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T+L's Guide to Hangzhou

The National Wetland -Museum.

Photo: Darren Soh

Facts

When to Go: Visit during autumn and spring, as summer months are sweltering and winter temperatures often dip below freezing. Avoid peak-season crowds during Chinese New Year (January or February) and National Day (October).

Getting There: Hangzhou is a 100-minute train ride from Shanghai; express trains launching next month will take 38 minutes. From Hong Kong, take the two-hour flight on Dragonair (dragonair.com), which departs three times weekly.

T+L Tip: Beyond West Lake, Hangzhou is a sprawling city. Arrange a car and driver through your hotel to access hard-to-reach destinations.

Jennifer Chen is the Southeast Asia correspondent for Travel + Leisure.

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