Hangzhou, the capital of China’s Zhejiang province, is the southern terminus of the ancient Grand Canal waterway, which originates in Beijing. Its West Lake, celebrated by poets and artists since the 9th century, encompasses islands (reachable by boat), temples, pavilions, gardens and arched bridges. On its south bank is 5-story Leifeng Pagoda, a modern reconstruction of a structure built in 975 A.D.
It sits at the head of Hangzhou Bay, which separates Shanghai and Ningbo.
Hangzhou grew to prominence as the southern terminus of the Grand Canal and has been one of the most renowned and prosperous cities in China for much of the last millennium.
The city's West Lake, a UNESCO World Heritage site immediately west of the city, is among its best-known attractions.
Hangzhou is classified as a sub-provincial city and forms the core of the Hangzhou metropolitan area, the fourth-largest in China.
In September 2015, Hangzhou was awarded the 2022 Asian Games. It will be the third city in China to host the Asian Games after Beijing 1990 and Guangzhou 2010.
Hangzhou, an emerging technology hub and home to the e-commerce giant Alibaba, also hosted the eleventh G20 summit in 2016.