On day five of our China trip we embarked on a tour of Hangzhou city; renowned for its beauty and abundance of cultural heritage it is the centre of the Zhejiang Provence, known as one of the most popular tourist destinations in China. We were accompanied by our new tour guide Anthony who, while good, was not a patch on Kitty who was a hard act to follow.
Hangzhou, which has been awarded the 2022 Asian Games, sits at the head of Hangzhou Bay, which separates Shanghai and Ningbo and grew to prominence as the southern terminus of the Grand Canal. It has been one of the most renowned and prosperous cities in China for much of the last millennium. The city’s West Lake, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, immediately west of the city, is amongst its best-known attractions and was our first stop.
A freshwater lake it is divided into five sections by three causeways with numerous temples, pagodas, gardens and artificial islands within the lake. West Lake has influenced poets and painters throughout Chinese history for its natural beauty and historic relics.