The Land of Lakes and Willows

Zhejiang, part of the Yangtze River Delta, is one of China’s richest provinces. Here visitors will find mouthwatering food, ancient Buddhist sites and endless opportunities to get to know the exceptionally friendly locals. The abundance of lakes is just another reason to spend a few days exploring this area of extraordinary natural beauty, just a stone’s throw from Shanghai.

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Hangzhou

Capital of the province, Hangzhou is one of the most appealing cities in the Yangtze River Delta and possibly in all of China. It’s modern and well-organised, with plenty of green spaces and elegant temples.

One of the most unusual attractions in Zhejiang is Hangzhou’s Huqing Yutang Chinese Medicine Museum. This charming Qing Dynasty pharmacy and factory displays small animal skeletons and jars of exotic plants, along with centuries-old manuals for making medicines. The wooden building and courtyard are beautiful and you can even pick up a cure for what ails you at the dispensary.

West Lake is one of the star attractions in Zhejiang: this scenic spot is backed by hills and ringed by pagodas, willow trees and immaculately kept parks. The lake has inspired poems and paintings for many years and its classical beauty is well worth seeking out. When you’ve had your fill of gliding over the water in a boat, strolling the lakeside walkways, or simply snapping photos of the morning mist from a waterfront bench, head over to Zhongshan South Road Food Street, a playground for food lovers. This street is jam-packed with street stalls and restaurants, outdoor seating and upscale dining, and exploring it (and discovering new dishes) is one of the most fun things to do in Zhejiang.

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