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Home>> China Guide >> City Guide >> Hangzhou Attractions

Hangzhou Attractions

Qing emperor Kangxi was especially charmed by the Lingyin Temple, and one of his couplets is inscribed on the Hall of Four Heavenly Guardians which stands at the front of the temple. This celebrated temple was originally built in AD 326, despite being destroyed and rebuilt 16 times over; it remains one of Hangzhou's main attractions. At the back of the temple is a giant 19.6m camphor wood statue of Buddha. If it's not too crowded, the serenity of the grounds will let you feel as tranquil as Buddha. The Lingyin Temple Scenic Area is huge; the area includes the temple and the mini-mountain Feilai Peak. In one section of the park are large Buddhist rock carvings –explore the grounds and you'll discover many quaint photogenic scenes.

Lingyin TempleOther attractions rest on Hangzhou's historic silk and tea production, both of which boomed after it was connected to the Grand Canal at the end of the 6th century, a fact not lost on visitors who make their way to the China Silk Museum to purchase choice fabrics or to the Dragon Well Tea Village to imbibe sweet drinks. If highbrow elbow rubbing is to your liking, follow the flocks to Xihu Tiandi. Located on the southern shore of West Lake, this trendy cluster of shops beckons with bamboo lined cobblestone walkways. It's quickly becoming the hottest place to be seen, but the Six Harmonies Pagoda is still one of the coolest places to see. This 60m octagonal giant once served as a lighthouse and rises in the southwest of the city overlooking the calm Qiantang River. Head behind the pagoda and follow the footpath that winds past sculptures and shrines.

For a dose of heroism, visit the Mausoleum of General Yue Fei.Inside a red brick chamber sits a stoic statueof the mighty general, the Southern Songdynasty's most talented defender against12th century Jürchen hordes. This famedpatriot was the Southern Song dynasty'sgreatest hope for survival in face of adetermined invader, but due to palaceintrigue, he was stripped of his post andmurdered in prison. He was posthumouslyrehabilitated and his tomb and that of hisson now stand in the quiet temple grounds.Nearby are four iron statues of histormentors kneeling in shame, templevisitors used to spit at these statues, thoughthis practice is now prohibited. The lunar tidal bore phenomenon onthe Qiantang River is most spectacular aroundSeptember or throughout the year athigh tide. During these times, amassive wall of water is pulled inlandto Qiantang's shallows. The bestviews are in the town of Yanguan,38km northeast of Hangzhou, thoughit's also viewable in Hangzhou. Aword of caution, this rushing wall ofwater has killed those who got suckedin, so don't get too close.

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