My Hometown Hangzhou

My hometown Hangzhou is known as “paradise on earth.” An ancient Chinese saying says: “Above there is heaven; below there is Hangzhou.”

Anyone who has visited Hangzhou is impressed by its scenic beauty. A mirror-like lake, called West Lake, is nested in lush hills, like jade carved into green velvet. Along the lake are peach and willow trees, wavering and whispering in gentle breeze.

In the springtime, when the peach trees are blossoming with pink and white flowers in between the green willows, West Lake looks like a cheerful bride ready to wed. A pagoda, named Precious Stone Pagoda, stands on the top of the hills at the north side of the lake, as if a faithful guard watching out for his bride.

Hangzhou is also a historical city. It served as the capital of China in Song Dynasty (960-1279). In the 13th century, Marco Polo traveled to Hangzhou – the center of trade and culture during that time, and wrote elaborately in his journals about West Lake. He considered Hangzhou as “the most beautiful and splendid city in the world.”

Throughout history, Hangzhou has inspired poets, artists, philosophers and politicians. Many of them had left mesmerizing poems about West Lake. A classical poem by Su Shi, a renowned poet in Song Dynasty, says it all:

The brimming waves delight the eyes on sunny days;
The dimming hills present rare views in raining haze.
If comparing The West Lake to the Beauty of West Shi,
It becomes her to be adorned in either ways.

Today, Hangzhou has renewed itself into a center for technology and entrepreneurship. With a population of seven million, Hangzhou accounted for 20 percent of the province’s GDP, 30 percent of its imports and 17 percent of foreign investment.

A recent survey by Forbes reveals that Hangzhou scored the highest on the list of “the top ten best places for business,” before Shanghai and Beijing.

It is a base for global manufacturers such as Motorola, Siemens, and Toshiba. It has several of the most successful homegrown companies – the biggest auto parts maker Wan-Xiang, soft drinks group Wahaha, and Internet company Alibaba.

7 thoughts on “My Hometown Hangzhou

  1. Hmm.. Helen, Hangzhou sure sounds like out of a fairy tale..! No wonder all your posts have that magic in themm! 🙂

    Long time, since i went bloghopping.. Nice to get back..!

    With Best Regards,
    Srijith.

  2. Mathyan, good to see you. Thanks for stopping by.

    Srijith, welcome back. It’s been a while for me too to roaming around the blog sphere. Look forward to seeing you more!

  3. Your post and nice pictures just drag me to that ‘beautiful place in the fairy tale’ again.

    I have been in Hangzhou once many years ago. It was in Spring. Can’t remember the details but the astonishing beauty of West Lake lives in my memory since then.

    I heard that it only takes two hours from Shanghai to Hangzhou now. Love to visit West lake again next time in Shanghai.

  4. John,

    Thanks for visiting my blog. Yes, it only takes two hours to drive from Shanghai to Hangzhou now. But the traffic on the highway is pretty bad so it usually takes longer. When the magnet train line opens (they say in 2008), it will only take a half hour!

  5. I ever studied in HangZhou before. It is really beautiful and traveling city. Now I think that High-Tech is developing very fast. Hope that take a look at HangZhou again.