Hangzhou, formerly transliterated as Hangchow, is the capital and largest city of Zhejiang Province in Eastern China. It is governed as a sub-provincial city. As of 2010, the entire administrative division or prefecture had a registered population of 8.7 million people. The built up area of the Hangzhou municipality had a resident population of 4.227 million in 2003 (urban and suburban districts), of which 1.91 million lived in the six urban core districts.
A core city of the Yangtze River Delta, Hangzhou has a position on the Hangzhou Bay 180 kilometres (110 mi) southwest of Shanghai that gives it economic power. It has been one of the most renowned and prosperous cities of China for much of the last 1,000 years, due in part to its beautiful natural scenery. The city's West Lake is its best-known attraction.