Introduction to Zhejiang Province
Zhejiang (浙江省) Province is on the coast of the East China Sea in central China. Its capital city is Hangzhou. Starting north and working around counter-clockwise, Zhejiang is bordered by Shanghai Municipality, Jiangsu, Anhui and Fujian Provinces.
Zhejiang weather falls into the Central China Weather category. Winters are short but feel harsh. Summers are long and hot and wet.
Read more about Central China Weather:
Hangzhou is the gateway city to the rest of the province with most travelers arriving there first. For many, Hangzhou is their final destination as it is a center of entrepreneurial business and industry in central China but Wenzhou, one of China's Special Economic Zones, is also a center of business.
Hangzhou is well connected by flights, long-distance trains and buses. The rest of the cities in Zhejiang are mainly accessed by train and bus.
What to See & Do in Zhejiang Province
For many visitors to China, the only time they'll set foot in Zhejiang Province is during a brief visit to Hangzhou, usually made from Shanghai as a day trip. And this is a shame because Zhejiang Province has a lot to offer visitors. While Hangzhou is beautiful and rich in culture, it is becoming something of a tourist mob, especially the West Lake, on weekends and holidays.
But there is plenty to do and see outside Hangzhou that is really worth checking into. Here are some ideas for exploring Zhejiang Province.
Like I mentioned, must visits to Zhejiang begin with Hangzhou. Hangzhou is most famous for its inner-city lake called the West Lake (Xi Hu or 西湖). The lake truly is beautiful and conjures up the images you expected to see in China - weeping willow trees, peasants in boats, quaint round bridges and temples.
You can sight see on and around the Lake easily for a day. Then Hangzhou has numerous temples and shrines, ancient "shopping" streets and fabulous restaurants in which to try Eastern Chinese Cuisine. It also has an ancient history as it was a capital of the ancient Song Dynasty. Read more about visiting Hangzhou:
The small water town of Wuzhen is a nice way to spend the day.
Nanxun is another small water town that is less-frequently traveled and therefore retains some charming authenticity.
Putuoshan is one of China's four holy mountains in Buddhism. It is associated with Guanyin, Goddess of Mercy.
Shaoxing is another quaint water town that is famous for its local brew: Shaoxing Wine. Shaoxing wine is used in much of the cuisine from the Zhejiang region.
Moganshan is an area famous for its bamboo forests and mountain scenery. A retreat for wealthy expats in the 19th and 20th centuries, now there are a number of eco-hotels in the area. It is a beautiful countryside getaway. Stay at Le Passage Moganshan to get the most out of Moganshan.
Some of China's most famous tea comes from the hills around Hangzhou. Longjing Green Tea is ubiquitous in the area and it's lovely to wander into the mountains to visit a tea village and take part in tea cultivation.
For bridge enthusiasts, Zhejiang Province boasts two of the ten longest bridges in the world - #4, the Hangzhou Bay Bridge and #9 the Jintang Bridge.
There is a neolithic site in Hemuda near Ningbo.