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Sub-provincial city
Top:View of Three Pools Mirroring the Moon-pool, Middle left:Six Harmonies Pagoda, Middle upper right:Su Causeway, Middle lower right:Hu Xueyan Residence Garden, Bottom:Huxin Pavilion on West Lake
Top:View of Three Pools Mirroring the Moon-pool, Middle left:Six Harmonies Pagoda, Middle upper right:Su Causeway, Middle lower right:Hu Xueyan Residence Garden, Bottom:Huxin Pavilion on West Lake
Location of Hangzhou City jurisdiction in Zhejiang
Location of Hangzhou City jurisdiction in Zhejiang
Hangzhou is located in China
Location in China
Coordinates: 30°15′N 120°10′E / 30.250°N 120.167°E / 30.250; 120.167Coordinates: 30°15′N 120°10′E / 30.250°N 120.167°E / 30.250; 120.167
CountryPeople's Republic of China
 • TypeSub-provincial city
 • CPC Ctte SecretaryHuang Kunming
 • MayorShao Zhanwei[1]
 • Sub-provincial city16,847 km2 (6,505 sq mi)
 • Urban3,372 km2 (1,302 sq mi)
 • Metro34,585 km2 (13,353 sq mi)
Population (2012)[3]
 • Sub-provincial city8,800,000
 • Density1,214/km2 (3,143/sq mi)
 • Urban6,241,971
 • Metro[2] 21,102,000 Hangzhou Metropolitan Area (including Hangzhou, Shaoxing, Jiaxing, Huzhou)
 • National rank6th
Time zoneChina Standard (UTC+8)
Postal code310000
GDP (Nominal)2013
 - TotalCNY 834.35 billion
(USD 136.11 billion)
 - Per capitaCNY 94,813
(USD 15,467)
 - GrowthIncrease 8.0%
 - Metro (2011)[2] CNY 1449.7 billion
(USD 229.7 billion)
Licence plate prefixesA
Regional DialectWu: Hangzhou dialect
WebsiteCity of Hangzhou
City tree
Camphor laurel (Cinnamomum camphora)
City flower
Sweet Osmanthus (Osmanthus fragrans)
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Sub-provincial city
Top:View of Three Pools Mirroring the Moon-pool, Middle left:Six Harmonies Pagoda, Middle upper right:Su Causeway, Middle lower right:Hu Xueyan Residence Garden, Bottom:Huxin Pavilion on West Lake
Top:View of Three Pools Mirroring the Moon-pool, Middle left:Six Harmonies Pagoda, Middle upper right:Su Causeway, Middle lower right:Hu Xueyan Residence Garden, Bottom:Huxin Pavilion on West Lake
Location of Hangzhou City jurisdiction in Zhejiang
Location of Hangzhou City jurisdiction in Zhejiang
Hangzhou is located in China
Location in China
Coordinates: 30°15′N 120°10′E / 30.250°N 120.167°E / 30.250; 120.167Coordinates: 30°15′N 120°10′E / 30.250°N 120.167°E / 30.250; 120.167
CountryPeople's Republic of China
 • TypeSub-provincial city
 • CPC Ctte SecretaryHuang Kunming
 • MayorShao Zhanwei[1]
 • Sub-provincial city16,847 km2 (6,505 sq mi)
 • Urban3,372 km2 (1,302 sq mi)
 • Metro34,585 km2 (13,353 sq mi)
Population (2012)[3]
 • Sub-provincial city8,800,000
 • Density1,214/km2 (3,143/sq mi)
 • Urban6,241,971
 • Metro[2] 21,102,000 Hangzhou Metropolitan Area (including Hangzhou, Shaoxing, Jiaxing, Huzhou)
 • National rank6th
Time zoneChina Standard (UTC+8)
Postal code310000
GDP (Nominal)2013
 - TotalCNY 834.35 billion
(USD 136.11 billion)
 - Per capitaCNY 94,813
(USD 15,467)
 - GrowthIncrease 8.0%
 - Metro (2011)[2] CNY 1449.7 billion
(USD 229.7 billion)
Licence plate prefixesA
Regional DialectWu: Hangzhou dialect
WebsiteCity of Hangzhou
City tree
Camphor laurel (Cinnamomum camphora)
City flower
Sweet Osmanthus (Osmanthus fragrans)
Wuɦaŋ tsei
Postal MapHangchow
Literal meaningCross State or Capital of Hang

