Situated on China’s east coast – just 45 minutes from Shanghai by bullet train – Hangzhou (pronounced “hung-jo”) is considered one of China’s most famous and most beautiful destinations.
The city’s focal point is the enchanted environs of West Lake – resembling a traditional Chinese garden, but on a very grand scale. Covering 600 hectares (1,500 acres), the lake is fringed on three sides by mountain peaks and on one side by the city skyline. The richly green shoreline is dotted with ancient temples, towering pagodas and delicate bridges, creating a perfect picture of China’s historic character.
Known as one of China’s most prosperous business centres, Hangzhou is a city of 8.8 million people. Its prominence is legendary: in the 13th century, Hangzhou was the most populous city on earth, with more than one million inhabitants. Marco Polo called it “the finest and the noblest city in the world.”
With Hangzhou’s best location – convenient to shopping and business, yet right at the edge of West Lake – Four Seasons Hotel Hangzhou at West Lake is the city’s most desirable destination.
GMT +8 hours
Nearly everyone in Hangzhou speaks Mandarin, the national language of China. Most staff in shops and restaurants speak some English.
Local voltage is 220 volts. Adapters available; please request through the Concierge.
10:00 am to 8:00 pm
Monday to Friday 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
Best available room rate. Our most flexible option.
The people of Hangzhou celebrate everything from tea to ancient cultural traditions with festivals and events throughout the year. Below are brief descriptions of the major holidays and events in Hangzhou.
- New Year’s Day is celebrated in China, however the lunar new year is a far more important holiday often called Spring Festival.
- Spring Festival is the most important Chinese holiday and is marked by one of the grandest fireworks displays in the world. The dates vary each year, but it usually falls in late-January or early-February and lasts for 15 days.
- Lantern Festival, held on the 15th day of the first lunar month, marks the end of China's new year celebrations. Traditional dancers in colourful costumes take to the streets. At night, lantern-lit parades illuminate the city.
- Tomb Sweeping Festival (Qingming) is a nationwide day for mourning the dead. The Chinese people use the occasion to pay their respects to their ancestors and to tidy tombs and grave sites by removing weeds and leaves. This festival is also celebrated as a day that welcomes the coming of spring, when all is new and fresh.
- Dragon Well Tea Festival takes place in Dragon Well Village, and involves picking, making and then drinking tea.
- International Labour Day, aka May Day, is celebrated as a public holiday in China. Join the crowds of thousands in to see the early-morning flag-raising ceremony or join the locals who use the day to explore the parks of their native city.
- Dragon Boat Festival, (Duanwu) commemorates the death of ancient poet Qu Yuan. Locals eat zongzi (bamboo-wrapped rice dumplings) and watch the exciting and vibrant dragon boat races. Qu Yuan lived as a courtier in the Chou Dynasty until he was one day tossed into the sea at the hands of a corrupt and evil official. When the local fishermen heard of the poet's demise, they searched the waters to find him. Unsuccessful, they threw rice dumplings into the sea and slapped the water with their paddles to distract the fish from the poet's body.
- Hangzhou Golden Autumn International Tourism Festival combines boating with fireworks, delicious foods and folk performances.
- West Lake Osmanthus Festival celebrates the Hangzhou city flower, and festivities include drinking, eating and admiring the flower.
- China International Qiantang River Tidal Bore Festival attracts crowds from across China to admire the lunar pull on West Lake, when a large wave cascades across the normally gentle waters.
- West Lake International Fireworks Show is a spectacle of wonder and noise as fireworks from around the world explode over Hangzhou.
- Mid-Autumn Festival, also known as the Moon Festival, is held on the 15th day of the 8th lunar month. Signaling family reunion to the Chinese people, it is also one of the most important traditional festivals in China. Admiring the full moon and eating delicious moon cakes top the to-do list for this occasion.
- The Hangzhou Marathon is not the largest in China, but it is possibly the most beautiful.
- National Day. Brave the crowds on October 1st as National Day celebrations happen around the country. Marking the day the Communist Party came into power, the events include floral sculptures, concert series and large-scale fireworks displays in major parks.
- Christmas is not a major holiday in China, but you'll find Hangzhou's saavier restaurants and bars catering to expats and diplomats, as well as winter tourists, with Christmas promotions
CHINESE PUBLIC HOLIDAYS 2017
|New Year's Day||January 1|
|Spring Festival||January 27 – February 2|
|Tomb Sweeping Day||April 2 – 4|
|Labour Day||April 29 – May 1|
|Dragon Boat Festival||May 28 – 30|
|National Day and Mid-Autumn Festival||October 1 – 7|