Hangzhou Waterfront

Hangzhou, an important tourist destination in China, is 180 kilometers (112 mi.) southwest of Shanghai. It has served ancient emperors as a capital city and is still a cultural center. To the Chinese, Hangzhou’s West Lake is as familiar an icon as the Great Wall or the Forbidden City. Marco Polo visited Hangzhou in the late 13th century and called the city “beyond dispute the finest and the noblest in the world.” For the Chinese, a pilgrimage to Hangzhou is an essential life experience. Of the 30 million tourists who visit West Lake each year, 2 million are foreigners.

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