix Mountain. The lake is crossed by two causeways.
The Hangzhou Tourism Commission launched the ‘Modern Marco Polo’ campaign on Facebook in March 2013. Over the following year, approximately 26,000 people from all over the world applied to be Hangzhou’s first international tourist ambassador. On May 20, 2014, Liam Bates was declared as the victorious winner during a press conference in Hangzhou. The 26-year-old was awarded a €40,000 contract and is the only foreigner ever assigned to such an official position by the Chinese government.
Climate of Hangzhou
Hangzhou has a humid subtropical climate with four distinct seasons, with lengthy, extremely hot, humid summers and cool, gloomy, and drier winters (with occasional snow). The average yearly temperature is 17.0 degrees Celsius (62.6 degrees Fahrenheit), with monthly daily averages ranging from 4.6 degrees Celsius (40.3 degrees Fahrenheit) in January to 28.9 degrees Celsius (84.0 degrees Fahrenheit) in July. The city gets an average yearly rainfall of 1,438.0 mm (56.6 in) and is impacted by the Asian monsoon plum showers in June. Hangzhou experiences typhoon storms in the late summer (August to September), however they seldom hit the city directly. They often make landfall around Zhejiang’s southern coast, bringing high winds and heavy rainfall. Since 1951, extremes have varied from 9.6 °C (15 °F) on 6 February 1969 to 41.6 °C (107 °F) on 9 August 2013; unofficial measurements have reached 10.5 °C (13 °F) on 29 December 1912 and 24 January 1916, and 42.1 °C (108 °F) on 10 August 1930. The city gets 1,709.4 hours of sunlight per year, with monthly percent potential sunshine ranging from 30% in March to 51% in August.
Geography of Hangzhou
Hangzhou is situated in northwestern Zhejiang province, near the southern end of China’s Grand Canal, which stretches from Shanghai to Beijing, in the Yangtze River Delta’s south-central region. Its administrative territory (sub-provincial city) stretches west to Anhui province’s hilly areas and east to the coastal plain near Hangzhou Bay. The city core is centered on the eastern and northern shores of West Lake, just north of the Qiantang River.
Economy of Hangzhou
Hangzhou’s economy has grown quickly since its opening in 1992. It is an industrial city with a wide range of industries including light manufacturing, agriculture, and textiles. It is regarded as a vital industrial base and logistical center for coastal China.
Hangzhou’s GDP in 2001 was RMB 156.8 billion, ranking second only to Guangzhou among all provincial capitals. Since then, the city’s GDP has more than quadrupled, rising from RMB 156.8 billion in 2001 to RMB 701.1 billion in 2011, with GDP per capita rising from US$3,025 to US$12,447.
Medicine, information technology, heavy equipment, automotive components, home electrical appliances, electronics, communications, fine chemicals, chemical fiber, and food processing are just a few of the new sectors that have sprung up in the city.
The local language in Hangzhou is Wu Chinese (now generally known as Shanghainese, although each city has a different variant). It is spoken in a fairly large area covering most of eastern China. Wu cannot be understood with either Mandarin (standard Chinese) or other Chinese dialects. However, like everywhere else in China, most people are bilingual, that is, they speak both the local dialect and Mandarin, and like other prosperous coastal cities, Hangzhou has many immigrants from other provinces who speak Mandarin but not the local dialect. If you speak Mandarin, you can talk to almost everyone in Hangzhou, except for a few elderly people or people from the countryside.
English is not widely spoken, although the more expensive hotels probably have staff who speak at least some English. Have the names of your destinations in Chinese handy to show to cab drivers so they can take you where you want to go. Carry a business card of your hotel so that you can return to it at any time.
Buy maps near the train or bus station, from street vendors or stalls, when you arrive. The price is often indicated on the cards themselves, in case you were wondering how much you should pay (less than ¥10). Cards bought on the street are usually written in simplified Chinese and without pinyin. You can find pinyin cards in foreign language bookstores and newsstands near the western lake. The main foreign language bookstore on Yan An Road has a reasonable selection of maps and travel books.
Recently, there is a tourist office stand near Wulin Square subway station, where you can get a city map in two languages. If you walk past Hangzhou Tower and head south until you reach Shuguang Road, you should see an olive green booth. Very little English is spoken, but if you can ask for a map (dìtú), they will gladly help you.