Hangzhou 1

Part C – The Scenic Beauty of West Lake in Hangzhou


9.  Introduction

9.1  Hangzhou


There is a common saying among the Chinese that one would be lucky to “be born in Suzhou, live in Hangzhou, eat in Guangzhou and die in Luizhou”. This is because Suzhou is reputed to have the most beautiful people – especially women, so the line is sometimes given as "Marry in Suzhou..."; Hangzhou is known for its scenic beauty;  Guangzhou's "Cantonese" cuisine is famous worldwide and Luizhou was the city best known for its coffins, made from camphor wood and sandalwood, which are said to preserve the body long after death.


Hangzhou, capital of Zhejiang Province and 180 kilometers southwest of Shanghai, has been called a "paradise on earth," with its picturesque West Lake and its many other world-famous sites.


9.2  West Lake


This lake, lying to the west of Hangzhou, is one of the most beautiful lakes in China. The Lake with its islands covers approximately six square kilometers. The charming Solitary Hill Islets (Gushan) rises above the water in the north part of the lake, which is bordered by hills on three sides. The Su Causeway runs roughly north and south and the Bai Causeway east and west.


Dozens of historical sites are scattered about the scenic area around the lake. The wooded hills encircling the lake are studded with pavilions, towers, pagodas, and caves. Springs, streams, and pools are scattered among peaks, rocks, caves and gullies.

Hangzhou West Lake Districts and Roads

                                               Location of West Lake in Hangzhou



                                                                          Map of West Lake


9.3  Nanping Wan Zhong ( ) & Jin Ci Temple ( )

Nanping Wan Zhong and Jinci Temple are located at the foot of Nanping Hill on the southern side of West Lake. The Jinci Temple is the second prominent Buddhist temple around West Lake. The first is the Lingyin Temple (see 9.4) located on the northern part of the West Lake.


A pavilion inscribed with four big characters “Nan Ping Wan Zhong” is located on the right side of the temple’s gate.


On the eve of Lunar New Year, people would gather around the tower of the temple to strike the bell. When the 108th stroke is made, it is the time of the New Year.


Nan Ping Wan Zhong
9.4   Ling Yin Temple ( )      

Lingyin Temple's name is literally translated as “Temple of the Soul's Retreat”. It is one of the largest and wealthiest Buddhist's temples in China, and contains numerous pagodas and Buddhist grottos.

The monastery is the largest of several temples in the Wulin Mountains which also features a large number of grottos and religious rock carvings, the most famous of which is the Feilai Feng ( ); literally "the peak that flew hither").

9.5  Song Dynasty Town ( )

Located adjacent to the West Lake, the Song Dynasty Town is a recreation of a Song Town. The Song Dynasty ruled China from 1127 to 1279, moving their capital to Hangzhou in 1229. The Song Dynasty was a period of prosperity in China. The town is arranged in an original Song style, with streets lined with colorful shops, stores, and restaurants.




9.6  Six Harmonies Pagoda ( )

The Six Harmonies Pagoda is located on Yuelun Hill overlooking the Qiantang River, and south of West Lake  and is one of the true masterpieces of ancient Chinese architectures. Originally the pagoda was built during the Northern Song Dynasty (386-581). The pagoda was destroyed during a battle in the year 1121.

The current pagoda was constructed of wood and brick during the Southern Song Dynasty (420-589), and subsequently during the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing Dynasties (1644 -1911). It is octagonal in shape and some 59.89 meters in height. From outside, it has the appearance of being a thirteen-storey structure, though it only has seven interior storeys. There is a spiral staircase leading to the top floor and upon each of the seven ceilings are carved and painted figures including animals, flowers, birds and characters.

Upon ascending the pagoda, visitors will have a spectacular view of the bridge spanning across the Qiantang River. Nearby the Six Harmonies Pagoda, an exhibition center detailing ancient pagodas in China was set up  recently on Yuelun Hill. so visitors can visit the Six Harmonies Pagoda and learn of the various ancient pagodas architectural styles to be found within China.


                                                                     The Six Hormoies Pagoda  

                                              Misty niews from the top                                            

9.7  Tiger Running Spring ( )

Hupao Spring Park is located at the foot of Daci Mountain to the southwest of West Lake.

Upon entering the gate of the Hupao Spring Park, one will see tall green trees, clear pools, springs and brooks hidden among the green hills.

Along the path, one will find a group of stone statues, the Tiger Dreaming Statues with a monk reclining on the stone with his eyes closed.

Legend has it that the monk, Xing Kong, once lived here. However there was no water, so Xing Kong intended to leave. One night, he dreamed of a God who told him, 'Tomorrow, two tigers will move a spring here'. The next day, he really saw two tigers digging at the ground when suddenly a stream of spring water came flowing forth; the present Hupao Spring!


The spring water of the Hupao Spring is actually groundwater running out of a cranny. The water is drinkable and it tastes pure and sweet.

    Back to Home Pg                                       Pg 1                                                 go to Pg 2

nakedeyeview.com.my 2008