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HANGZHOU BEHIND THE SCENES

Hangzhou was the imperial capital of the Southern Song Dynasty (1127-1279) and a center of high culture. Today, it remains one of China's most vibrant cultural cities, with strong ties to its heritage. 


DOWN TO EARTH HANGZHOU
Set out in the early morning on a bike and head to the Dragon Well tea plantations. Peddle throughout the ancient tea villages and meet farmers who have been growing tea and harvesting it by hand for generations. They will show you how to brew and appreciate this world famous green tea. 

NOSTALGIC HANGZHOU
Slip back in time and enjoy a leisurely boat ride around West Lake, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You will feel like you are in a traditional Chinese landscape painting. The view is framed by bamboo and weeping willow trees, Buddhist pagodas in the distance, and picturesque bridges and causeways.

West Lake is the quintessential Chinese landscape that influenced garden design in Korea and Japan. Learn from a noted historian about the ten famous scenic spots on West Lake that inspired poets and artists for centuries.

QUIRKY HANGZHOU
Juxtaposing Hangzhou's natural beauty are replica European cities.      
Venice ~ complete with Piazza San Marco, and a homage to French architectural icons including the Eiffel Tower, the gardens of Versailles and the Arena of Nimes, are the latest additions to Hangzhou's eclecticism. Talk with local residents about their living experiences in these surroundings.


HISTORIC HANGZHOU 
Hangzhou boasts an array of unique museums and curators will join you every step of the way. A few favorites:
  • The Liangzhu Culture Museum houses artifacts from over 5000 years ago.

  • The National Silk Museum contextualizes the history of silk.

  • The Xiling Seal Society is a reminder of Hangzhou's rich literati history and is still a gathering place for connoisseurs of classical Chinese art.  

  • The Cuisine Museum is dedicated to the gastronomy of Hangzhou and displays hundreds of life-sized models of local food.  


CLICK HERE TO CONTACT US ABOUT CURATING YOUR TRIP.

The Neolithic Liangzhu Culture produced sophisticated jade carvings 5000 years ago in the Hangzhou area.

Pictured at top is a contemporary art installation. Hangzhou's China Academy of Art was founded in 1928 and is still a leading contemporary art school. Photo by France Pepper.


 


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