Hangzhou, the capital city of Zhejiang Province, is on everyone’s lips recently. But why is that? If you have looked through a China guidebook, you might have seen pictures of the beautiful West Lake or read about the delectable regional cuisine, but these are not the (only) reasons why the 2016 G20 Summit took place in Hangzhou.
Rather, the leaders of the business and political world gathered in Hangzhou because it is fast becoming the most important hub for innovation and technology in China (and consequently in the world). With annual growth rates in the double digits, some of China’s largest companies, a favorable work-life balance and central location on the Eastern coast, Hangzhou is increasingly the first choice for people embarking on their career and looking for the best opportunities.
Hangzhou, or China’s Silicon Valley among friends, provides opportunities in both some of China’s largest companies, and some of the newest, most innovative start-ups. Among the most famous companies are:
But many foreign companies have also chosen to set up shop in Hangzhou, including Hitachi Systems, Nokia, Johnson & Johnson, Microsoft, Cisco Systems and Citi Group.
Moreover, in a bid to encourage start-ups to choose Hangzhou as their base, the city is offering generous subsidies to promising start-ups, in particular within the sectors of e-commerce, fintech and big data. The result is an eclectic business environment with giants and newborns mingling in this small (by Chinese standards) city of 9 million people.
When you are not in class or at your internship, Hangzhou is sure to keep you entertained. Some of the most important things to do in Hangzhou include:
Sailing on the West Lake
Enjoy a relaxing boat trip on the lake with your friends. The scenery changes with the seasons, so you can always expect to see something new. If you prefer a more active activity, try taking a bike trip around the lake. You will encounter beautiful temples along the way and get to see Hangzhou from a distance. For the full overview of the West Lake and its surroundings, check out wiki travels.
Visit a tea house
Tea is an integral part of the culture in Zhejiang Province and Hangzhou boasts plenty of tea houses for you to sample the local varieties. Ask for the full tea ceremony to experience the purest form of tea appreciation, or shop gifts for someone at home. The most famous local tea is Longjing tea, which comes in 7 grades of quality. The best grade can easily cost you more than a good red wine.
Yes, ice skating. Hangzhou happens to have an Olympic sized ice skating rink inside the MIXC mall. Spend an afternoon on ice and once you have worked up an appetite you can:
go for some Hangzhou specialties such as vinegar fish, dongpo pork and lotus root pudding. Grandma’s Kitchen is among the most famous restaurants for traditional Hangzhou cuisine. Hangzhou's cuisine is among one of eight traditional schools of cuisine in China. The flavours are said to be mild, smooth and with a nice fragrance.