Cover - China's Heartland.JPG Logo China (1)
Back to Listing

Hangzhou

Located just southwest of Shanghai in Zhejiang province, Hangzhou is an important city in be one of China’s smallest provinces, a province that is filled with some of the most stunning scenery in the country. Approximately 70% of Zhejiang province is hilly and mountainous, with altitudes ranging from 700 to 1,500 metres.

The downtown area is very typically Chinese: high-rise buildings compete for space, shopping malls throng with shoppers. At street-level vendors sell everything as commuters rush by and the traffic moves slowly through gridlocked streets. But what makes all the difference is that Hangzhou is centred around the vast West Lake. This creates a serene, charming atmosphere, that gives it an edge over Chinese cities of similar size. The West Lake is where many of the hotels lie. Here, you are transported to the kind of China you dream about. The flat waters stretch out in the distance, overlooked by classically designed Chinese pavilions and gardens, elaborately decorated by those who have learnt from generations gone by. Some days, the mist adds to the atmosphere, with mountains forming the backdrop, added by local elders elegantly performing tai chi on the lake side. Hangzhou’s West Lake has been praised by poets for centuries.

Spending time in the city, especially around the West Lake is a must. Visit Yongfu Temple, a fine example of Zen Buddhist architecture, and Lingyin, a serene and peaceful temple. One must also explore beyond the city. Longjiang tea, a favourite of former emperors has been grown for over a thousand years in the mountainous terrain surrounding the city. Head out to Dragon Well tea plantation and see the spring that supplies what is widely believed to be the best water possible for tea cultivation. Meet local farmers experienced in growing this special type of tea, and of courses try at source, a cup of the tea sought after by merchants from around the world.

Hangzhou is located on the ancient Grand Canal, which was one of the great engineering feats of Imperial China, a 2,250 km (1,400 mile) waterway linking Beijing and Zhejiang’s Hangzhou, as well as some of the most beautiful and prosperous cities that sprung up along its course. It was considered to be the finest city on earth by Marco Polo with classical gardens and exquisite architecture that still hold the essence of China’s Imperial Past. Take part in a tea ceremony, practice Tai Chi with a master on the lake side or take a peaceful gondola glide on the lake whilst a boat of musicians serenade you.

Hangzhou is easily accessible by air from many Chinese cities and can also be reached by rail: Shanghai is only one hour away by bullet train, an exhilarating way to travel, and the two cities combine marvelously.

CHINA - Hangzhou, monks CHINA - Hangzhou, monks
Hangzhou 8 Hangzhou 8
China Hangzhou China Hangzhou
CHINA - Hangzhou, Tai Chi CHINA - Hangzhou, Tai Chi
West Lake Hangzhou West Lake Hangzhou
Hangzhou China 5 Hangzhou China 5
Hangzhou China 2 Hangzhou China 2
Hangzhou China 3 Hangzhou China 3
Hangzhou China 6 Hangzhou China 6
Hangzhou China 9 Hangzhou China 9
Hangzhou China 10 Hangzhou China 10
Hangzhou China 4 Hangzhou China 4
I dislike feeling at home when I am abroad.
George Bernard Shaw

Client Testimonials

Ampersand provided a bespoke and flexible holiday, tailored to my every whim. Their highly professional staff had only one goal which was to arrange an exceptional holiday and some unforgettable experiences in India. I have no hesitation in fully recommending them and they will be the first company I approach in the future - 10/10
- Anonymous, India
I would recommend Ampersand without any hesitation!!! The best travel agent that I’ve ever had. Everything – from the individual care and attention in planning the trip, through to the efficiency of the agents on the ground in India – was handled brilliantly. An absolutely first-class service all round!
- Matthew Annable, Rajasthan, India
We had a wonderful holiday - everything was perfect. Thank you for helping us to make a thoughtful plan to enjoy and make most out of our trip. The places we visited, the guides, the transportation and driver, the hotels selected... Everything was great!
- Jaime Benitez, South India
Everything you did for us whilst we were away was hugely appreciated, and Ampersand has been exemplary in every way. I'll always recommend you!
- Mr Richard Stoughton, Sri Lanka
So many highlights to choose from! The hotels were amazing but Maya Villa was a highlight… I loved just hanging out in the hammock reading my book and watching the peacocks chase the cows!
- Krista Weir, Sri Lanka
Without question, you put together the best trip I have ever taken. We were shown around like visiting dignitaries, the hotels were fantastic and the itinerary was just right. Everybody I know will hear about how amazing Ampersand is!
- Leslie Siben, India
I had a very lovely time and was looked after splendidly. My first visit to India could not have been better, save for being longer! But I shall return at some point and I shall look to you to make the arrangements.
- Matthew Nicklin, North India
Ampersand’s preparation, attention to detail and interaction before and during our trip show exactly why good travel agents have a role in today’s internet booking age. They were a delight to deal with!
- Mr David Wallace, North India
Difficult to articulate just how good the service from you and your team really was. We know you will continue to do well and hope we have the chance to seek your assistance again before long.
- Mr & Mrs Manson, North India
I thought the Ampersand team was outstanding. We couldn’t have hoped for anything more.
- Mr Geoffrey Johnson, India

Let us keep you up to date

Sign up to our newsletter and never miss out on unmissable exclusive luxury experiences

Condé Nast Top Travel Specialist Award 2020
Condé Nast Top Travel Specialist Award 2019
Condé Nast Readers Choice Award 2019