Area 101800 square km
Population 48.98 million (2006)
Capital City Hangzhou

Zhejiang Geography

Zhejiang Province is situated to the south of Taihu Lake on the coast of the East China Sea, its coastline extending over 2,200 kilometers. The Qiantang River flowing through the Province used to be called the Zhejiang River, after which the Province was named. Zhejiang Province covers an area of over 100,000 square kilometres with a population of 48.98 million (2006), which mainly comprises the Han, She, Hui, Manchu, Miao and other nationalities. Hangzhou is the capital of the Province.

Zhejiang Climate

Zhejiang Province has a temperate and humid climate with four distinctive seasons. The average annual temperature of the Province ranges from 15°C to 19°C (59°F to 66.2°F) January, the coldest month, has an average temperature of 2°C to 8°C (35.6°F to 46.4°F), while July, the hottest month, has an average temperature of 27C to 30C with an average annual precipitation of 850 - 1700 mm, Zhejiang Province is one of the fine weathered province of China.

Brief History of Zhejiang

Civilization emerged in Zhejiang back in the New Stone Age. The Da Yu Mausdeum at the foot of Huiji Mountain is said to be the tomb of Yu, the reputed founded of China’s Xia Dynasty (21th-16th century B.C.). When China was unified in the Qin Dynasty (221-207 B.C.), Zhejiang was under the administration of the three prefectures---Huiji, Zhang and Minzhong. There remains at the food of Baoshi Hill in Hangzhou a stone relic showing that the first emperor of the Qin Dyansty paid an inspection tour to Zhejiang. During the tenth century, Qian Liu, a former governor of Tang Dynasty (618—907 A.D.) established the State of Wuyue in Zhejiang. During the 12th century, the Southern Song Dynasty moved its capital to Hangzhou in face of external aggression. The Province became what it is today since the Qing Dynasty.

Zhejiang Local Cuisine

Zhejiang cuisine is one of the eight famous culinary schools in China, consisting mainly of the specialities of Hangzhou, Ningbo and Shaoxing. Hangzhou cuisine is characterized by its elaborate preparation and varying techniques of cooking, such as sauté, stewing, and stir and deep fired. Hangzhou food tastes fresh and crisp, varying with the change of season. Ningbo food is a bit salty but delicious. Specializing in steamed, roasted and braised seafood, Ningbo cuisine is particular in retaining the original freshness, tenderness and softness. Shaoxing cuisine offers fresh aquatic food and poultry that has a special rural flavour, sweet in smell, soft and glutinous in taste, thick in gravy and strong in season. Famous Hangzhou specialties are: West Lake fish in vinegar sauce, fired shrimps with longjing tea, Songsao fish soup, Dongpo pork, beggar’s chicken and consommé of West Lake water shield.

Zhejiang Local Products

Zhejiang Province is an important silk producing region in China. Known as the “home of silk” in China, the Province produces over 1,000 different varieties of satin, which has own the fame of “flower of oriental art”. The West Lake Longjing tea with its bird’s tongue shaped leaves is famous for its jade green colour, pleasant fragrance and refreshing taste. One of the eight leading liquors in China, Shaoxing wine is characteristic of its glistening sweet smell and mellow taste. Jinhua Ham, famed in colour, is unique in its fragrant and mellow flavour, tender and delicious taste. The Province is also famous for its Huangyan tangerine and West Lake water shield. Zhejiang offers a great variety of arts and handicrafts produce, such as the Hangzhou fan, West Lake silk parasols, Shengxian bamboo articles, Qingtian stone carving, Dongyang wood carving, Wunzhou bowl sculpture, Ningbo wood ware inlaid with bones, Langquan swords, Xiaoshan lace, Longquan celadon ware, Zhang Xiaoquan scissors, etc.

Zhejiang Places of Interests and Tourist Attractions

The cities of Hangzhou, Shaoxing, Ningbo, Wenzhou and Mogan Mountain of Deqing Country, Yandang Mountain of Leqing Country, Tiantong Temple of Yinxian Country and Yaolin Cavern of Tonglu Country are open to tourists. Hangzhou and Shaoxing are leading Chinese cities of historical and cultural fame.

The West Lake of Hangzhou, Fuchun River, Xin’an River, Yandang Mountain and Putuo Mountain are the first group of major scenic designated by the state. Hangzhou is the tourists centre of Zhejiang Province, with the West Lake crowning the western part of the city like a bright pearl. Scattered in the hills around the lake are streams, springs, pounds and creeks alternated with caverns, valleys, peaks and rockeries.

Coupled with the decoration of pagodas, temples, steles and rock carvings, all this has added to the lustre and attractiveness of the West Lake. The West Lake presents a panorama of enchanting scenes with change of season during different times of the day and under different weather conditions.

After touring Hangzhou, known as the “paradise on the earth”, one may visit the ancient river town of Shaoxing or enjoy the ancient and serene environment at the Guoqing Temple on Tiantai Mountain. Yandang Mountain is reputed for its gorgeous scenery with hills and waters; Mogan Mountain is a famous summer resort in China; renowned for its Buddhist temples, Putou Mountain is known as “Buddhist Kingdom of the sea”. The islet on the Oujiang River to the north of Wenzhou City has the fame of being a fairyland on the Oujiang River.

Tianyi Pavilion in Ningbo is one of the oldest libraries in China. Yaolin Cavern of Tonglu Country presents an infinite variety of fantastic scenes rarely found elsewhere. All these places of historical interest and scenic spot around Hangzhou hold out great attractions to tourists, both Chinese and foreign.

The major scenic spots are the West Lake, Mt. Putuo, Mt. Tianmu, Qiandao Lake, Qiantang River, Tiantong Temple, Baogou Temple, the former Residence of Lu Xun.

West Lake

Hangzhou's fame rests mainly with the picturesque West Lake, so named because it is located in its western fringe. Covering about four square miles, West Lake is surrounded on three sides by rolling wood hills. At the center are three isles--Lesser Yingzhou, Mid-lake Pavilion and Ruangong Isle. Solitary Hill stands by itself on the northern lakeshore. It can be reached from the city by Bai Causeway, with Su Causeway bisects the lake from north to south. The blue, often rippling, water is dotted with elegant stone bridges and charming pavilions.

Qiantangjiang Tidal Bore

If you are visiting in September during the autumn equinox, you may be able to see one of the most unusual sights in the world. A tidal bore gathers momentum in the Gulf of Hangzhou, surges into the mouth of the Qiangtang River, and races up the river, at a height of up to 30 ft. and a speed of more than 15m.p.h. In ancient times, governors of Hangzhou used to have arrows fired at the waves in an attempt to quell their destructive forces. Nowadays more effective methods are used.

Lingyin Temple

It is believed that the temple was first established in 336 A.D. by a monk known as Hui Li. It was destroyed on a number of occasions, the last time during the Taiping Rebellion, and the latest rebuilding was in the early part of the 20th century. It was then restored in 1956.

The temple sits at the foot of the Northern Peak in a wooded area, with a stream running in front of it. Some of the trees in front are believed to be more than 1,000 years old.

The foremost temple houses a laughing Buddha carved in camphor wood and covered in gold with a carved gilt figure standing behind as a guard. Both figures are set under a two-eaves wooden canopy decorated in red and gold. Ornate lamps hang on either side.