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Zhejiang

Zhejiang Province is on the east coast of China.

Capital city, Hangzhou, is one of the most famous beauty spots of China. It is on the Qiantang River on the east coast. An old saying goes: There is heaven above, Suzhou and Hangzhou below. Hangzhou has always been a favorite for centuries with great painters, poets and officials. Its West Lake is compared to a famous beauty in China's history. After the completion of the Grand Canal in 610, Hangzhou, being at the end of the Canal, flourished as a trading center. It was the world's largest and richest city when Marco Polo visited it in 1280. The West Lake is 15 km in circumference, with an average depth of 1.8 meters. Many tourist attractions are close to its shore. It has 2 causeways lined with grass, willows and peach trees. Everywhere around the Lake are exquisite gardens, bridges, green trees and flowers, and birds. Visitors can ride a boat with stops at various sites to enjoy the picturesque sceneries. The Pagoda of Six Harmonies on the north bank of Qiantang River is 59.89 meters and 13 stories tall, and made of brick and wood. The Soul's Retreat Temple west of West Lake has a 19.6-meter- high seated Sakyamuni. The temple is still one of the largest and most magnificent temples in China. Across from the temple is Feilaifeng (Peak that Flew from Afar). Along its narrow trails are 380 carvings from the Five Dynasties to the Yuan. The Tomb and Temple of Yue Fei is at the NW corner of the lake. The temple was built in honor of a famous Song general who was unjustly executed in at the age of 39. Other attractions include Tiger Spring, Dragon Well, Tea Garden, and Botanical Garden. Visitors can watch silk weaving and designing at a silk weaving factory. Mogan Mountain about 75 km NW is a summer resort with waterfalls, bamboo forests, ponds and caves. The spectacular Tidal Bore of the Qiantang River can be watched in late September or early October.

Ningbo is a city on the Zhejiang coast south of Beijing. It is noteworthy for archaeological findings and the oldest extant library in China. The area has been settled at least since 4800 B.C. Archaeologists found evidence of an advanced culture in the village of Hemudu in 1973. A 6000-7000-year-old bone flute is still playable. Inlaid-bone and wood-carving skills were known then. It has been a major port since the Tang, trading with Korea, Japan, and Southeast Asia. The Tianyige Library built in A.D. 1561 still has more than 300,000 books, among which over 80,000 rare books, mostly from the Ming, plus numerous stone tablets. The Baoguo Temple built in 1013 is the oldest extant wooden structure south of the Yangtze. The Tiantong Temple is one of the largest temples south of the Yangtze. The Ayuwang Temple has relics of Sakyamuni. Putuo Mountain is the home of Guanyin, Goddess of Mercy. It is one of the Four Sacred Buddhist Mountains. There are now temples and nunneries left open on the 12.5-square-km island. On the way one can see the Zhoushan Archipelago, the biggest fishing ground in China. Hikers can hike through bamboo groves and along the rocky shore and beaches. Ningbo is also famous for its glutinous sweet rice balls with delicious fillings.

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Site Created: September 16, 1998; Updated: September 23, 2007.