Up above there is heaven, and below there are Suzhou and Hangzhou. This is one
of the most popular Chines saying people often quote to describe the picturesque
scenery of these two scenic cities of East China.

Hangzhou, the capital city of East China's
Zhejiang Province, and one of the seven
capitals (the others being Van, Luoyang, Kaifeng, Anyang, Beijing, and Nanjing) in
ancient China, is endowed with irritable charm and vigour as an ideal destination for
tourists from home and overseas. Located at the southern end of the
Beijing-Hangzhou Canal 180 kilometres south of Shanghai. The city is the political,
economic, cultural, and scientific research centre of this coastal province in East
China. With a long history and a wealth of cultural relics, the city is a
communications hub in East China. Besides railways, expressways and
international airports, the Grand Canal and Qiantang River can connect the city with
other parts of the world.

With a history of more than 2, 200 years, Hangzhou is one of the cradles of China's
civilization. Hangzhou used to be the capital of Wu and Yue kingdoms in the 10th
century during the Five Dynasties period. It developed rapidly in the Tang Dynasty
(618-907) to become the nation's cultural, economic and political centre in the
Southern Song Dynasty ( 1127-1279 ). In the Yuan Dynasty ( 1279-1368), Marco
Polo ( 1254-1324, Venetian traveller to the court of Kublai Khan) described it as the
most graceful city in the world.

The City of Hangzhou is divided into six districts, five cities and two counties. It
encompasses 16,847 square kilometres with a population of 6.16 million. Its major
industries include textiles, machinery, metallurgy, chemicals, electronics, and food.

Hangzhou is one of the top 10 tourist attractions in China. It is famous for its
surrounding hills and numerous beautiful scenic spots, especially the West Lake.
Other tourist attractions include Pagoda of Six Harmonies, Soul's Retreat Temple,
The Peak That Flew Here, Hangzhou Oriental Culture Park, the Newly-Built Leifeng
Pagoda, Fuchun River, Xin'an River, the "Thousand-Island Lake," the rarely seen
tide of the Qiantang River, and Tianmu Mountain.
Hangzhou - Capital city of Zhejiang Province
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