Hangzhou’s stunning West Lake, or Xi Hu, has inspired poets, leaders and heroes whose names have been passed down in stories for generations. The city is also a destination for romance, and the setting of one of China’s greatest love stories. As the ancients once said, “In the universe, there is heaven; on earth, there is Hangzhou.”
In hangzhou, plenty of family-friendly adventures await
HEAD TO THE PARKS
If you stay at a hotel bearby the westlake,it will takes only few minutes walk from your hotel to the westlake. There are many beautiful parks that surround West Lake, which has been landscaped and manicured to perfection since its construction in the eighth century. Children will love exploring the meandering walkways, pavilions and half-moon bridges, while adults can watch locals practice tai chi or sip tea at a nearby café.
Within the area is Zhongshan Park—once the holiday home of Emperor Qianlong—and Quyuan Gardens, a collection of gardens spread over several islets. You can also rent bicycles from the Hotel and pedal your way around the lake.
WALK THE SU AND BAI CAUSEWAYS
No visit to West Lake is complete without walking the famous Su and Bai Causeways, spanning a few miles each. Named after two former governors Su Dongpo and Bai Juyi, both famous poets in Chinese literature, the causeways are landscaped with plum and cherry trees, and bounded on both sides by the lake. Take an early morning stroll, ride on the electric tourist shuttle or climb into a row boat for a personal ride around the lake. Look for the stone carvings of verses left by Emperor Qianlong, expounding the ten beautiful sights of Hangzhou. To avoid a larger crowd, try to time your visit on a weekday.
CATCH A PERFORMANCE
Even if the weather is cold, wrap up and catch Impression West Lake, a superb performance of the story of Madam White Snake, directed by famous Chinese director Zang Yimou with music by Kitaro. Hundreds of dancers swirl onto a stage built just below the surface of the water, with West Lake as the backdrop and dramatic lighting and hydraulics to make for a must-see show.
Where you can get tickets from our website about the impression westlake show—highly recommend you book the VIP seat, which puts you closest to the stage.
GO BACK IN TIME
If your kids want to know how it felt to live in ancient China, stroll down to Qinghefang Old Street, a historical stretch of ancient shop buildings. The 400-year-old Zhang Xiaoquan Scissors shop sells beautifully engraved kitchen knives, and Hangzhou Wangxingji Fans offers a large array of traditional Chinese fans ranging from silk to paper and feathers. This busy lane is home to plenty that will interest children, too: the rhythmic pounding of mochi with huge hammers, maltose lollipops shaped into the form of animals and sugar figurines molded by an old master.
VISIT OLD HU'S MANSION
To learn more about ancient China, head to Hu Xueyan’s mansion. Not well known to international tourists, this is the former residence of one of China’s most wealthy businessmen in the Qing Dynasty. Kids can marvel at the fascinating courtyard house with its coloured glass and elaborately carved eaves, peek at rooms which seem to have been frozen in time, and explore the artificial cave system built into rockery with tunnels, nooks and corners. See the various pavilions Hu Xueyan built to house his 19 wives, then walk up to his bedroom, which overlooks it all. Keep a look out for an entry to the basement, where the master kept all of his gold and treasures.
TAKE A BOAT RIDE AT XIXI WETLANDS
Fair weather calls for a trip to Xixi Wetlands, about 15 minutes from West Lake. This nature reserve is a glorious expanse of pretty waterways, shady ponds, fields and an old fishing village. Take a boat ride through a maze of canals to the village, now converted into a museum. Walk down quiet lanes, see an old rural kitchen and tour an exhibition of silk production.
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