Hangzhou, is the capital and largest city of Zhejiang Province. It grew to prominence as the southern terminus of the Grand Canal and has been one of the most renowned and prosperous cities in China for much of the last millennium, due in part to its beautiful natural scenery. The city’s West Lake is its best-known attraction.
It is a freshwater lake divided into five sections by three causeways: North Inner Lake, the Yuehu Lake, the West Inner Lake, the South Lake, and the West Outer Lake by the Bai Causeway, the Su Causeway, and the Yang Causeway and surrounded by mountains on three sides. There are numerous temples, pagodas, gardens, and artificial islands within the lake. Measuring 2 miles (3.2 kilometers) in length, 1.7 miles (2.8 kilometers) in width, and 7.5 feet (2.3 meters) in average depth, the lake has a total area of 2.5 square miles (6.5 square kilometers).
West Lake has influenced poets and painters throughout Chinese history for its natural beauty and historic relics, and it has also been among the most important sources of inspiration for Chinese garden designers. It was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2011, described as having “influenced garden design in the rest of China as well as Japan and Korea over the centuries” and reflecting “an idealized fusion between humans and nature”. Since ancient times, West Lake was associated with a large number of romantic poets, profound philosophers, national heroes and heroines. West Lake was also the retreat for many Chinese writers of the past.
Of all the legends, the most touching one is the love story between Bai Suzhen and Xu Xian. Bai Suzhen was a white snake spirit and Xu Xian was a mortal man. They fell in love with each other at first sight, and got married very soon. But the evil monk Fa Hai attempted to separate the couple by imprisoning Xu Xian. Bai Suzhen fought against Fa Hai and tried her best to rescue his husband. But she failed and was imprisoned under the Leifeng Pagoda by the lake. Years later the couple was rescued by Xiao Qing, the sister of Baisuzhen. From then on, Bai Suzhen and Xu Xian lived together happily. Because of the moving story, the lake became an ideal dating place for lovers.
How to get there?
The easiest way is to take the train from Shanghai. You can make a reservation on Ctrip then go to the train station with your passport to collect the ticket. Be aware that on weekends, there will be a lot of people so arrive at least one hour in advance.
Want more info? Do not hesitate to contact us!
Phone: 400-636-0171/ (86-21)-6247-6388
Address: 21F, 319 Changde Road (corner of West Beijing Road)
Closest metro: Line 2/7 Jing’an Temple, Exit 3/10,
A 5 min walk away
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