Unknown Cities of China: Hangzhou

Only 100 miles from Shanghai, this fascinating city has so far been largely ignored by westerners. Now with a direct KLM flight from Europe opening up this seems likely to change. Hangzhou's fine cultural heritage and breathtaking beauty are sure to be a tourist draw, reports the Independent.

Visit the Temple of 12th century army hero, General Yue Fei. One of the city’s most celebrated attractions, you may have to vie with Chinese tourists who like to be photographed at the site. Take a look at West Lake, located to the west of Hangzhou’s city centre. This vast body of water is surrounded by mountains on three sides and is filled with man-made islets and causeways as well as monuments and pavilions dedicated to Chinese poets and leaders.

The most famous site on West Lake is 'Three Pools Mirroring the Moon', a trio of three 400 year old pagodas which sit in the water, just off the shore. They are best viewed on a full moon, when candles are placed inside, creating an enchanting effect.

Hangzhou’s city centre also offers plenty of shopping malls, designer-label specialist shops and a burgeoning night life.

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