About this sound Hangzhou  (Chinese: 杭州; pinyin: Hángzhōu: Hangzhou dialect: ɦaŋ tsei; Mandarin pronunciation: [xɑ̌ŋtʂóʊ]), also transliterated as Hangchow, is the capital and largest city of Zhejiang Province in Eastern China. Hangzhou is also the center of the Hangzhou Metropolitan Area,[2] which is the fourth-largest metropolitan area nationally.[4] It is governed as a sub-provincial city. As of 2010, Hangzhou prefecture had a registered population of 8.7 million people.[5] The built up area of the Hangzhou municipality had a resident population of 6.242 million in 2010 (urban and suburban districts), of which 3.56 million lived in the six urban core districts. The built-up area including Shaoxing County and Yuecheng districts of Shaoxing was home to 8,156,600 inhabitants at the 2010 census. Within the Hangzhou Metropolitan Area, about 21.102 million people distributed over 34,585 square kilometres (13,353 sq mi).[2]

A core city of the Yangtze River Delta, Hangzhou has a position on the Hangzhou Bay 180 kilometres (110 mi) southwest of Shanghai that gives it economic power. It has been one of the most renowned and prosperous cities of China for much of the last 1,000 years, due in part to its beautiful natural scenery. The city's West Lake is its best-known attraction.


Lakeside buildings on the West Lake

Early history[edit]

An area map of Hangzhou in 1867

The celebrated Neolithic culture of Hemudu inhabited Yuyao, an area (now a city) 100 km (62 mi) south-east of Hangzhou, as far back as seven thousand years ago when rice was first cultivated in southeastern China. The area immediately surrounding the modern city of Hangzhou was inhabited five thousand years ago by the Liangzhu culture, so named for the small town of Liangzhu not far to the northwest of Hangzhou where the ancient jade carving civilization was first discovered.

Hangzhou first appears in written records as "Yuhang" (simplified Chinese: 馀杭; traditional Chinese: 餘杭; Old Chinese: *La-gang), and was incorporated into the Chinese empire in 220 BC as part of Kuaiji Commandery during the Qin dynasty. Traditional Chinese scholars interpreted "Yuhang" to mean "Yu's Ferry" (the similar-sounding Chinese: 禹航; pinyin: Yǔháng), after a legendary account of Yu the Great gathering ancient southern chieftains near the area for a grand meeting around 2000 BC. However, this is now known to be an incorrect folk etymology – Yuhang is almost certainly an ancient transliteration of an old Baiyue name.[6]

In AD 589, the city was renamed "Hangzhou" and a city wall was constructed two years later. It is listed as one of the Seven Ancient Capitals of China. Hangzhou is at the southern end of China's Grand Canal which extends to Beijing. The canal evolved over centuries but reached its full length by 609.

It was the capital of the Wuyue Kingdom from 907 to 978 during the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period. Named Xifu at the time, it was one of the three great centers of culture in southern China during the tenth century, along with Nanjing and Chengdu. Leaders of Wuyue were noted patrons of the arts, and especially of Buddhism and associated temple architecture and artwork. It also became a cosmopolitan center, drawing scholars from throughout China and conducting diplomacy not only with neighboring Chinese states, but also with Japan, Korea, and the Khitan Liao Dynasty.

In the Tang Dynasty, Bai Juyi was appointed governor of Hangzhou. Already an accomplished and famous poet, his deeds at Hangzhou have led to his being praised as a great governor. He noticed that the farmland nearby depended on the water of West Lake, but due to the negligence of previous governors, the old dyke had collapsed, and the lake so dried out that the local farmers were suffering from severe drought. He ordered the construction of a stronger and taller dyke, with a dam to control the flow of water, and thus providing water for irrigation and so mitigating the drought problem. The livelihood of local people of Hangzhou improved over the following years. Bai Juyi used his leisure time to enjoy the beauty of West Lake, visiting it almost daily. He also ordered the construction of a causeway connecting Broken Bridge with Solitary Hill to allow walking on foot, instead of requiring the services of a boat. He then had willows and other trees along planted along the dyke, making it a beautiful landmark. Afterwards, this causeway was later named "Bai Causeway", in his honor.

