Hangzhou Facts

wuzhen village Wuzhen Ancient Town

Name: Hangzhou (杭州; Hángzhōu /hung-zhow/)

Meaning: "Hang prefecture", Hang is a surname.

Previous names: Qiantang Country, Xifu, Linan

Famous legend: Marco Polo called Hangzhou: "without doubt the finest and most splendid city the world."


  • It is the prosperous and relatively clean capital of Zhejiang Province.
  • Inland port city at the southern tip of the Grand Canal and near the Yangtze River
  • It was the capital of the technologically advanced Southern Song Empire.
  • Has been one of China's most prosperous cities for a thousand years.
  • West Lake and ancient architectural sites of the past dynasties are attractions.
  • West Lake now is a new UNESCO World Heritage area.

Main Attractions:

Qinghefang Pedestrian StreetQinghefang Pedestrian Street


The Grand Canal made Hangzhou a large and relatively wealthy port city on the Yangtze River near the sea. It has long been an imperial capital or a provincial capital.

  • 609 The expansionist but short-lived Sui Empire constructed the Grand Canal to its full length, and this allowed for economical trade and travel all the way to Beijing far to the north.
  • 1123 The Song Empire was defeated by the Jin Empire north of the Yangtze River, and Hangzhou became the capital city of the Southern Song Empire.
  • 1123 - 1276 As the capital city of the Southern Song Empire, Hangzhou became perhaps the largest and wealthiest city in the world.
  • 1276 The Mongol Empire conquered Hangzhou, and under their rule, Hangzhou prospered once again.
  • 1500s During the Ming Dynasty era, Hangzhou's port gradually filled with silt, and the city lost its prominence as a principal merchants' city.
  • 2000-2011 Hangzhou became known as the wealthiest of the smaller big cities in China (main urban population less than 5 million).
  • 2011 The "West Lake Cultural Landscape" was entered into the UNESCO World Heritage List.


the west lakeWest Lake
  • Significance of the city: Hangzhou is known for the high level of education, advanced technology industries, comparative wealth, its cleaner environment, and the West Lake scenic area.
  • Municipality population: 8,700,000
  • Municipality area: 16,847 sq km (6,505 sq mi)
  • Municipality population density: 1,214/sq km (3,143/sq mi)
  • Nearby cities: Shanghai (165 km/102 mi), Suzhou (117 km/72 mi), Huangshan (183 km/113 mi)
  • Municipality terrain: the city is in the Yangtze River basin plain south of the Yangtze River.
  • Main rivers: Qiantang River

Location Information

  • Municipality location: 30.25N, 120.21E; East China.
  • North to south distance of main urban area: 26 km (17 mi)
  • East to west distance of main urban area: 13 km (8 mi)


  • Annual average low temperature in January: 1.5 °C (34.7 °F)
  • Annual average high temperature in July: 32 °C (91.4 °F)
  • Humid subtropical climate; annual precipitation: 1,450 mm (57.1 in)
  • Humid subtropical climate with four distinct seasons and occasional snow in the winters.


  • Average annual income: RMB 68,398 (10,103 USD)
  • Development: highly developed. It is already the wealthiest of the medium-sized cities, and the economy has been growing relatively quickly. The city is a center for manufacturing for multinational companies.
  • Industry: 47% tertiary industry (tourist industry, financial services), 50% secondary (electronics manufacturing, software), 3% primary (agriculture)
  • CBD: Hangzhou Qianjiang CBD (30.25N, 120.21E)
  • Shopping Streets: Hefang Street, Yanan Road


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Hi, I'm Lynn Ye
I updated this article on March 22, 2014
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