LOS ANGELES --Some travelers visit new countries to try out delicious new food, others to get a glimpse into a previously unseen form of performing arts. Whatever your motivation for visiting a new city or country, chances are Hangzhou, China has plenty of it. Here's five reasons why the city should be your next stop.
1. Savory food
The city's dishes derive from Zhejiang cuisine, one of the eight great culinary traditions in China. Unlike fiery dishes from Sichuan province or noodle dishes from the north, Zhejiang cuisine typically uses freshwater fishes, light sauces and a variety of fresh vegetables. Try the West Lake Fish in Sweet and Sour Sauce or the Beggar's Chicken -- a whole spiced chicken, wrapped in lotus leaves and cooked over an open fire.
2. Luxurious shopping
With a mix of modern malls and historic shopping districts, Hangzhou has a variety of iconic, modern clothing brands as well as traditional Chinese silks. The city has the largest silk market in China selling a variety of fabrics, garments and handicrafts.
3. Historic tea houses
Hangzhou has one of the most robust tea districts in China, known for originating Longjing, a famous variety of green tea. Hangzhou Tea Museum, located among the tea plantations that dot the city, is China's only museum dedicated to the history of Chinese tea.
4. Educational and arts museums
Museums in Hangzhou give visitors a unique glimpse into ancient and modern-day China. The Kuahuqiao Relics Museum is home to some of the earliest relics of prehistoric China. The tea, silk and Chinese medicine museums provide a look into Chinese culture.
5. Breathtaking sights
Hangzhou's unique lakeside location and cultural heritage sites make it one of China's famed tourist cities. The West Lake Scenic Area, Xixi National Wetland Park, and Yanggong Causeway Scenic Area are just a few of the attractions in the city.
Get a taste of Hangzhou here in Los Angeles!
Before you head over to Hangzhou, get a taste of the area at the Hangzhou in Hollywood event. Visitors can watch dance performances from the Los Angeles Chinese Cultural Center, sample real life tea from Hangzhou, and even star in their very own Hangzhou mini-movie. The event takes place on February 19 from 12 to 8 p.m. at Hollywood and Highland's Central Courtyard.