West Lake Travel Guide
West Lake Scenic Area, Xihu District, Hangzhou (the center of Hangzhou)
The first batch of China's key national 5A-level scenic spot opened to the public;
One of Top 10 China Attractions;
The only China's world cultural heritage in the class of lakes.
Time for a Visit
West Lake is located in the south-west of Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province. With its beautiful lakes, mountains and many attractions, it has become the world-famous tourist destination and is known as the "paradise on earth" in the world. It was elected as the first batch of China's key national 5A-level scenic spot opened to the public and it is one of Top 10 China Attractions. With its accumulation of years of history, its unique southern charm and a large number of outstanding cultural landscape help itself to be selected into world cultural heritage list, and it is the only China's world cultural heritage in the class of lakes. The Santanyinyue landscape printed on the back of the paper currency for CNY 1 yuan embodies a special status of the West Lake among numerous China's scenic spots.
The West Lake is a like a shining pearl inlaid on the vast land of China, reputed for beautiful scenery, a multitude of historical sites, brilliant cultural relics, and a profusion of native products. Legend has it that the West Lake was a heavenly jewel fallen to earth. Pragmatists insist that it is a mere lagoon on Hangzhou's western fringe. In any case, West Lake has inspired painters for centuries.
Historical Evaluation of the West Lake
An old Chinese saying goes, 'There is heaven above, Suzhou and Hangzhou below'. Centuries later, Marco Polo called Hangzhou the most enchanting city in the entire world. This is most evident in the West Lake area, the effective, if not geographic, center of Hangzhou.
Hills embrace the lake on three sides; the city proper lies to the east. Ancient Chinese people praised the West Lake area as a land of intoxicating beauty. Su Shi, a poet from the Sung Dynasty (960-1279 AD), likened the lake to Xizi, a Chinese Cleopatra, for its allure.
In ancient times, this place had been a shallow sea gulf before it evolved into a residual lake. The Baidi and Sudi causeways provide access to many parts of the lake. Most of the best known tourist sites lie around and within the lake. With a circumference of 15km, the lake area itself is easy for the visitor to negotiate.
Ten Views of the West Lake
Each view in West Lake has its own feature, when combining together, they also can be on behalf of the essence of the beauty of ancient West Lake. Ten Views of the West Lake were formed in the Southern Song Dynasty, and basically are distributed around the West Lake, some are located on the lake, they are:
Dawn on the Su Causeway in Spring; Breeze-ruffled Lotus at Quyuan Garden
Moon over the Peaceful Lake in Autumn; Melting Snow at Broken Bridge
Orioles singing in the Willows; Fish Viewing at the Flower Pond
Leifeng Pagoda in the Sunset; Two Peaks Piercing the Clouds
Evening bell at Nanping Hill; Three pools mirroring the moon.
►Recommended China Tour to Wuzhen: 4 Days Best Hangzhou Tour
(Attractions: West Lake, Lingyin Temple, Six Harmonies Pagoda, Hu Qingyu Traditional Pharmacy, China Tea Museum, Wuzhen Water Town)
More Hangzhou Attractions
Recommended Hangzhou Tours
- 3 Days Hangzhou City Tour
(West Lake, Lingyin Temple, Six Harmonies Pagoda, Hu Qingyu Traditional Pharmacy, China Tea Museum) ( Price from: US$186)
- 4 Days Best Hangzhou Tour
(West Lake, Lingyin Temple, Six Harmonies Pagoda, Hu Qingyu Traditional Pharmacy, China Tea Museum, Wuzhen Water Town) ( Price from: US$314)
- 5 Days Xiamen City and Tulou Tour
(Gulangyu Island, South Putuo Temple, Xiamen University, Hulishan Fort, Nanjing Tulou, Eryi Tulou) ( Price from: US$423)
- 5 Days Shanghai and Hangzhou Tour
(Jade Buddha Temple, the Bund, Yuyuan Garden, Nanjing Road, West Lake, Linyin Temple, Six Harmonious Pagoda, Qinghefang Street, Meijiawu Tea Village) ( Price from: US$433)
- 6 Days Tour to the East Golden Triangle
(Jade Buddha Temple, the Bund, Yuyuan Garden, Shanghai Oriental Pearl TV Tower, Liyuan Garden, Taihu Lake, Tortoise Head Garden, Humble Administrator's Garden, West Lake, Lingyin Temple) ( Price from: US$643)
- 7 Days Shanghai, Suzhou and Hangzhou Tour
(Jade Buddha Temple, the Bund, Yuyuan Garden, World Financial Center, Nanjing Road, Humble Administrator Garden, Tongli water town, West Lake, Six Harmonious Pagoda, Lingyin Temple) ( Price from: US$645)
- 9 Days China Elite Tour to Hangzhou
(Beijing-Xian-Hangzhou-Shanghai) ( Price from: US$1168)
- 11 Days China Vacation Tour to the Water Towns
(Beijing-Hangzhou-Wuzhen-Suzhou-Tongli-Shanghai) ( Price from: US$1093)
- 12 Days China Gourmet Experience Tour
(Beijing-Chengdu-Guangzhou-Hangzhou-Shanghai) ( Price from: US$1979)
- 12 Days from Mt. Huangshan to Water Towns
(Shanghai-Mt. Huangshan-Hangzhou-Wuzhen-Suzhou-Tongli-Shanghai) ( Price from: US$1513)