Hangzhou

Hangzhounese are immensely proud of their city, and will often point to a classical saying that identifies it as an "earthly paradise." Indeed, for locals, Hangzhou is one of the country's most livable cities, thanks to lots of green space and plenty of parks. Though "paradise" is an exaggeration, the city manages to retain much of its historic charm despite what can be considered an overly robust tourism market. Visitors come from all over China to see West Lake, the temples, and the silk markets. Beyond the major tourist draws, there’s also a small but growing mix of local shops and low-key restaurants, as well as an increasing number of fine-dines and bars, making Hangzhou a pleasant day or overnight trip.

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