Following its new ‘open door policy’ and tourism campaign, Hangzhou, the capital of China's Zhejiang province, is proving to be a popular destination for romantic getaways, according to Hangzhou Tourism Commission.
Hangzhou is the setting of The Butterfly Lovers, one of China's most popular folk tales which recounts the story of lovers Shanbu and Yingtai, whose story is reminiscent of Romeo and Juliet.
The destination’s signature feature is the West Lake, a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site. Studded with islands, causeways, pagodas, gardens and willow trees, the lake has inspired the names of ten Scenic Sites, one of which, ‘Three Ponds Mirroring the Moon’, is printed on Chinese currency. Couples can canoe on the lake or ply the Grand Canal, the world's longest man-made waterway.
Couples can also experience the ritual of the tea ceremony or pick tea leaves from the fields of Longjing (Dragon Well), a type of hand-produced green tea, renowned for its quality.
There are also many festivals held throughout the year, including the West Lake Expo, the Lantern Festival and the Qiantang Tide-Watching Festival.
Hangzhou offers 56 museums, including the National Silk Museum, of which admission is free.