hangzhou & beyond
Famed for its natural beauty, Hangzhou is one of the seven ancient capitals of China including Xi’an, Nanjing, Luoyang, Beijing, Kaifeng and Anyang. Founded 2,200 years ago during the Qin Dynasty, it is one of the most renowned and prosperous cities within modern day China. Once described as an “earthly paradise”, Hangzhou became the capital of the Southern Song Dynasty between 1138 and 1279. During this period, the city served as the seat of the imperial government and a centre of trade and entertainment, recognised countrywide for its silk production and unique cuisine. It is believed that Marco Polo visited Hangzhou at the height of its prosperity and described it as “the city of heaven, beyond dispute the finest and noblest in the world”. With a population that is thought to have numbered more than one million, it was at various times the largest city in the world. Following the siege and capture of the city by the Mongol armies of Kublai Khan in 1276, the capital of the new Yuan Dynasty was established in Beijing. Hangzhou remained an important trading centre through until the middle of the Ming Dynasty era.
Modern day Hangzhou is a bustling city, yet despite its recent urban development, the city still retains the historic and cultural heritage for which it is famed. The city is often considered the most beautiful in China, due primarily to its picturesque West Lake, countless pagodas, historic temples, botanical gardens and vast wet lands.
stay at our luxury resort in beijing
Aman at Summer Palace, Beijing is located just steps from the East Gate of the Summer Palace and is the ideal location from which to discover Beijing. Transfers between Beijing International Airport and the resort take about 45 minutes each way and are available on arrival and departure.