HAWAII: Hangchow: Resort of Leaders

ALIGHTHEARTED, relaxed garden town studded with classic temples and pagodas and elegant villas, Hangchow (pop.800,000) is China's Florence. Famous for its silks and teas, Hangchow is a favorite resort of China's leaders. Mao Tse-tung frequently retires to his retreat on mist-shrouded West Lake, sometimes merely to escape the rigors of the capital, sometimes to hold informal, substantive meetings with foreign visitors after the Peking formalities are out of the way.

West Lake, ringed by hills of transcendental beauty, is the centerpiece of a city redolent with memories of imperial history. Marco Polo, who saw Hangchow in the 13th...

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