In 1089, while another renowned poet Su Shi (Su Dongpo) was the city's governor, he used 200,000 workers to construct a 2.8 km (1.7 mi) long causeway across the West Lake, which Qing Emperor Qianlong considered particularly attractive in the early morning of the spring time. The lake was once a lagoon tens of thousands of years ago. Silt then blocked the way to the sea and the lake was formed. A drill in the lake-bed in 1975 found the sediment of the sea, which confirmed its origin. Artificial preservation prevented the lake from evolving into a marshland. The Su Causeway built by Su Shi, and the Bai Causeway built by Bai Juyi, a Tang Dynasty poet who was once the governor of Hangzhou, were both built out of mud dredged from the bottom of the lake. The lake is surrounded by hills on the northern and western sides. The Baochu Pagoda sits on the Baoshi Hill to the north of the lake.

Foreign community[edit]

Hangzhou depicted in a French illumination from 1412
Statue of Marco Polo in Hangzhou

Arab merchants lived in Hangzhou during the Song dynasty, due to the fact that the ocean going trade passages took precedence over land trade during this time.[7] There were also Arabic inscriptions from the 1200s and 1300s. During the later period of the Yuan dynasty, Muslims were persecuted through the banning of their traditions, and they participated in revolts against the Mongols.[8] The Fenghuangshi mosque was constructed by an Egyptian trader who moved to Hangzhou.[9] Ibn Battuta is known to have visited the city of Hangzhou in the year 1345; he noted its charm and described how the city sat on a beautiful lake and was surrounded by gentle green hills.[10] During his stay at Hangzhou, he was particularly impressed by the large number of well-crafted and well-painted Chinese wooden ships with colored sails and silk awnings assembling in the canals. Later he attended a banquet held by Qurtai, the Yuan Mongol administrator of the city, who according to Ibn Battuta, was very fond of the skills of local Chinese conjurers.[11]

Southern Song[edit]

Hangzhou was chosen as the new capital of the Southern Song Dynasty in 1132,[12] when most of northern China had been conquered by the Jurchens in the Jin–Song wars.[13] The Song court had retreated south to the city in 1129 from their original capital in Kaifeng, after it was captured by the Jurchens in the Jingkang Incident of 1127.[14][15] From Kaifeng they moved to Nanjing, modern Shangqiu, then to Yangzhou in 1128.[14] The government of the Song intended it to be a temporary capital. However, over the decades Hangzhou grew into a major commercial and cultural center of the Song Dynasty. It rose from a middling city of no special importance to one of the world's largest and most prosperous.[16] Once the prospect of retaking northern China had diminished, government buildings in Hangzhou were extended and renovated to better befit its status as an imperial capital and not just a temporary one. The imperial palace in Hangzhou, modest in size, was expanded in 1133 with new roofed alleyways, and in 1148 with an extension of the palace walls.[17]

It remained the capital from the early 12th century until the Mongol invasion of 1276, and was known as Lin'an (臨安). It served as the seat of the imperial government, a center of trade and entertainment, and the nexus of the main branches of the civil service. During that time, the city was a sort of gravitational center of Chinese civilization: what used to be considered "central China" in the north was taken by the Jin, an ethnic minority dynasty ruled by Jurchens.

Numerous philosophers, politicians, and men of literature, including some of the most celebrated poets in Chinese history such as Su Shi, Lu You, and Xin Qiji came here to live and die. Hangzhou is also the birthplace and final resting place of the scientist Shen Kuo (1031-1095 AD), his tomb being located in the Yuhang district.

