Our Cities

More about Hangzhou, Huzhou and the cost of living.


There’s a saying in China: “Above there is heaven, below there is Hangzhou”

Hangzhou is located in Eastern China and is the capital of Zhejiang province. It is a cultural, economic, and educational hub.

It is also one of the most famous tourist cities, thanks to West Lake, one of China’s most famous natural landmarks. During the Yuan dynasty, it was called the most beautiful and luxurious city in the world by famous Italian traveler Marco Polo. Having a long history of 2200 years, Hangzhou is one of seven ancient cities in China.

The city is not just famous for its beauty. The food here is simply incredible. Restaurants like The Grandma’s and Green Tea give diners a wonderful taste of Zhejiang province, which is characterised as fresh and a little bit sweet.


What makes Hangzhou unique?

  • Considered one of the safest, cleanest and greenest cities in China
  • West Lake, the key feature of the city is massive and adds lots of green splendour to the landscape. To admire the beauty of West Lake, visitors can leisurely bike, jog or walk along the paths that circumnavigate the lake
  • There are a number of small mountains that surround the city, making Hangzhou a great place for people who love to hike. Tucked out-of-sight are many ancient temples and pagodas that are open to visitors
  • Every year, people line up along the Qiantang River that runs through the city to see a tidal bore, which often occurs in the fall
  • Shanghai is only 45 minutes away by bullet train
  • Home of e-commerce giant Alibaba.

Hangzhou statistics

  • Population: 9 million
  • Public Transportation: 2 major train stations, 1 international airport, 4 subway lines (with 6 more set to open by 2022), hundreds of bus routes and taxis
  • Language: Mandarin, local dialects
  • Climate: Subtropical, with four distinct seasons
  • Hosted the 2016 G20 Summit
  • Set to host the 2022 Asian Games
  • EF Hangzhou opened in 2001
  • Teach English in Hangzhou at one of our 10 schools

Zhejiang Cuisine

Ranked as one of the eight major cuisines in China, Zhejiang Cuisine is noted for its exquisite appearance, fresh and tender taste and rich cultural connotation.

Major cooking techniques of Zhejiang cuisine are stir-frying, steaming and pot-roasting. While cooking, chefs tend to avoid using spicy seasoning in order to convey the original taste and flavor of the ingredients.

Dongpo Pork

Dongpo Pork

West Lake Fish in Vinegar Gravy

West Lake Fish in Vinegar Gravy



Located on the edge Lake Tai, China’s third largest fresh water lake (2200 square kilometers), Huzhou is a city that thrives on its past but continues to move forward into a prosperous future.

The city is known for its production of silk and historical preservation. Some sites date back 2,300 years when the city was first inhabited. Many historians also say that Huzhou is also the birthplace of Chinese tea culture, which visitors can experience at any number of teahouses in the area.

Cities like Hangzhou, Shanghai and Nanjing are all within close distance for a day trip. Modernization has allowed conveniences like western-style apartments and fast-food restaurants, but the city’s love of history and culture has preserved the Chinese feel of the city.

What makes Huzhou unique?

  • In addition to silk, Huzhou is famous for its traditional ink brushes. Buy one while enjoying your days off from teaching English
  • Moganshan, a popular summer retreat, is close by. There, visitors can go hiking, swimming and enjoy the natural scenery of Zhejiang province
  • Popular foods include freshwater fish and Zhouji dumplings, which are known for a unique blend of spices within the filling
  • Feiying Ta Pagoda and Temple of the Iron Buddha are two attractions in Huzhou that exemplify the city’s desire to preserve history and greatness

Huzhou statistics

  • Population: 2.6 million
  • Public Transportation: 1 high-speed railway station, 1 international airport in nearby Hangzhou (1 hour away), dozens of bus routes, taxis
  • Language: Mandarin, local dialects
  • Climate: Humid continental, with four distinct seasons
  • EF Huzhou opened in 2012

Cost of living

In contrast to China’s major cities, Hangzhou & Huzhou are both very affordable places to live.

Our teachers are all able to live a comfortable and pleasant lifestyle, with monthly salaries stretching further than they otherwise might in other cities. A lower cost of living means that a teacher’s salary goes further every month, leaving them free to save, spend on travel, or even send money back home. Indeed, some of our teachers even send money home to help pay off student loans.

Information below from numbeo.com. Approx. conversion: 1 RMB = €0.13/ $0.14/£0.11/R1.89 (March 2020).