On the northeastern coast of China, Zhejiang Province faces the East Sea with the abbreviation of Zhe. The province has a territory of more than 100000 square meters and a population of 46 million, including ethnic Han, She, Hui, Manchu, Miao, and others. Hangzhou is the capital city
Mountains and hilly land make up roughly 70 per cent of the province's total area. Major mountains of the province are Yandang, Tianmu, Tiantai and Mogan. The off shore of Zhejiang is dotted with more than 3000 islands in various sizes.
Reputed as the "Land of Fish and Rice" and "Home to Silk", Zhejiang is one of the most famous provinces of tourism. Also called as "the Capital of Cultural Relics", it is known for the serenity and elegance of its landscape. National key scenic resorts in the province include West Lake, Yandang Mountain, Putuo Mountain, One-Thousand-Island Lake, Nanxijiang River, Fuchun and Xin'an rivers, Tiantai Mountain, Shengsi Islands, and so on. There are 19 sites under protection as key national cultural relics, such as Six-Harmony Pagoda, National Preservation Temple, Tomb of General Yue Fei, stone sculptures of the Feilai Peak, Tianyi Pavilion. Hangzhou, Ningbo, Shaoxing and Zhoushan are major tourist cities. Local tourist programs are focused on folklore, such as the International Boat Festival on the West Lake, the Festival to Watch the High Tide of the Qiantang River, and the Pilgrimage to the Putuo Mountain.
Surrounded on three sides by rolling wooded hills, the West Lake lies on West edge of Hangzhou and is one of the most beautiful sights in China. The lake has a total area of 5.6 square kilometers and circumference of 15 kilometers. Two dykes, the Sudi Causeway and the Baidi Causeway, spread in the lake and divided it into five parts. The beauty of the West Lake lies in a lingering charm that survives the charge of seasons throughout a year, of hours in a day, and of different weather. Tourists have named these as the ten most beautiful sights at the West Lake, namely Lotus in the Breeze at Crooked Courtyard, Autumn Moon on Calm Lake, and Remaining Snow at Broken Bridge, Listening to Orioles Singing in the Willows, Sunset Glow over Leifeng Peak, Evening Bell at Nanping Hall, Viewing Fish at Flowers Harbor, Spring Dawn at Sudi Causeway, Twin Peaks Piercing the Clouds, and Three Pools Mirroring the Moon. Sushi, a famous poem of the Song dynasty, once compared the lake to Xizi (Xishi), an unrivalled beauty of the spring and Autumn Period.
Located at the foot of Lingyin Mountain, Lingyin (Inspired Seclusion) Temple was first built by an Indian monk in 326 during the Eastern Jin Dynasty. On the compound's central axis stand the Hall of Heavenly Kings, the Shrine of Sakyamuni Buddha and the Hall of Bhaisajya. The Shrine of Sakyamuni Buddha with one story and double eaves is 33.6 meters in height, making it one of the tallest one-storey buildings in China. A statue of Sakyamuni, carved out of 24 pieces of camphor wood, stands 24.8 meters high in the hall.
Located on the Lotus Flowers Sea, about 100 sea miles east to the Hangzhou Bay, Putuo Mountain, regarded as the Buddhist Rites for Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva, is one of the four most famous Mountains of Buddhism, the island, covering an area of 12.76 square kilometers and rising about 300 meters above sea level, is reputed as the "Buddhist Kingdom on the Sea". Major attractions include Puji Temple, Fayu Temple, Chaoyin Cave, Fanyin Cave, Thousand-Pace Sands and Purple Bamboo Forest.
The lake is located in the east suburbs of Shaoxing, three kilometers from the city. Featuring an elegant landscape of lakes and mountains and fantastic stones, the East Lake is known as one of the Three Famous Lakes in Zhejiang Province, the other two being the West Lake in Hangzhou and the South Lake in Jiaxing. The East Lake used to be a hill about 60 meters in height. From the Han dynasty, stone-men had been there to quarry stones. After thousand years of excavation, parts of the hill were hollowed, forming a unique scene of lake.
Yandang Mountain Scenic Resort
Located in Dongqing County, Yandang Mountain covers an area of 450 square kilometers, comprising of 8 scenic zones and more than 500 scenic spots. Grotesque peaks and rocks, graceful waterfalls and spring, ancient caves, natural precipitous stone gates, and clear lake on the summit are famed as the Five Marvelous Spectacles of the mountain. The famous of Yandang Mountain are waterfalls. Perhaps no waterfall here is more tremendous and majestic than the 190-meter-high Dalongqiu Waterfall.
Ancient Towns of Zhejiang
North of Zhejiang is crisscrossed by rivers and studded with lakes. Scattered in the network of water are many ancient towns. Of them, Nanxun, Wuzhen and Xitang are the most famous ones. All these towns, similar in basic layout, have a wealth of ancient objects and scenes rich in historical and cultural connotations. They are described as "intersected by many rivers, with stone bridges spanning over the water lanes and linking up the households on either side of each stream"—a typical layout of "small bridges, flowing water and by-water residences" in the area south of the Yangtze.
3.5 kilometers from Tiantai County, the mountain is famous for its beautiful scenery. The main peak of Huadingshan, is 1098 meters above sea level. Tiantai Mountain is noted as the home to Chinese and Japanese followers of the Tiantai Sect of Buddhism. The Guoqing Monastery on the slopes of the mountain was built in 598 in the Sui Dynasty. Famous cultural relics are seven-meter-high bronze statue of Sakyamuni Buddha of the Ming Dynasty in the Shrine of Greatness and Magnificence, the tablet with the inscription of "E" (goose) by Wang Xizhi, a noted calligrapher of the Eastern Jin Dynasty, and so on.