Hangzhou stretches along the banks of the West Lake, which has inspired many generations of artists. The pleasant peaceful atmosphere which prevails in and around the town has helped to create a relaxing holiday resort and it is the ideal place to take a few days off from travelling.
Hangzhou is about three hours by train from Shanghai. The charm of this famous city will become apparent after a stroll along the Bund, the impressive street which runs along the west bankofthe Huangpu River and also through the city centre (Nanjing Lu, Huaihai Lu and Sichuan Lu).
With goods of an unrivalled range and quality on sale, many tastefully decorated shop windows and the exceptionally welcoming sales staff, the shops in these districts rank without doubt as the best in China.
The first impression of Shanghai is often misleading. The mass of humanity that throngs the city can seem threatening and oppressive, but once the visitor has become immersed in Shanghai life, it is clear that these millions of restless people are simply one essential element of the city of a thousand faces. A stroll in the inner city, where one should step inside one of the local confectioners and try one of the many cakes still made according to traditional recipes, should be followed without fail by a walkthrough the narrow alleyways ofthe old town.
Certainly the best place to spend the night and to capture something of Shanghai’s atmosphere at the beginning of the 20th c. is Heping Fandian (Peace Hotel).