Hangzhou is located in the eastern coastal area of China, less than one hour from Shanghai by train. Hangzhou is the capital of Zhejiang province and has approximately eight million inhabitants.
The history of Hangzhou can be traced back to the Xia dynasty, twenty-first century before the common era in the Chinese calenda. Hangzhou got its name during the Sui dynasty in 589 common era, when the Chinese empire was once again united under a Chinese emperor.
Hangzhou became politically very important during the Southern Song dynasty when in 1138 it became the capital of the part of China that was not occupied by the foreign Jurchen. It is now the most famous tourist city in China and is most known for its West Lake and other historical sites.