Things to do in Hangzhou
West Lake is the major draw here, with its elegant causeways, pavilions, gardens, and arched bridges.
Where: Hangzhou Bay on the East China Sea, traversing the Qiantang River at the Yangtze River Delta.
Stats: 22 miles long.
A perfect respite from the tourist throngs along West Lake. Inside the low tiled wall is a garden with lotus-covered ponds and a courtyard where locals gather for tea and gossip.
Tea fanatics might head here to pay homage to the 18 bushes set aside for the Ch'ing dynasty emperor Qianlong.
Head straight to our favorite tea shop: the hospitable store will pour you a cup of their green elixir before you buy.
A short stroll from the train station, pedestrianized Hefang Road is a collection of Ch'ing dynasty houses (and replicas nearby).
Close by, on the edge of the verdant, waterway-filled Xixi National Wetland Park, the National Wetland Museum will open an Arata Isozaki-designed viewing platform later this year.