Blessed with a wealth of varied landscapes well known throughout China, Zhejiang attracts tourists. The peculiar natural landscapes and the rich cultural and historical heritages, which complement and enrich each other, make Hangzhou "a land of fish and rice, a land of silk and tea, a land of cultural relics and a land of calligraphy and Buddhism". Boasting the largest number of national scenic areas in the country, Zhejiang has 17 national scenic areas, namely the West Lake, "Two Rivers and One Lake" (namely the Fuchun River, the Xin'an River and the Thousand-Islet Lake), Mount Yandang in Wenzhou, the Nanxi River in Yongjia, the Baizhangji Waterfall in Wencheng, Mount Putuo in Zhoushan, Shengsi Islands, the Five Waterfalls in Zhuji, Shaoxing, Mount Tiantai in Taizhou, Cave Changyu, Xianju Scenic Spot, Mount Mogan in Deqing Huzhou, Mount Xuedou in Fenghua Ningbo, Twin-Dragon Cave in Jinghua, Square Rock in Yongkang and Mount Xiandu in Lishui. Hangzhou, capital of Zhejiang Province and one of the seven ancient capitals in China, is also a famous tourist city in the country, renowned for the natural beauty and charm of the West Lake. Under the general title of "Jiangnan (Southern Part of Yangtze River Delta) in Poems and Paintings, Zhejiang with Mountains & Waters", a cultural Zhejiang, a leisured Zhejiang, an ecological Zhejiang, an oceanic Zhejiang, a commercial Zhejiang, and red tour to famous sites in Chinese revolution are the six elaborately designed tourist brands.
Traditional Tourist Routes
East-bound Route of the Buddhist Country: A tour of water scenic areas and Buddhist holy lands including Hangzhou, Shaoxing, and Ningbo.East Zhejiang is a typical water country in South China, crisscrossed with rivers and dotted with lakes. The area is rich both in natural landscapes and cultural and historical heritages, where tourists will see integral harmony of ancient traditions with modern civilization. The scenic spots and places of historical interest along the route include: Shaoxing: Keyan Scenic Resort known for its grotesquely shaped stones and the Orchid Pavilion known as the calligraphers' sacred land; the Giant Buddha Monastery in Xinchang County. Ningbo: Tianyige Library, the oldest of its kind in China; the Xikou Scenic Area and Tengtou Ecological Village in Fenghua; the Hemudu Culture Ruins from the New Stone Age in Yuyao .Zhoushan: Mount Putuo, known as one of the four Buddhist holy mountains in China. It is an island city.
West-bound Route of Famous Mountains and Waters: Major scenic spots and places of historical interest along this route include:Hangzhou: Fishing Terrace of Yan Ziling, Ancient papermaking workshops and book printing workshops in Fuyang, West Zhejiang Grand Canyon in Mount Tianmu in Lin'an County, Rafting on the Tianmu Stream; Daci Rock, a scenic spot of Buddhist culture in Jiande.Jinhua: The Village of Zhuge in Lanxi, also known as the Eight-Diagram Village where descendents of Zhuge Liang (a famous ancient military strategist, 181-234) lived.Quzhou: The Longyou Grottoes in Longyou County.
South-bound Route of Graceful Mountains and Rivers: On the way, one can tour the three national scenic areas of Mount Tiantai, Mount Yandang and the Nanxi River. The Grand Buddha Temple of Xinchang, the ancient Guoqing Monastery in Mount Tiantai, the waterfall at the Shiliang Ridge, the Lingfeng Peak, the Lingyan Rock and the Greater and Lesser Dragon Waterfalls as well as a host of ancient towns along the Nanxi River are all outstanding scenic sites in the province. Major scenic spots along this route also include:Jinhua: The Astrology Village in Wuyi County and the Square Rock in Yongkang County.Taizhou: The Musical Cave.Wenzhou: The islands in Nanji, the provincial scenic spots Yaoxi and Zeya, Mount Yandang, the Nanxi River.Lishui: Mount Xiandu in Jinyun County.
North-bound Route of Silk Home and Ancient Towns: This route takes tourists on a tour of what is known as the Home of Silk and Ancient Towns on the Hangzhou-Jiaxing-Huzhou Plain. On the way, tourists will find themselves in the countryside of idyllic charms featuring arch bridges spanning canals and streams. Along the way, tourists may take part in such activities as picking mulberry leaves, feeding silkworms, silk weaving, batik printing and dyeing. Major scenic spots and historical sites include: Huzhou: The Little Lotus Garden built in 1924; in the ancient town of Nanxun, Fangzhanggang Silk Weaving Workshop, the Silk Businessmen's Gild Hall.Jiaxing: The ancient town of Xitang in Jiashan County; the North-South Lake in Haiyan County. What deserves special mention is the tidal bore on the Qiantang River, caused by the gravitational force and the centrifugal force of the turning of the earth, in addition to the trumpet shape of the Hangzhou Bay, which is a world-famous natural wonder that draws large numbers of visitors from China and abroad. Also worth visiting is the ancient town of Wuzhen in Tongxiang.