During the Southern Song Dynasty, commercial expansion, an influx of refugees from the conquered north, and the growth of the official and military establishments, led to a corresponding population increase and the city developed well outside its 9th century ramparts. According to the Encyclopædia Britannica, Hangzhou had a population of over 2 million at that time, while historian Jacques Gernet has estimated that the population of Hangzhou numbered well over one million by 1276. (Official Chinese census figures from the year 1270 listed some 186,330 families in residence and probably failed to count non-residents and soldiers.) It is believed that Hangzhou was the largest city in the world from 1180 to 1315 and from 1348 to 1358.[18][19]

Because of the large population and densely crowded (often multi-story) wooden buildings, Hangzhou was particularly vulnerable to fires. Major conflagrations destroyed large sections of the city in 1132, 1137, 1208, 1229, 1237, and 1275 while smaller fires occurred nearly every year. The 1237 fire alone was recorded to have destroyed 30,000 dwellings. To combat this threat, the government established an elaborate system for fighting fires, erected watchtowers, devised a system of lantern and flag signals to identify the source of the flames and direct the response, and charged more than 3,000 soldiers with the task of putting out fires.

Yuan Dynasty[edit]

The city of Hangzhou was besieged and captured by the advancing Mongol armies of Kublai Khan in 1276, three years before the final collapse of the empire.[20] The capital of the new Yuan Dynasty was established in the city of Dadu (Beijing).

The Venetian merchant Marco Polo supposedly visited Hangzhou in the late 13th century. In his book, he records that the city was "greater than any in the world".[16] He called the city Kinsay (or Kinsai) which simply means "capital" in Chinese (actually Polo used a Persianized version of the word). Although he exaggerated that the city was over one hundred miles in diameter and had 12,000 stone bridges, he still presented elegant prose about the country: "The number and wealth of the merchants, and the amount of goods that passed through their hands, was so enormous that no man could form a just estimate thereof."

The renowned 14th century Moroccan explorer Ibn Battuta said it was "the biggest city I have ever seen on the face of the earth."

Ming and after[edit]

The city remained an important port until the middle of the Ming Dynasty era, when its harbor slowly silted up.

In 1856 and 1860, the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom occupied Hangzhou and caused heavy damage to the city.

Hangzhou was ruled by the Republic of China government under the Kuomintang from 1928 to 1949. On May 3, 1949, the People's Liberation Army entered Hangzhou and the city came under Communist control. After Deng Xiaoping's reformist policies began in 1978, Hangzhou took advantage of being situated in the Yangtze River Delta to bolster its development. It is now one of China's most prosperous major cities.

Jewish community[edit]

As late as the latter part of the 16th and early 17th centuries, the city was an important center of Chinese Jewry, and may have been the original home of the better-known Kaifeng Jewish community.[21]

There was formerly a Jewish synagogue in Ningbo, as well as one in Hangzhou, but no traces of them are now discoverable, and the only Jews known to exist in China were in Kaifeng.[22]

Muslim communities during Ming and Qing dynasties[edit]

In 1848, during the Qing dynasty, Hangzhou was described as the "stronghold" of Islam in China, the city containing several mosques with Arabic inscriptions.[23] A Hui from Ningbo also told an Englishman that Hanzhou was the "Stronghold" of Islam in Zhejiang province, containing multiple mosques, compared to his small congregation of around 30 families in Ningbo for his Mosque.[24]

Within the city of Hangzhou are two notable mosques: Great Mosque of Hangzhou and the Phoenix Mosque.

Geography and climate[edit]

Tidal bore at the Qiantang River in Hangzhou

Hangzhou is located in northwestern Zhejiang province, at the southern end of the Grand Canal of China, which runs to Beijing, in the south-central portion of the Yangtze River Delta. Its administrative area (sub-provincial city) extends west to the mountainous parts of Anhui province, and east to the coastal plain near Hangzhou Bay. The city center is built around the eastern and northern sides of the West Lake, just north of the Qiantang River.

Hangzhou's climate is humid subtropical (Köppen Cfa) with four distinctive seasons, characterised by long, very hot, humid summers and chilly, cloudy and drier winters (with occasional snow). The mean annual temperature is 16.48 °C (61.7 °F), with monthly daily averages ranging from 4.3 °C (39.7 °F) in January to 28.4 °C (83.1 °F) in July. The city receives an average annual rainfall of 1,450 millimetres (57.1 in) and is affected by the plum rains of the Asian monsoon in June. In late summer (August to September), Hangzhou, along with other cities in the province, suffer typhoon storms, but typhoons seldom strike it directly. Generally they make landfall along the southern coast of Zhejiang, and affect the area with strong winds and stormy rains.[25] Extreme temperatures have ranged from −10.5 to 42.1 °C (13 to 108 °F).[26] With monthly percent possible sunshine ranging from 30% in March to 51% in August, the city receives 1,757 hours of sunshine annually.

