BEIJING, Oct.3 (Xinhuanet) --Tourism in Hangzhou is growing as visitors to the nearby World Expo in Shanghai seek solace from its crowds.
One of the city's better known tourist attractions, West Lake is famed for its historic and cultural sites.
The Xixi national wetland park is the first of its kind in China to combine urban life and agriculture. It is situated in western Hangzhou less than 5 km from West Lake.
Running past the Hangzhou Bay, the Qiantang River boasts surging tides, a world renowned natural wonder caused by gravitational pull.
The soaring tides of the Qiantang River resemble raging armies clashing and rushing forward, noted one spectator. It is rivaled only by the Amazon River tides.
Millions of people from both home and abroad gather to watch the spectacle on the 18th day of the eighth lunar month every year.
The Grand Canal, dating back more than 1,400 years, is larger in scale than the Suez and Panama canals. It has survived several dynasties, contributing to local economies and leaving cultural legacies.
About 150 km west of the city's center lies Qiandao Lake, or Thousand Islets Lake.
The water's 1,078 islets formed in 1959 as a result of the construction of a hydroelectric power station. Around 81 percent of the islands are covered with forests. The young lake is part of a national park.
Qiandao Lake's Longchuan Bay features the largest and best preserved secondary broad-leaved forest in East China.
Qinchuan, an ancient village by the lakeside, has well preserved traditional architecture, including temples, waterside pavilions and lofts. Two of the oldest structures were built in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644).
Hangzhou has been one the nation's most important tea production bases since the Tang Dynasty (AD618-907).
Now, a series of tea related events are held in the city each year. Among them is the West Lake Tea Culture Expo held between March and May.
Famous for its emerald green color, aromatic flavor and sweet taste, Longjing (Dragon Well) Tea, is grown in mountainous areas along West Lake near Longjing Village.
The town's national tea museum is the only one of its kind in China. Visitors can learn about the history of tea growing and processing, as well as drinking tools and customs.
Hangzhou officials have been inspired by the World Expo slogan, "Better City, Better Life." They are working to develop the area's tourism industry.