New Particular Tourism Routes in Southern Wing of Yangtze River Delta
Industry Tourism: This route features industrial and agricultural sightseeing programs, leading to 11 National Industrial Sample Sites including Tianhuangping Power Plant in Anji and Dahu Lighter Factory in Wenzhou, as well as the Provincial Agricultural High-tech Sample Park, and six National Agricultural Sample Sites including China Flowers & Trees City, Tengtou Village in Fenghua, Fishing Harbor of Shengjiamen in Zhoushan。 Village Tourism: With spending holidays and folk festivals in granges and rustic villages as the focus, this route offers rural scenes with thick folk flavors. Red Tourism: This route leads to sacred lands in Chinese revolutionary history, which provides a rich mixture of traditional, local, and modern experiences. Major spots include South Lake in Jiaxing and Mt. Siming in Yuyao of Ningbo.Study Tourism: Emphasizing on studies of history, culture, environmental science, and popular science, this route combines tourism with education, and knowledge, fun, with participatory experience. Its programs include “Touring Shaoxing with the Guide of Textbooks”, “Experiencing the Five National Museums”, “Climbing Buddhist Mountains to Learn Healthcare and Medical Knowledge from Masters” and various summer camps and winter camps. Market Tourism: This route features professional markets in Zhejiang with those in Hangzhou, Wenzhou, Yiwu, Keqiao, Yongkang and Haining as leading horses. Major spots include China Little Commodity City in Yiwu, China Light Textiles City in Shaoxing, and China Hardware City in Yongkang of Jinhua. Sports Tourism: Fully using the abundant resources of original local sports games, international and domestic sports events, and specialized folk sports matches, this route features sports tourism programs with vivid local characteristics. Major items include Longyou Station of the National Rally and training base of National Racing Boat Team in Thousand-islet Lake of Hangzhou. Driving Tourism: Driving along the highway network in the province to seek fun in rural areas or villages, to enjoy leisure time in ecological environment during holidays.
The major festivities held in Zhejiang include: April, Zhejiang International Cultural Industry Exposition, the Third China International Cartoon & Comics Festival; May, Zhejiang International Cultural Tourism Festival; September, China International Writing Brush Festival in Huzhou, China International Qiantang River Tidal Bore Festival, October, International Sand Sculpture Festival in Zhoushan, the Hangzhou West Lake Exposition, the Sixth Ningbo International Garment Festival, and the West Lake Firework Show in Hangzhou.
Tourism facilities have been improving with each passing day in Zhejiang, along with the development of the tourism industry, visibly increasing the province's capacity of hosting tourists. The province is now served by over 1,000 star-rated hotels, which is the second largest number in a single province in the entire nation. Many international hotels have set up their chain branches in Zhejiang, such as Radisson, Holiday-Inn, Shangri-la, Accor and Hyatt. The province operates over 1,000 international and domestic travel agencies.The website of Zhejiang Tourism provides an easy approach to tourist agencies for tourist of home and abroad to get information about tourism resources in the province and about services from catering, hotel reservation, traffic, trip, shopping, to entertainments.There is also a comprehensive voice service platform of "96118" in operation to provide added-value services of complaint reception, information inquiry, E-business, and emergency aid for tourists.In 2006, Zhejiang received 106 million domestic tourists and 4.27 million overseas tourists. The total domestic tourism earnings amounted to 152 billion yuan, showing an increase of 22.6 percent. The foreign exchange earnings amounted to US $2.13 billion, showing an increase of 24.3 percent.
One of the eight major schools of cooking in China, Zhejiang cuisine offers combined flavors of Hangzhou, Ningbo and Wenzhou. Each of the three sub-cuisine traditions is noted for its special flavor and taste, but they are all characterized by the careful selection of ingredients, emphasis on minute preparation, and unique, fresh and tender tastes. Zhejiang cuisine specializes in quick-frying, stir-frying, deep-frying, simmering and steaming, obtaining the natural flavor and taste. Special care is taken in the cooking process to make the food fresh and tender. Thanks to exquisite preparation, the dishes are not only delicious in taste and but also extremely elegant in appearance. Zhejiang cuisine is best represented by Hangzhou dishes, including Hangzhou Roast Chicken (commonly known as the Beggar's Chicken, which is especially delicious with a pleasant aroma of lotus leaves), Dongpo Pork, West Lake Vinegar Fish, and Sister Song's Shredded Fish Soup.
There is a wide range of tourism mementoes which originated in Zhejiang, mainly including Zhejiang silk, Hangzhou brocade, Hangzhou Wangxingji fans, Qingtian jade engraving, Zhang Xiaoquan scissors, Dongyang wood carvings, boxwood carvings, Shengzhou bamboo woven wares, Longquan celadon wares, Longquan swords, Ou (Wenzhou) embroidery, Xiaoshan laces, Yueqing paper-cuts, Ou (Wenzhou) sculpture, Huzhou Chinese writing brushes, celadon wares in imitation of those produced in the Southern Song Dynasty Imperial Kiln, West Lake silk parasols, Shuanglin satin from Huzhou, and Wuzixiong glass carving.