Encompassing offshore islands and a picturesque rural interior, Zhejiang hugs the East China Sea coastline to the south of Shanghai. It’s home to the island-dotted waters of West Lake and the ancient water town of Wuzhen, as well as the Buddhist pilgrimage island of Mount Putuo.
Things to do
Explore the temples, pagodas and gardens on the artificial islands of Hangzhou’s West Lake, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Wander along the bridges of the Su Causeway and visit the ancient Buddhist monastery at the Temple of Soul’s Retreat before admiring the five-storey Leifeng Pagoda atop Sunset Hill.
Step back in time while exploring the ancient water town of Wuzhen, where meandering canals are traversed by charismatic stone bridges and lined with restored wooden buildings. Experience a traditional shadow puppetry performance or Huagu Opera, as well as the unique acrobatics of Wuzhen’s bamboo pole climbing.
Make a pilgrimage to the sacred Buddhist island of Mount Putuo, which lies in the East China Sea. Pay your respects at the ancient Puji Temple and witness the Duo Bao Pagoda, then be awed by the 33-metre-tall statue of the Goddess of Mercy, Guanyin.
Escape the bustle of Zhejiang’s cities at the Thousand Islets Lake of Qiandao, where forested islands and turquoise waters are best explored by boat. Visit the traditional Qiandao Lake Fishing Village and take in the sweeping views from Meifeng Island before getting up close to cheeky primates at the aptly-named Monkey Island.
Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport is a 40-minute drive from the centre of Hangzhou, while Ningbo Lishe International Airport is 30 minutes from the centre of Ningbo. Buses and trains connect most cities and towns across the province.