The Hangzhou Expat forums have been running since 2004 and have been providing the expatriate community with an invaluable resource for all the events and information on one of China’s most popular cities. Particularly useful are the city’s long-term residents who are always on hand to answer any questions that fresher faces may have. Besides the very popular Q&A section, the forum spans a large number equally active categories, including:
- Legal issues;
- Eating & drinking;
- Health & fitness;
- Family & education; and many others.
Other sections include classifieds, love and dating, a language corner, and an active job board. The “Property Offered/Wanted” section is also an excellent resource as it bypasses any rental agencies and facilitates expats renting to other expats; this is one of the most effective ways to rent when relocating to China as existing residents can answer any questions and understand what is needed as a foreigner moving to this country.
Overall, HZ Expat provides a great platform for exploring Hangzhou because it is so interactive, filled with lively debate and discussion from numerous voices, both Chinese and foreign.
One of the most significant players in China’s multi-city More Magazine network, More Hangzhou is a monthly publication that also operates a comprehensive website. The online version of the magazine is not quite as extensive as the print edition, however it features many of the monthly articles, food/drink features and full listings for all the local necessities.
More Hangzhou’s articles span a huge variety of topics and are written from the perspective of locals and foreigners alike. Find unique, thoughtful interviews with local artists, dance troupes, details on museums and cultural exhibitions, hiking, clubs and NGOs, food and drink culture, travel itineraries, and many other topics.
Another one of More HZ’s strong points is its reviews section, which discusses books, films and restaurants with a local slant. The restaurant and bar reviews are thorough and up-to-date and often include menu translations, professional pictures and honest opinions.
More HZ’s listings, spanning tea/coffee spots, restaurants, bars, tourist sites, shopping and services, are comprehensive and provide detailed addresses in Chinese and English along with accompanying Google Maps.
The Transportation section is also very useful; find train schedules between Hangzhou and Shanghai as well as other surrounding cities, along with train ticket office and station locations.