Climate data for Hangzhou (1971−2000)
Average high °C (°F)8.0
Average low °C (°F)1.5
Precipitation mm (inches)73.2
Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.1 mm)12.412.316.315.214.615.213.013.612.610.08.68.1151.9
 % humidity76767876768278798178747277.2
Mean monthly sunshine hours107.299.1109.5140.6163.3141.9216.1209.5147.2148.3137.6136.21,756.5
Percent possible sunshine33323037393450514042434339.5
Source: China Meteorological Administration

Administrative divisions[edit]

The sub-provincial city of Hangzhou comprises 8 districts, 3 county-level cities, and 2 counties. The six central urban districts occupy 682 km2 (263 sq mi) and have 3,560,400 people. The two suburban districts occupy 2,642 km2 (1,020 sq mi) and have 2,681,600 people.

Simplified / Traditional
PinyinPopulation (2010)Area (km2)Density
Hangzhou mcp.jpg
City Proper
1Shangcheng District上城区 / 上城區Shàngchéng Qū344,59418.3018,830.27
2Xiacheng District下城区 / 下城區Xiàchéng Qū526,09631.4616,722.70
3Jianggan District江干区 / 江干區Jiānggàn Qū998,783210.224,751.13
4Gongshu District拱墅区 / 拱墅區Gǒngshù Qū551,87487.496,307.85
5Xihu District西湖区 / 西湖區Xīhú Qū820,017308.702,656.36
6Binjiang District滨江区 / 濱江區Bīnjiāng Qū319,02772.024,429.70
7Xiaoshan District萧山区 / 蕭山區Xiāoshān Qū1,511,2901,420.221,064.12
8Yuhang District馀杭区 / 餘杭區Yúháng Qū1,170,2901,223.56956.46
12Tonglu County桐庐县 / 桐廬縣Tónglú Xiàn406,4501,825.00222.71
13Chun'an County淳安县 / 淳安縣Chún'ān Xiàn336,8434,427.0076.09
County-level cities
9Jiande建德市 / 建德市Jiàndé Shì430,7502,321.00185.59
10Fuyang富阳市 / 富陽市Fùyáng Shì717,6941,831.20391.93
11Lin'an临安市 / 臨安市Lín'ān Shì566,6653,126.80181.23


Hangzhou's economy has rapidly developed since its opening up in 1992. It is an industrial city with many diverse sectors such as in light industry, agriculture, textile, It is also considered an important manufacturing base and logistics hub for coastal China.[27]

In 2001, the GDP of the whole city amounts to RMB ¥156.8 billion which ranks the second among all of the provincial capitals after Guangzhou. The city has more than tripled GDP in the last eight years, with GDP increasing from RMB ¥156.8 billion in 2001 to RMB ¥701.1 billion in 2011 and GDP per capita increasing from USD $3,025 to USD $12,447.[27][28]

The city has developed many new industries since, they include medicine, information technology, heavy equipment, automotive components, household electrical appliances, electronics, telecommunication, fine chemicals, chemical fibre and food processing.[29]

Economic and Technological Development Zones[edit]


Hangzhou city gate in 1906
Hu Xueyan Residence, a historic mansion in Hangzhou

Hangzhou is renowned for its historic relics and natural beauty. It is often known as one of the most beautiful cities in China, also ranking as one of the most scenic cities.[33] Although Hangzhou has been through many recent urban developments, it still retains its historical and cultural heritage. Today, tourism remains an important factor for Hangzhou's economy.[33] One of Hangzhou's most popular sights is the West Lake, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The West Lake Cultural Landscape covers an area of 3,323 ha (8,210 acres) and includes some of Hangzhou's most notable historic and scenic places. Adjacent to the lake is a scenic area includes historical pagodas, cultural sites, as well as the natural beauty of the lake and hills, including Phoenix Mountain. There are two causeways across the lake.[33]

Other places of interest:


View from the Chenghuang pagoda area
The Liuhe Pagoda of Hangzhou, built in 1165, during the Song Dynasty.

