There are four distinct seasons in Hangzhou. Summers tend to be hot and humid, while winters are cool to cold, cloudy and mostly dry with occasional snowfall. Spring and autumn enjoy mild and mostly warm weather. Temperatures range from 2°C to 8°C in January, from 12°C to 20°C in April, from 25°C to 33°C in July and from 15°C to 23°C in October.
The official language of China is Mandarin, which has its origins in Beijing. Whilst the country has many distinct languages and dialects, Mandarin is the teaching medium across all schools in China. The use of English is becoming more common in Hangzhou, although most street signs are in Chinese.
The national currency is the yuan or renminbi. Major credit cards are accepted in hotels and larger establishments. Most currencies and traveller’s cheques are easy to cash. ATM machines are widely available.
Visas are required to enter, exit or transit through Chinese territories. The most common is a single entry 30-day visa. Multiple entry 60-day and 90-day visas are also available. Passports must have a minimum of six months validity. Enquiries should be directed to the nearest Chinese embassy or consulate.
Amanfayun can arrange a doctor 24 hours a day in the case of emergencies. Hangzhou is a major city and has several good hospitals and an International Medical Clinic. There are no particular immunisations required for entry into China (unless the traveller is coming from a yellow fever-infected area), but it is advisable to check with your doctor for current information.
Electricity is 220 volts/50 cycles. Convertors for 110-volt appliances as well as plug adaptors are available. Hangzhou, and all of China, is plus eight hours Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). During the winter months from December to February warm winter clothes are required. During autumn and spring, guests should pack light woollens for early mornings and evenings, with lighter clothing for the rest of the day. During the summer months it is recommended that guests wear light, yet conservative attire. Guests should, at all times, travel with comfortable walking shoes and a wide brimmed hat. Pathways throughout Amanfayun are cobbled stone footpaths and practical footwear is advisable.