China Travel FAQ

Hangzhou Travel FAQ & Tips


When is the best time to travel Hangzhou?

Spring, Summer and Autumn are good travel time in Hangzhou.

Hangzhou is located in subtropics monsoon climate region and enjoys year-round pleasant weather.

  • Spring (Mar-May) spreads generous sunshine. It is the blossom and tea-picking time and thus is the travel peak season.
  • Summer (Jul-Aug) exerts its hot and wet engine to welcome the people with sufficient heat and rainfalls. Nice time to slide the boat on West Lake patched with bloomy lotuses is memorable.
  • Autumn (Sep-Oct) is cool and bright. The mid-autumn festival saturated with the osmanthus scent and lightened up by the round full moon is perfect time to make a romantic night.
  • Winter (Dec-Mar) is above-zero cold and comes with occasional snow and frost.


Is it safe to travel in Hangzhou?

Hangzhou is one of the safest cities in China, but small crime like pick pocketing is still rampant and you should keep alert at all times.


1. Try to wear your bag in front. Keep wallet in your bags and put some small changes in the easily accessible place like your bag's side pocket or pant pockets to avoid flashing your wallets unnecessarily.

2. Avoid walking phoning. If you do have urgent call to make or answer, try to find a place like the wall behind you to avoid the thieves to snatch from your back.

3. Do some caution work when you take the overnight train, it is better to keep the valuable items inside your clothing. To enable you can wake up easily when necessary, sleep aids like sleeping pills, earplugs are not advised.

4. Ignore the touts that approach you and try to get you to somewhere when you come out /to the train stations, bus stations or borders.

5. Better to go to big shops or restaurants or hotel lobby to get your orientation if you loss your way.

6. Get the Xerox copy of your passport and your Chinese visa to avoid the trouble of steal loss and respond the police's check.


How to get around Hangzhou?

By Bus

Hangzhou bus fare ranges from CNY 1- 4. The pay amount is usually signed at the bus stop next to the bus number and you'd better tender the exact notes since most of the buses are self-service ticketing bus. Since most of the bus information is wrote in Mandarin, it is advised to make the reparation work like consulting your hotel staff or searching one the Google map for the bus route, number and the charge, etc.

By Taxi

Hangzhou taxis start from CNY 10 with CNY 1 additional fuel tax.


1. It is advised to get a receipt each time you use a taxi for later contact reference in the case like dispute a fare, recover a lost article, etc.

2. 7:30-8:45am and 4:30-7:00pm are the taxi shifting time and the taxi driver may refuse or only carry the passengers whose route coincides with their.

3. It is easy to meet over-enthusiastic taxi drivers that jostling to try to grab your luggage and drag to their cars and better avoid taking theirs. Make sure the driver starts the meter. If they refuse, you can just get out and take the next taxi.

4. If possible, pay exact or small money to avoid getting a fake CNY 50 back or a fake CNY 100 swopped by the driver. Or try to remember the last 4 digits of your big notes when you pay the taxi fare so that you can make sure whether it is really your money when he returns and claims it's fake.

5. Write down or print out on paper the name and address of your destination and hotel in Chinese characters or you can mark your destination on a map since majority of the driver cannot speak English.

By Water

Water bus (7:30am--6:00pm) down the Grand Canal departs every half an hour at Wulin Gate/West Lake Culture Plaza. The ticket charges about CNY 3.

Canal boat boards at 9am and 1pm and the one-hour trip unveils the historic canal and the daily life along the canal. The ticket charges about CNY 50.

Great Canal night cruise departs at 7:30pm at Wulin Gate and finishes at 9:00pm. The upper seat charges CNY 80 and first-floor seat CNY 50.

Qiantang River night cruise departs at 7:15pm at Wulin Gate and finishes at 10:00pm. The upper-floor seat charges CNY 120 and first-floor seat CNY 80.

The boats to the islands of West Lake can be taken in the Hubin parks (Hubin 1 Gongyuan, Hubin 3 Gongyuan, Hubin 6 Gongyuan) and other obviously signed spots all over the lake.