Scenic places near West Lake[edit]

Other religious buildings[edit]


Two of the Three Pillars of Chinese Catholicism were from Hangzhou. In Hangzhou, there was persecution of Christians in the early 21st century.[34]


Longjing (Dragon Well Spring) in Hangzhou, famous for the Longjing tea cultivated in the surrounding plantations

The native residents of Hangzhou, like those of Zhejiang and southern Jiangsu, speak a Wu dialect. However, the Wu dialect varies throughout the area where it is spoken, hence, Hangzhou's dialect differs from regions in southern Zhejiang and southern Jiangsu. As the official language defined by China's central government, Mandarin is the dominant spoken language.

Tea is an important part of Hangzhou's economy and culture. Hangzhou is best known for originating Longjing, a notable variety of green tea, the most notable type being Xi Hu Long Jing. Known as the best type of Long Jing tea, Xi Hu Long Jing is grown near Xi Hu in Hangzhou, hence its name.

The local government of Hangzhou heavily invests in promoting tourism and the arts, with emphasis placed upon silk production, umbrellas, and Chinese hand-held folding fans.

Hangzhou's local cuisine is often considered to be representative of Zhejiang provincial cuisine, which is claimed as one of China’s eight fundamental cuisines. The locally accepted consensus amongst Hangzhou's natives defines dishes prepared in this style to be "fresh, tender, soft, and smooth, with a mellow fragrance."

Dishes like West Lake Vinegar Fish (西湖醋鱼), Dongpo Pork (东坡肉), Longjing Shrimp (龙井虾仁), Beggar's Chicken (叫化鸡), Steamed Rice and Pork Wrapped by Lotus Leaves(荷叶粉蒸肉), Braised Bamboo Shoots (油焖笋),Lotus Root Pudding (藕粉)and Sister Song's Fish Soup (宋嫂鱼羹) are some of the better-known examples of Hangzhou's regional cuisine.


High speed rail line in Hangzhou
Hangzhou trolleybus
Hangzhou city bus
Taxis on Yan'an Road
Bicycles for rent
Qiantang River Bridge

Hangzhou is served by the Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport, which provides direct service to many international destinations such as Germany, Thailand, Australia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, India, Vietnam, Ethiopia, Singapore, and the Netherlands.[35] Regional routes reach Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macau. It has an extensive domestic route network within the PRC and is consistently ranked top 10 in passenger traffic among Chinese airports. Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport has two terminals, namely Terminal A and Terminal B. The smaller Terminal A serves all international and regional flights while the bigger Terminal B solely handles domestic traffic. The airport is located just outside the city in the Xiaoshan District with direct bus service linking the airport with Downtown Hangzhou. The ambitious expansion project will see the addition of a second runway and a third terminal which will dramatically increase capacity of the fast-growing airport that serves as a secondary hub of Air China. A new elevated airport express highway is under construction on top of the existing highway between the airport and downtown Hangzhou. The second phase of Hangzhou Metro Line 1 has a planned extension to the airport.

Hangzhou sits on the intersecting point of some of the busiest rail corridors in China. The city's main station is Hangzhou Railway Station (colloquially the "City Station" Chinese: 城站). There are frequent departures for Shanghai with approximately 20-minute headways from 6:00 to 21:00. Non-stop CRH high speed service between Hangzhou and Shanghai takes 45 minutes and leaves every hour (excluding a few early morning/late night departures) from both directions. While other CRH high speed trains that stop at one or more stations along the route complete the trip in 59 to 75 minutes. Most other major cities in China can also be reached by direct train service from Hangzhou. The Hangzhou East Railway Station (colloquially "East Station" 东站), is closed for renovation until late 2011. Once completed, it will become one of the biggest rail traffic hubs in China consisting of 15 platforms that will house the High Speed CRH service to and from Shanghai, Nanjing, Changsha, Ningbo, and beyond. The subway station beneath the rail complex building is a stop along the Hangzhou Metro Line 1.

