There are 36 West Lakes throughout China, but Hangzhou‘s West Lake is the inspiration for the mall. It is considered as A Paradise on Earth. It was included in the World Heritage List on June 24, 2011. the West Lake is a renowned historic and cultural resort with its integrated natural beauty, historic relics, artistic values and numerous affecting fairy tales.
What to see in the West Lake?
West Lake is divided into five parts with one mountain (Gu Hill), two causeways (Su Causeway and Bai Causeway), three islets (Ruangong Dun, Hunxin Pavilion and Xiao Yinzhou), five lakes which divided by the two causeways (Outer Lake, North Inner Lake, West Inner Lake, Yue Lake and South Lake) and the famous Ten Views of West Lake. West Lake is beautiful all year long. Not only the flowers bloom spring is very attractive,but also the blooming lotus in summer,the clear moonlight in autumn,the snow and subtle fragrance of red plum in snow.In different phases of history, Ten Views of West Lake changed partially or totally. The most popular is the oldest one firstly appeared in Southern Song Dynasty (1127-1279), and it is also the standard we follow to introduce them.
Dawn on the Su Causeway in Spring(Sudi Chunxiao,苏堤春晓):
Dawn on the Su Causeway in Spring ranks the first among ten classic scenes of the West Lake.Constructed by Su Dongpo(苏东坡, who was the most famous governor and historic and cultural figure of Hangzhou in Song Dynasty, and also the most talented and great character of history and culture in China) in Song Dynasty during his term of office inHangzhou, the Su Causeway, named after him, goes through the West Lake and abounds in graceful camphor trees as well as other plants. This evergreen long causeway is rather exuberant especially in spring with participated romantic peach blossoms.
Breeze-ruffled Lotuses at the Winding Garden(Quyuan Fenghe,曲院风荷):
The summer lotus is the most remarkable view of Yue Lake.There are over100 species of lotus planted and small bridges built connecting the whole scene spot, offering a close observation to the blooming lotus. The stone tablet inscribed with the name of this scene is one of the two remaining tablets given by the Emperor Kangxi (1654-1722) of Qing Dynasty (1636-1911).
Autumn Moon over the Calm Lake(Pinghu Qiuyue,平湖秋月):
Autumn Moon over the Calm Lake, is located on the west point of Bai Causeway and at the southern foot of the Solitary Hill and close to the exterior part of West Lake. Leaning on the fence of lakeside and climbing up to the tower to appreciate the beauty of Autumn Moon, you can see the vastness of West Lake and purify the uneasiness and anxiety of heart. It is considered the best site of poetic illusions, particularly with the moonlight in autumn. Here is also the place for a full view of the water scenery of West Lake.
Lingering Snow on the Broken Bridge(Duanqiao Canxue,断桥残雪):
Located in the end of the Bai Causeway, Duan Bridge win the reputation for the widely known legend of White Snake. During the snowing time, the bridge is partly hidden and partly visible, and this is the most classic point of the Broken Bridge. Over the past thousands of years, it was the best site to inspire the elites represented by poets, painters, musicians, Taoists and Buddhists to think about the greatness of nature and the harmony of human and nature.
Viewing Fish at Flowers Harbor(Huagang Guanyu,花港观鱼):
Viewing Fish at Flowers Harbor is one of ten top classic views of West Lake highlighted with flowers, harbor and fishes. Originally a private garden of an official in Southern Song Dynasty, this area is a typical southern style garden with flowers, pavilions, and waters that flow into the West Lake.
Evening Bell Ringing at the Nanping Hill(Nanping Wanzhong, 南屏晚钟):
Evening Bell Ringing at the Nanping Hill, is a mixture of cultural and natural views. Nanping Hill is located in the south bank of West Lake. The bells of this scene comes from Jingci Temple located at the foot of Nanping Hill. Usually, bells ring around 16:00 every afternoon.
Twin Peaks Piercing the Clouds(Shuangfeng Chayun, 双峰插云):
One branch of Tianmu Mountain Range extended eastwardly and was divided into two parts, and they are called respectively the South Peak and North Peak. They seem like two warriors standing on the north and south sides of West Lake.Two peaks are also the excellent site to have a panoramic view of West Lake. In ancient times, South and North Peaks were quite famous for its Buddhist landscape.
Evening Sunglow at Leifeng Pagoda(Leifeng Xizhao, 雷峰夕照):
Leifeng Pagoda was built in 977 during Northern Song Dynasty to pray for the prosperity for both the country and the people. However, It is known for the legend of White Snake, who is said to be locked up below the pagoda. The scene of the afterglow covering the pagoda makes a show of the Buddha light illuminating the entire world.
Three Pools Reflecting the Moon(Santan Yinyue, 三潭印月):
Regarded as the No.1 attraction of West Lake, Three Pools Mirroring the Moon is actually an isle in the center of West Lake scenic area. The whole islet is covered with flowers and trees, especially the willow, lotus, red maple and cotton roses. On the south side of the water, there are three small size stone pagodas standing on the water. The pagodas share a height of 2 meters above the water, and body part is empty and comprised of five round holes. It is marvelous that in the night of midautumn, the mirroring moon on the water surface and lights in the pagodas composing a rather extraordinary sight. It is the best time to view 32 moons on the water, and it is also the greatest occasion to inspire travelers on poem creation.
Listening to Orioles Singing in the Willows(Liulang Wenying柳浪闻莺):
Located in the northeast bank of West Lake, it is a large park with various species of plants and flowers. In spring, the most highlighted view of this site is the willows. The large scale of the willow forests and the great singing of the orioles are traditionally considered as the vitality of life and nature, and it is preferred by Chinese people in spring.