West Lake cruise on the picturesque West Lake

West Lake Hangzhou Zhejiang
The West Lake is renowned for its ancestral beauty throughout China. The panorama around the west lake is fascinating, so a cruise here is highly recommended. You will discover natural and cultural treasures of the West Lake.

Ancestral Charm of West Lake 

Early in the Tang dynasty, poets, artists and writers appreciate the beauty of the West Lake and try to describe it in various ways. Thus, there was a famous saying t in the Yuan dynasty, "In heaven there is paradise, on Earth, there are Suzhou and Hangzhou". Similarly, as an old Chinese proverb says, "it must be born in Suzhou, eat in Guangzhou, live in Hangzhou and die in Liuzhou". Finally, Marco Polo, who went there at the end of the 13th century, described the city as "the noblest city, the city of paradise". Today, the city has retained its beauty, and the West Lake is known throughout China for its gorgeous landscape. The West Lake is also regarded as a perfect example of the coexistence between human and nature, although there are some artificial works. Indeed, a formerly shallow pond supported and overshadowed by the Qiantang River, was transformed into a Lake during the Song dynasty. Its legendary beauty earned it much respect and it was recognized by the UNESCO World Heritage on June 24, 2011.

Legend of the West Lake 

"West Lake, a dazzling pearl that fell from the sky, as the flying dragon and Phoenix dance forever at its side". This is a popular song and it reflects an ancient legend. In fact, the details about the legend are that a jade dragon and a golden Phoenix lived in the Milky Way carved out a Pearl from a light stone that was stolen by the queen of the Heavenly Kingdom who was jealous of this treasure. In their battle to retrieve the pearl, it fell from the sky, touching the ground and turned into a beautiful lake: the West Lake. The dragon and the phoenix then descended to earth and turned into hills to keep the Pearl: the hills of jade dragon and the hills of the Phoenix. There are many other funny legends about the west lake.

 

Ten Scenes of West Lake

When Hangzhou was the capital of the Southern Song dynasty, ten scenic sites had been established. They are considered as idealized classical landscapes representing the harmony of man and nature. It was in 1699 that Emperor Kangxi officially visited these 10 scenes of West Lake and wrote a poetry which vividly shows the distinguished features of them. Each scene was quite unique. Here are the different scenes:

• Spring Dawn on the Su Causeway (Sudichunxiao): the Su Causeway was created from the mud of the Lake mixed with straw for almost three kilometers! It is interspersed with several bridges and is shaded by lovely peach and willow trees. In the spring, the landscapes offered by the dam are a beauty.

• Curved Yard and Lotus Pool in summer (Quyuanfenghe): certain parts of the West Lake are covered with lotus flowers in summer and you can admire a beautiful landscape. You can find a dozen varieties of lotuses. They are well-loved by numerous visitors.

• The Autumn moon over the peaceful Lake (Pinghuqiuyue): in the Southern Song dynasty, moonlight was observed from a boat on the Lake in the fall months. Today, one can still admire a splendid moonlight scene from the garden between the Bai Causeway and Solitary Hill.

• Remnant Snow on the Broken Bridge in winter (Duanqiaocanxue): The Broken Bridge on the Bai Causeway is often called the "bridge of lovers". The title of "broken bridge" is just that, after a fall of snow, part of the bridge melts before the shady side. Seen from above, this gives the impression that a part of the bridge is missing as if it was broken. It was on this bridge that unfolds the tragic love story of "The Legend of the White Snake"(a legend known in China and often shown in the TV series)

• Leifeng Pagoda in the Sunset (Leifengxizhao): at sunset, the fading light reveals the beauty of the Leifeng pagoda on the Su Causeway. You are bound to captivated by this beautiful sight.

• Two Peaks Piercing the Clouds (Shuangfeng Chayun): the West Lake is surrounded by many hills. Among them there are two peaks facing different direction, one to the northwest, another to the southwest. In spring and in autumn, in cloudy weather, only these two majestic peaks can be seen amidst thick fog. What an enchanting sight!

• Orioles singing in the Willows (Liulang Wenying): resting under the vault of the willows by the former imperial garden, the melodious sound of the Orioles can be heard and enjoyed.

• Fish viewing at the Flower Pond (Huagangguanyu):As beautiful scene, this public park houses over a thousand Red Carp that have their tanks lined with colorful peonies, a Chinese national flower.

• Three Ponds Mirroring the Moon (Xiaoying): one of the islands of the West Lake is also called "San Tan Yin Yue" in reference to the three pagodas. Candles are lit at night during the feast of Mid-Autumn Festival to recreate the reflections of the moon on the Lake.

• Evening Bell Ringing at the Nanping Hill (Nanpingwanzhong): the Jinci temple bell was heard at dusk in the city of Hangzhou. Nowadays, on the eve of the Chinese new year, the local population gathers to hear the ringing of the Bell 108 times to welcome the New Year.

Today, the West Lake and its 10 scenes are so popular that it became a must-see for visitors to Hangzhou.

Islands of Western Lake: the best known of the Islands in the middle of the Lake are the Solitary Mountain (Gushan) island and the island of Xiaoying and Three Ponds Mirroring the Moon (San Tan Yin Yue).

The first island is connected to land by two bridges, one northeast and the other to the northwest. These are the Bai Causeway and Su Causeway. This island is often frequented. It contains the provincial Museum of Zhejiang, one of the first modern museums in China, as well as the tomb of Qiu Jin (popular heroine of the 20th century). It is the only island amidst its lake that was formed by a volcanic eruption during the Cretaceous period.

The second Island, Xiaoying, it is accessible by boat. Formed by raising sand from the bottom of the West Lake, this island is composed of four pools, ancient bridges and pavilions, which form a wonderful site.

Recreational Lake

West Lake is a must-see attraction of Hangzhou, or perhaps in the whole Zhejiang province. The lake itself is 15 km² and located in a much more grandiose natural park. The shores allow for a pleasant stroll with water surrounding. Other funny activities are designed for hikers in the nearby hills and enjoying boat rides, which both provide an opportunity to appreciate magnificent views of the West Lake, the surrounding mountains and the city. Life of many of the inhabitants of Hangzhou is concentrated around the Lake. This Lake has the distinction of being free of cost, whereas some sites and gardens require payment. On the other hand, it is also an ideal destination for cruising or riding. Surely, you will be captivated by the natural view along the way. Enjoy yourself.

 

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  • Altitude

    90M Altitude West Lake
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