Tourists view lotus flowers in rain at the West Lake in Hangzhou, capital of East China's Zhejiang Province, July 5, 2006. Lotus in the West Lake are in full blossom. [Xinhua]
If you are seeking happiness in China, Hangzhou is the place to go as the capital of Zhejiang Province topped a magazine poll of more than 3 million citizens rating the country's "10 happiest cities".
Shenyang, capital of Northeast China's Liaoning Province, finished runner-up in the poll conducted by Oriental Outlook magazine, followed by the Zhejiang Province cities of Ningbo and Taizhou. Zhuhai and Zhongshan, both in South China's Guangdong Province, were fifth and sixth, respectively. Qingdao, in eastern Shandong Province, was the seventh.
Shanghai, the country's commercial hub, ranked eighth, followed by the national capital Beijing. Chengdu, capital of southwestern Sichuan Province, rounded out the list.
The poll conducted by the Shanghai-based magazine was carried out in early November under the administration of the Xinhua News Agency, the China Association of Mayors and the China Population Welfare Foundation. It asked people to name the city where it was easiest to get a sense of happiness.
People could vote via text message, the Internet or by filling out a questionnaire.
A total of 35 cities were picked from the country's 269 cities as candidates in April, according to statistics released by the National Bureau of Statistics and local government work reports.
Employment, income, social security, housing, medicare, environment and education, as well as the intensity of work pressure and relations between individuals and individual and society, were the major indices for selecting the happiest cities, according to the organizing committee.
Meanwhile, Dalian in Liaoning Province, is named as the best-mannered city. Shenzhen is the city with most rapid development. Tianjin, the municipality directly under the Central Government, is the most secure city. And Changsha is regarded as the city with “the most happiness of entertainment.”