West Lake----The Heaven on Earth
West Lake is like the sparkling eye of a charming woman, also like a precious stone on a crown. Embedded in the beautiful city of Hangzhou, West Lake is the favorite place of both the residents of Hangzhou and the tourists. For thousands of years, the West Lake is prestigious throughout the world for its charming natural sceneries and abundant historical relics. Everyone who has been to West Lake would be deeply touched by its stunning beauty. Located in the west of Hangzhou, West Lake is not only beautiful for the lake itself, but also the surrounding mountains. The mountains are not high but lush and elegant, decorated with peculiar stones and clean streams. Bridges wiggle on the surface of the water and pavilions are hidden behind the trees and bushes. When spring comes, willows stand by the lake and caress the water, and birds sing in the verdant branches----what delicate scenery!
West Lake has attracted many people since ancient China, including famous poets and writers. The prestigious writer Su Shi described the West Lake “is a beautiful girl, who looks attractive in different ways, both in light and heavy make-up”. Countless poems had marveled at the charming landscape of West Lake, and romantic love affairs make the lake more humanism and spiritual. West Lake wisely integrates natural sceneries with historical relics together, and there are more than 100 historical spots in the scenery spot, hence West Lake is also a key cultural tourist attraction of China. It is first called as “West Lake” in Tang Dynasty, and before that time, it has many names. In Song Dynasty, the “Ten Sceneries” came into being and were widely accepted by the people. Each of the “Ten Sceneries” has its own features, and together the ten sceneries consists most important points of West Lake. Nowadays, as the time passing by, “New Ten Sceneries” were elected, and West Lake will continuously attract and intoxicate the travelers with its unique beauties.
Spring Dawn at Su Causeway
Spring Dawn at Su Causeway, which is a thin strip of land nearly three kilometers long, covered with peach and weeping willow trees. In spring, with the lakeside sparkling in the morning dew, birds cheerfully chirping among swaying willow branches, the scent of peach blossoms wafting through the air, you‘ll question whether you're in the midst of paradise.
Lotus in the Breeze at Crooked Courtyard
This typical West Lake scene has earned its fame since the Southern Song Dynasty, when the lakeside area with an abundant growth of lotus off its shores was known as Crooked Courtyard, and was the location of a brewery. People said the smell of lotus flowers and wine blended by the cool lake breezes was intoxicating. Nowadays the brewery is gone, and the area has been turned into a big park, but plenty of lotus plants still bloom off its shores. They stand gracefully erect in the lake, as if they knew they had visitors coming to admire their beauty.
Autumn Moon on Calm Lake
At the western end of Bai Causeway is located a lakeside park which houses a stone tablet bearing the etched calligraphy of Emperor Kangxi of the Qing Dynasty, which reads: "Autumn Moon on Calm Lake". The lake is a special place to appreciate the moon and the effect of moonlight on the land. The moon seems especially bright over the waters. The hills look purplish bathed in the moonlight. The best time for nighttime viewing is on Mid-Autumn Day.
Leifeng Pagoda in Evening Glow
Leifeng Pagoda is another renowned scenic spot in Hangzhou. Originally built in the 10th century, Leifeng Pagoda used to stand in front of Jingxi Temple on Nanping Mountain; though failed to stand the test of time, the Pagoda collapsed in early 1900s. In 2002, Leifeng Pagoda was reconstructed; then comes back the typical Sunset Glow over Leifeng Pagoda, one of the ten charms of West Lake, as the Pagoda looks especially majestic when surrounded by the golden hues of the setting sun. With combination of a traditional aesthetic style and modern architecture techniques, Leifeng Pagoda affords a view of West Lake in its entirety.
Admission fee: Free
Opening hours: All day
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