By Bike

Hangzhou has an extensive cheap public bike system. The bike can be easily rented and returned in the bike service lots around the west lake and the city center. You can get a smart card after presenting your ID (such as a passport) and paying CNY 200 deposit and CNY 100 rentals fees. The deposit will be returned on your bike return with the receipt. Swipe the card against one of the automated bike racks holding the bikes and take one. The bike is free for the first hour, CNY 1 an hour for the two hours after that, and CNY 3 an hour thereafter. There are also bike rental agencies along the lake or at the entrance of Zhongshan Park in Solitary Hill that you can charter a bike with CNY 300 deposit and CNY 10 rental fee per day.

  • Be careful of the bike thief and lock your bike whenever necessary.
  • Anyone of the age of 16 -70 is eligible for bicycle rental.
  • Make sure the operating time of the rental services when chartering a bike.


Is Hangzhou a great shopping place?

Hangzhou is not only a good place to purchase its specialties like silk, Longjing tea, and lotus root starch, etc. The large quantity of cheap and deeply-discounted-brand clothing also make it a magnetic destination for the tourists.

What are the great shopping places in Hangzhou?

  • Hangzhou Silk City (biggest wholesale and retail silk market) for China silk
  • Longjing village fro Longjing tea.
  • Qinghefang Street for local and ancient cultural taste of Hangzhou in its specialties, old-style stores, etc.
  • Wulin Road and Wulin Square and Yanan Road for the wide range of lady's dresses


1. Haggle, haggle, and still haggle. Bargain hard for what you really want to buy and don't give in to the sales pitch if you don't want to buy.

2. Since it is pretty complicated to buy the good authentic tea, it is easier and more quality-secure to purchase them in the local reputed stores like the Metro Supermarket, Carrefour Supermarket or the shops with an authorized sign.

3. A calculator will be handy since locals most of the time cannot speak English.


What are Hangzhou cuisine specialties?

Beggar's Chicken (an entire chicken wrapped in a ball of mud to keep the original chicken taste), West Lake Fish in Sweet Sour Sauce (vinegar coated the lake fish), Dongpo Pork (braised pork) and Fried Shrimps with Longjing Tea Leaves, and so on.

Where can I easily find the authentic Hangzhou cuisine?

Hefang Street, Baoshu Road and Gaoyin Lane are famous cuisine streets in Hangzhou.

Old-branded restaurants

Louwailou Restaurant (楼外楼) in Solitary Hill right at the heart of West Lake. When you savor the tasty Hangzhou cuisine, you can still feast on the West Lake scene outside. Its specialties are the West Lake Fish in Sweet Sour Sauce, the Fried Shrimps with Longjing Tea Leaves, and the famous Beggar's Chicken.

Address: No. 30, Gushan Road, Hangzhou

Zhiweiguan Restaurant (知味观) attracts the guests with its delicious dishes of different price range and tastes as well as its recreation service consisting of the banquet Room, Bar, Chess Room and KTV recreation area. West Lake view can also be seen here.

Address: No. 83, Renhe Road, Hangzhou (Head Office)

Tianwaitian Restaurant (天外天 Add: No. 2, Tianzhu Road) for the vegetarian cuisines and Kuiyuan Restaurant (奎元馆 Add: No. 154, Jiefang Road) for its noodles called "Shrimp and Fried Eel" are also worthy of sampling.


  • Since those are the local famous restaurants, it probably becomes packed with guests during the lunch time.
  • Be careful of the fish bone when eating the fish. It is not customary to get ride of the bone when cooking fish, rib and the like in China.


Where can I color my night life?


Shuguang Road (曙光路) is fulfilled with artistic ambience and pretty hot bar area. Like the Maya (玛雅酒吧), Travel Pub (旅行者酒吧) are very popular.

Nanshan Road also has a good portion of the local atmosphere bars. Lake of the Dream (梦之湖 Add: No.103 Nanshan Road) is favored for the well mix of its unique wooden furniture and passionate music.


Chenghuang Teahouse (城隍阁茶楼 Add: No. 3 Wushan Road, Shangcheng District) is nice to have a relaxing night by savoring Longjing tea and snacks, chitchat with your mates, immerse in the soothing music, etc.

Lakeside Teahouse (湖畔居茶楼 Add: No. 23 Hubin Road) next to the West Lake is also among the Hangzhou most famous teahouses.