Although unfamiliar to many Western travellers, Hangzhou in China is one of the oldest and most prosperous cities in China. Located on the eastern coast of the country it’s long been a major trading centre and has used the wealth that came with this to build spectacular traditional buildings and to keep them beautifully preserved.

The main attraction for most visitors is the World Heritage listed West Lake. Developed from dredging swampy ground over a thousand years ago, the lake has been added to over the years by successive provincial governors. Wander down scenic paths, causeways and bridges, admiring tree lined hills topped off with towering pagodas and shrines. There are man made islands, koi carp ponds and monuments to legendary local figures nestled amongst beautifully landscaped gardens.

Away from the lake, check out the street food stalls on Zhongshan South Road. There are stalls selling local produce and take away snacks, as well as larger cafes with outdoor seating selling more substantial meals. Hangzhou food is widely regarded across China, with Beggars Chicken being a signature dish. A chicken is wrapped in lotus leaves, placed in a clay oven and slow roasted to create a deliciously tender meal that became an Imperial speciality.

Find out more on flights to Hangzhou at inspireflyer.com/daily.

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Read more on Hangzhou below with flight options, current weather, maps, and activities to try while you are there.

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