Regarded as one of the two Paradises on Earth, Hangzhou is widely considered one of the best places to live in China. There’s an expression in Chinese: “上有天堂 下有苏杭” which means, “Above, there is heaven; below there is Hangzhou….”.

The capital of Zhejiang province, Hangzhou is just two hours by bus from Shanghai. With a written history of over 2300 years, Hangzhou is among the Seven Ancient Capitals of China and is known for its natural beauty and green spaces.

Hangzhou is within earshot of three UNESCO Cultural Heritage Sites – among which is West Lake, one the most famous scenic areas on China’s coast.

The UNESCO website describes West Lake as, “….comprising the West Lake and the hills surrounding its three sides, has inspired famous poets, scholars and artists since the 9th century. It comprises numerous temples, pagodas, pavilions, gardens and ornamental trees, as well as causeways and artificial islands.”

A food-lovers delight, Hangzhou cuisine reflects the  Zhejiang preparation style. Notable dishes include “Dongpo pork” (braised pork), clay-pot chicken colorfully named “Beggar’s Chicken” – plus a wide choice of fresh fish dishes.

Being a modern city of nearly 9 million, getting around, shopping and finding exciting nightlife are easy. Qing He Fang Street is the famous “Ancient Culture Street” and reflects characteristics of the Southern Song Dynasty.

Hangzhou is a transport hub with an international airport and connects with most major cities on the coast by train (both slow trains and high-speed rail). Within the city, taxis and buses are cheap and convenient, plus the newly opened Hangzhou Metro is easing some of the burden on the local transit system.

Not only is Hangzhou a wonderful travel destination, it’s also one of the best cities for foreigners living in China. Come see for yourself what all the fuss is about –  working in “Paradise” might be a nice way to spend a gap-year!

Take a look at teaching jobs in Hangzhou and many more ESL teaching jobs in China – ESL Suite can help you find the teaching job you’re searching for!

11 thoughts on “City Profile: Hangzhou, China

  1. Wow! I didnt know many things about this particular place (I don’t know China in general as well). It sounds like it would be a great city to visit and teach 🙂


  2. Hey Christopher! Thanks for stopping by my blog! How timely too! I’m thinking of enrolling in the Chinese language program at Zhejiang Univ next year. Do you know anything about it? Or do you know of a better program in Hangzhou?


    1. Hi Lenore! Thanks for reading. Actually I live in Tianjin – I recruit teachers for schools in Hangzhou and other cities around China. I’m not familiar with Zhejiang University yet, so I’m sorry I can’t be more helpful! Will you be looking for a teaching position while you’re there…maybe then I can help! 🙂


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