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Hangzhou Living

Hangzhou - Heaven on Earth

Heaven on Earth...  During his well documented travels through China, Marco Polo gave Hangzhou this famous title. Now, Hangzhou is the most popular tourist destination in China for Chinese citizens, both because of it’s beauty and it’s cultural significance. Now wide open to western visitors as well, the city’s attractions are becoming known the world over. A city of 6.4 million residents in China's Zhejiang Province, Hangzhou is just one hour by train or two and a half by car from the exiting Asian metropolis, Shanghai. Hangzhou is now connected to Shanghai by the fastest train in the world. In a mere 45 minutes and at 350 kms per hour one can go from the tranquility of West Lake to the hustle and bustle of Shanghai. Additionally, Hangzhou has an international airport that provides access to all of China as well as Southeast Asia and beyond through several discount airlines.

Hangzhou has a subtropical climate, with four distinct seasons and an overall mild atmosphere. Abundant rainfall provides for lush forests and a wide range of fruits and vegetables grown locally including persimmons, oranges, bananas, plums and a wide range of vegetables. The most famous produce for the area are Green Tea, considered the best in all China, and silk from mulberry plants.

Hangzhou became China's imperial capital from 1138 until 1279, and subsequent emperors favored the city, building resort villas along the waterways. The "Ten Sights of West Lake" offer inspiring scenery and poetic names like "Orioles Singing in the Willows." One popular destination for the botany-minded is “Breeze-Ruffled Lotus at Quyuan Garden,” which offers 200 species of lotus. History aficionados will find Yuefei Mu, the tomb and temple of 12th century patriot Yuefei, and the The Pagoda of Six Harmonies, a national relic built in 970, on their list of favorite places.

Visitors and local alike can spend their leisure time enjoying beautiful West Lake either from the shoreline or on a boat cruise. One can also sample the famous local Hangzhou cuisine or choose from a growing number of western and international delicacies. Several museums in the city combine to represent the historical significance of Hangzhou’s and China’s culture, including the Silk Museum and the Tea Museum. Recreation opportunities abound in Hangzhou. Hundreds of acres of beautiful, safe, green parks, dot the landscape, many within walking distance of the city's center.

In several recent studies with respect to quality of life in Chinese cities, Hangzhou consistently comes out in the top of the list. It is considered the "happiest city in China" in large part due to this high quality of life. Hangzhou International School is located in the high tech center of Binjang in the south of the city. In a mere 10 minutes one can cross the river and enter the rolling hills and green tea fields surrounding West Lake. Surrounded by pines and immersed in the lush foliage it is hard to imagine that a major city of over 6 million people is but a few kilometers away. Combined with its proximity to Shanghai, Hangzhou truly offers to best of both worlds.

If you have access to YouTube the following link features a news report about HIS by a local TV station. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8chtwK7v3ek 

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