October 14, 2009

Hangzhou: a luxury retreat in China

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For centuries, Hangzhou has been regarded as one of China’s most beautiful and relaxing destinations. The region’s charms—scenic West Lake, ancient Buddhist temples, and abundant tea plantations—have changed little since Hangzhou was the imperial capital of the Southern Song Dynasty (1127-1279).

The emperors may be long gone, but a luxurious lifestyle remains. The Fuchun Resort—one of the finest resorts in China—is a highlight for our travelers when visiting Hangzhou. Set in the hills outside the city, the Fuchun is an evocative collection of traditional Chinese-style buildings (complete with modern touches like a wonderful spa) overlooking lakes and mountains.

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The Fuchun will soon be joined by new Banyan Tree and Aman resorts, giving Hangzhou a wealth of options for a relaxing break in refined and beautiful surroundings. The Banyan Tree has been built as a traditional water village overlooking the ponds and marshes of Xixi National Wetland Park. The Aman, which will also feature traditional Chinese-style architecture, has been built near Lingyin Temple, one of China’s largest and most famous Buddhist temples. Both resorts will have extensive spa facilities.

When in Hangzhou, touring West Lake is a must. Hangzhou’s most renowned scenic and cultural attraction, West Lake has been an inspiration for generations of artists and writers, who have captured its beauty in countless paintings and poems. Our Hangzhou tours include a private boat ride to see highlights such as the 10 Scenes of West Lake—viewpoints with poetic names like “Three Ponds Mirroring the Moon” and “Fish Viewing at the Flower Pond.” We also include other highlights of Hangzhou, such as traditional Chinese gardens, ancient Buddhist temples in mist-shrouded hills, historic shops specializing in herbal medicine, and museums dedicated to local traditions such as seal engraving, tea and silk.

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Longjing (Dragon Well) green tea, considered one of the finest teas in China, is another must when visiting Hangzhou. Exploring the local tea plantations is another touring highlight. In addition to tea, Hangzhou’s cuisine is also renowned, with classic dishes such as dongpo rou (pork belly braised in Shaoxing rice wine) and West Lake fish in sweet-and-sour sauce.

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Hagnzhou is featured in many of our luxury China tours and is a short drive from Shanghai.

Destinations:  China

Tags:  architecture, Buddha, caves, China tours, Chinese gardens, gardens, Hangzhou, luxury, luxury hotels, scenic, spas, tea, tea plantations