Direct trains link Hangzhou with more than 50 cities, including 12 daily services to Beijing, more than 100 daily services to Shanghai and it reaches as far as Ürümqi. The China Railway High-Speed service inaugurated on October 26, 2010. The service is operated by the CRH 380A(L), CRH 380B(L) and CRH380CL train sets which travel at a maximum speed of 350 km/h (220 mph), shortening the duration of the 202 km (126 mi) trip to only 45 minutes.[36]

The construction of the Shanghai-Hangzhou Maglev Train Line has been debated for several years. On August 18, 2008 Beijing Authorities gave the project the go-ahead to start construction in 2010. Transrapid has been contracted to construct the line. However, as of 2011 construction has not yet started.

Central, north, south and west long-distance bus stations offer frequent coach service to nearby cities/towns within Zhejiang province, as well as surrounding provinces.

Hangzhou has an efficient public transportation network, consisting of a modern fleet of regular diesel bus, trolley bus, hybrid diesel-electric bus and taxi. The first subway line is expected to enter into service by October 1, 2012. Hangzhou is known for its extensive Bus Rapid Transit network expanding from downtown to many suburban areas through dedicated bus lanes on some of the busiest streets in the city. Bicycles and electric scooters are very popular and major streets have dedicated bike lanes throughout the city. Hangzhou has an extensive free public bike rental system, the Hangzhou Public Bicycle system.

Taxis are also very popular in the city. With its line of the newest Hyundai Sonatas and Volkswagen Passats, and tight regulations, the city's taxi service is rated amongst the best in the country. In early 2011 30 electric taxis were deployed in Hangzhou. 15 were Zoyte Langyues and the other 15 were Haima Freemas, however in April one Zoyte Langye caught fire and all of the electric taxis were taken off the roads later that day. The city still intends to have a fleet of 200 electric taxis by the end of 2011.[37]

The Hangzhou Metro began operation in March 2006,the first line opened on November 24, 2012. Line 1 connects downtown Hangzhou with suburban area of the city from Xianghu to Wenze Road and Linping. It is expected to have 8 lines upon completion. Most lines are still currently under construction.



Hangzhou has a large student population with many higher education institutions based in the city. Public universities include Zhejiang University, Zhejiang University of Technology, and Hangzhou Normal University etc. Xiasha, located near the east end of the city, and Xiaoheshan, located near the west end of the city, are college towns with a cluster of several universities and colleges.

Note: Institutions without full-time bachelor programs are not listed.

High schools[edit]

The most famous four high schools (top 3 plus one foreign language school) in Hangzhou are

Hangzhou International School serves the local expat population in Hangzhou.

Chinese sayings[edit]

A typical Chinese garden's window decoration in Hangzhou
"Be born in Suzhou, live in Hangzhou, eat in Guangzhou, die in Liuzhou." (simplified Chinese: 生在苏州, 活在杭州, 吃在广州, 死在柳州; traditional Chinese: 生在蘇州, 活在杭州, 吃在廣州, 死在柳州)
The meaning here lies in the fact that Suzhou was renowned for its beautiful and highly civilized and educated citizens, Hangzhou for its scenery, Guangzhou for its food, and Liuzhou (of Guangxi) for its wooden coffins which supposedly halted the decay of the body.
"Heaven Above, Suzhou and Hangzhou below." (simplified Chinese: 上有天堂,下有苏杭; traditional Chinese: 上有天堂,下有蘇杭)
This phrase has a similar meaning to the English phrases "heaven on Earth" or "God's country".

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Hangzhou mayor Shao Zhanwei dies during NPC session". South China Morning Post. SCMP Group. March 6, 2013. Retrieved March 16, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d Economic and Social Development Report of Hangzhou Metropolitan Circles (2007-2012) (in Simplified Chinese). Social Sciences Academic Press(China). 2012-10-01. Retrieved 2013-02-20. 
  3. ^ "杭州市 2010年国民经济和社会发展统计公报" (in Simplified Chinese). Hangzhou Municipal Statistic Bureau. 2011-02-24. Retrieved 2011-09-15. 
  4. ^ "2012中国都市圈评价指数今年7月发布" (in Simplified Chinese). 上海交通大学. 2012-07-02. Retrieved 2013-02-20. 
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Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Capital of China (as Lin'an)
Succeeded by
Dadu (present Beijing)