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 https://retireediary.wordpress.com/2012/09/12/watching-kois-in-west-lake-xihu-hangzhou-china/
Thank you for commenting from Australia!
So, so beautiful! . . . and so beautifully captured!!
Thank you Sarah!
TV Japan, which I subscribe to, showed this lake a while ago. I was very impressed by the beauty. Your photos are awesome, too.
I don’t think my photos will be up to their standard but nevertheless will give a first impression to readers outside China. Thank you!
Pingback: The Last Days of Autumn in West Lake, China | Home Far Away From Home
Wonderful post .Breathtaking nature.Regards.Jalal
Thank you Jalal for your kind comment!
Your photos are stunningly beautiful. Thank you for posting them, and explaining their context.
Thank you Frank for the kind comment!
So peaceful. I like the composition of the photo looking through the window. ~ Kat
Think the window screen is already a work of art. Thank you travelgardenat!
What a beautiful set of photos…. I love those reflections… magnificent…
Thank you bulldogstuff for your continued perusal and comment!
Breathtakingly Spectacular, as per usual! Thanks for sharing. My favorite is the two cranes through the screen.
You share the same taste with some of the readers. Thanks for your ever encouraging comment!
This is a nice photo collage. The water is so still and peaceful; like glass. I like the vibrant colours and unique forms in the buildings and walls and bridges. Great photos.
Hi Andy, I have tried to introduce some varities into the photos. Glad you like the photos! Michael
What beautiful pictures! Your pictures are magical, and I love the colors, especially all the purple in pictures 3, 4, 9, and 10. Pictures 3, 4 and 11 are really stunning.
I also love the photos you picked. Thanks for the kind comment!
Gorgeous photos. Westlake is so beautiful…
Thank you Lisa!
Made me nostalgic for China and wanting to revisit the country!
Thank you for your comment, budge4ward!
I like the circular gateway – that is not something you see often (where I live anyway!)
The water features are lovely too.
Thanks for liking the photos in the post Madoqua!
I’ve noticed a lot of purple shades in this series… interesting 🙂
The sky was haysy, sort of glommy with a bit of rain, this is reflected in the waters. Thank you for your comment Paula!
Very beautiful place.
Thank you Northern Narratives!
Another lovely trip and, as ever, beautiful photographs. Now I’m getting more technical as a budding photographer, I am interested to know why some of these photographs are so “blue”. Is it the light, is the water blue, do you use a special technique???
Hi Corrine, the sky was haysy , gloomy with a bit of rain , this was reflect in the waters. On some pictures, I have increased the saturation of some of the images (not changing the colors) to make the leaves a bit more green than appearing too dull, this has the effect of increasing the “blue”. Thanks very much for the comment! Michael
What a wonderful day. Walking is excercise almost everyone can manage, if only at their own pace. How beautiful to walk West Lake with these views. I do love that, in many of your destinations, they don’t clutter up the scenery with corporate ad’s and billboards. You can hardly drive anywhere’s in North America with out being bumbarded by marketing.
Hi Boomdeeadda, given the size of the lake, we took several days to walk all its four sides including digressions to boat trips visting the islands. You are right, there was not much advertising on the marinal strips of the lake. Bike trips are also possible. Thanks for the comment! Michael
That’s interesting, Michael. Beginner that I am, I tend to think if the sun’s not shining the photos won’t come out. It’s gloomy and grey here today so I would have left my camera at home. So much to learn!!
Hi Corrine, if there is not enough light you can increase your camera’s aperture (small f number) or increase the shutter speed or both so that more light can get into the camera. I am still a learner. Have just read a book which shows pictures taken with small aperture but long exposure ( several seconds or above) moments before sunrise or even after sunset to get fantastic pictures! Of course, in this case, you need a tripod. Regards, Michael
Stunning photography, as always! Very much enjoyed!
Hi, thanks very much for the continued support through your kind comments! Michael
I was on a boat ride in west lake but because I am on an organised tour didn’t get the luxury to walk around the lake. It’s beautiful.
We took time this trip to explore all four sides of the lake. Need to spend more time to discover the beauty of the place but the boat ride of the organized tour is the best hightlight they can offer. Regards, Michael
Wow, this is China! I could hear the music. => It reverbs with history beautifully reflected.
This place has a lot of hisory which I have not yet highlighted in the post. Glad that you can feel it and like it!
Oh, how I love Chinese gardens. I’ve only seen one or two, in America, but maybe someday I’ll get to see the real thing, in person. Until then, there are pictures – thanks you.
The ones in Hangzhou or ShouZhou are the best. Thanks for the comment! Regards, Michael
I especially like the arch bridge photograph — it captures exactly the muted, quite poignant nuances of the late-autumn landscape.
I like the arch bridge too. You described this very well!
Thanks for that. There are all sorts of symbols on the wheel of my camera and I have no idea what they mean. I’ve lost the instruction book so shall go on line and find out. Have a feeling one of them must be something to do with apertures.
Hope you will manage with that. With digital photos , you can take many with different settings to see how they come out. Regards, Michael
Beautiful photos. I’ve been to Hangzhou a couple of times and you capture it very well. Did you eat dongpourou?
Instead of the classical dongpourou, we have a variation which consists of thinner slices of pork and serve on a hot pot. The classical one is tasty but a bit fatty! Michael
If I ever return to China, Hangzhou and Suzhou are high on my list. I lived a few hours up the Yangtze, but I never got the chance to visit these two famous cities. Thanks for sharing.
These two cities really deserve visting; hope you will be able to make the trip later! Michael
i came to these two citiese twice but never been able to take nice pix like yours. thanks for sharing.
As usual, many China cities sky seem hazy. I thought the winter photos would come up quite uninteresting. I am glad that some photos did show the real character of West Lake and XiXi. Thanks for the kind comment! Michael
Lovely framed views!
Glad you like the photos / views. Regards, Michael
Beautiful photos. I would like to go there. Thank you for introducing me to this beautiful area of China.
Hi, thanks for liking my post. If you are ever in West Lake, you may also want to visit Xixi which is only 5km away. If interested, please also peruse my post on XiXi https://retireediary.wordpress.com/2012/09/19/xixi-hangzhou-in-the-winter/ Regards, Michael
Your photos are so beautiful. I especially like the third one, the blue pagoda and bridge.
I have a few more photos similar to this one; should have posted them as well!
Magnificent! I like the shade of purple in your photos. Thank you Michael for following my blog too!
Thank you for your continued poerusal; your posts are inspirational and I will continue to peruse! Michael
Your pictures are so beautiful. Thank you for visiting and liking my Weekly Photo Challenge Foreign post.
Thank you for your kind comment lamrcc!
So beautiful and peaceful!
Thanks for stopping by my Post today!
My pleasure and thanks for stopping by my post too!
fascinating pics, michael! china is really full of amazing places to see!
Hope one day you will visit China. Many thanks for the comment;have a great week 🙂
Beautiful ! Can u add a tumblr button plz ? thku
Hi, I am an IT idiot, I don’t know much about tumbir; nevertheless, this is done. Have a great week 🙂
Thanks a lot Michael , even i knew about Tumblr last year only , its like a microblogging platform, with pics , architecture , quotes and anything u like – posting or reblogging .
Many thanks for the explanation 🙂