West Lake is a famous fresh water lake located in the historic and scenic area of Hangzhou, the capital of Zhejiang province in eastern China. Described by Marco Polo as “the finest and most beautiful city in the world, we were keen to witness the picturesque lake within this finest city. The lake is divided by the causeways of Baidi in the north and Sudi in the west. By the side of the lake, there are numerous temples, pagodas, classical pavilions, landscaped gardens and within the lakes are artificial islands.
It was no longer the season for lotus; the flowers have all withered, leaving the stalks and some leaves. At the background were trees with leaves already turning brown.
With arched bridges stretching over the water, West Lake is the heart of leisure in Hangzhou. On this rainy day, we strolled over the famous arch bridge which crosses the lake and started walking all four sides of the idyllic lake.
We strolled by the lake side, walked over many stone trestles built over the water and passed by pavilion after pavilion.
When we were tired from the walk, we took a boat to one of the islands where we have a leisurely stroll around it looking at more pavilions.
Entering into an ancient building, we found it a joy to view through the screen windows of the building. Not only the sight through the window was interesting, we noted the screen itself including the wooden frame around it were artistically carved.
Inside one of the ancient buildings, we have a good look at the typical furniture of a Chinese study room.
HangZhou, where West Lake is situated, has been among the most important sources
of inspiration for Chinese garden designers, as evidenced by the impact it had on various Chinese classical gardens. We walked past the circular entrance which is so typical of entrances to Chinese gardens.
We found ourselves in the middle of a Chinese garden with”strange rocks” and water flowing as a water feature.
On our previous trips, we have not covered the less famous western edge of the lake which is known as Yangdi. Our walk on the western edge brought us to unknown beauty such as the stone arch bridge below.
Walking further along the western edge, we came across tranquil areas of the lake with perfect reflections in the serene waters.
After hours of walking, we finally reached the northern shore of the lake where many ancient but elegant and graceful buildings are located.
By this time, we were so hungry that we decided that we should try out the Hangzhou cuisine in this local restaurant.
This is the first time we have walked all four sides of the lake, however, we know that this will not be our last trip to West lake and HangZhou. In our mind, we know we will be coming back in another season, another time . . . . . . . . .
PS For related post “Watching Kois in West Lake (Xihu) Hanzhou, China”, please see http://retireediary.wordpress.com/2012/09/12/watching-kois-in-west-lake-xihu-hangzhou-china/