Goodbye West Lake, China

We have been in West Lake for several days. This was our last day in West Lake, HangZhou. Woke up early in the morning and decided that we would start off the day with visiting the LeiFeng Pagoda to have a panoramic view of West Lake.

LeiFeng Pagoda is a five-story tall tower with eight sides, located on Sunset Hill south of West Lake in Hangzhou. Originally constructed in the year AD 975, it collapsed in 1924 but was rebuilt in 2002, since then it has been a popular tourist attraction.

As we walked towards the southern side of the lake, we passed by this pavilion located at the edge of the lake.

Strolling further leisurely along the banks, we note tourists are enjoying their boat rides.

We stumbled into a tea house and sipped tea before moving further.

On reaching of the LeiFeng Pagoda, we climbed up to the very top. It was hazy, we could just managed to see part of the lake against a misty sky.

There is a story to the pagoda. The story tells of a young scholar who falls in love with a beautiful woman, unaware that she is a thousand-year-old white snake that has taken on human
form. The story is vividly depicted in the form of a series of wood carving within the pagoda. One of wood carvings show the white snake as a beautiful flying lady.

We strolled further along the banks which are commonly lined with willows. The walk was just refreshing.

Getting somewhat tired after hours of walking, we took a seat on this inviting bench by the side of the lake.

Strolling further along, we reached this location which is a famous place for viewing the moon at night.

It rained heavily when we reached the entrance of our next stop – the Yue Fei Temple.

The Yue Fei Temple  is a temple built in honor of Yue Fei, a general of the Southern Song dynasty when the capital of China was in Hangzhou. The temple was first constructed in the during the Song Dynasty in 1221 to commemorate Yue Fei. The site includes Yue Fei’s Temple, Loyalty Temple and Yue Fei’s Mausoleum inside. The temple was reconstructed several times in later date. The tombs and the tomb sculptures in the temple all dates from the 12th century, and have been meticulously restored.

Inside the temple were many statues, the one below of Yue Fei depicted vividly his valance.

The architecture within the temple too was awesome. There were words praising his loyalty on the beams and columns.

By the time we got out of the temple, it was already dark.

When night fell, we stayed by the lake, watching the reflection of lights off the lake surface.

We knew we would be departing but we also knew someday we would be coming back.

66 thoughts on “Goodbye West Lake, China

  1. One of my goals this past year was to learn more about China! I find that visiting you blog has given me a glimpse into the vast beauty of this amazing country. Thank you!

  2. As always Michael, your photos are so serene and beautiful. That’s a great view to the lake, must have been an exhilarating climb. I can hardly believe the detail in the wood carving, a master craftsman to be sure. Do you know what kind of wood he used? The original Temple must have been well built to last almost 1,000 years…hopefully the reconstruction does as well and your future ancestors can also visit this beautiful place.

    • Hi Boomdeeadda, I have no idea of the type of wood used in the carving. However, the massive wall hanging woodcarving: Madam White Snake inside Leifeng Pagoda in Hangzhou is a masterpiece of Dongyang Woodcarving. What you see in my photo is a part of several large wood carvings I should have taken a panoraamic view of the carvings and stitch them together. Dongyang Woodcarving, used in depicting folklores and historical events, is mainly used to embellish the wood furniture. Slightly varnished, it shows the wood grain clearly so that one can appreciate the skillful, exquisite carving. Rgards, chael

    • Hi Tracy, I hope one day you would be able to visit China which is a vast country with many cultures, history, natural scenaries and development. Thank you for your kind comment! Michael

    • Hi Francine, I hope my readers are not bored by my several posts on West Lake. I think I must move on to other topics. Thanks again for the blessing. Regards, Michael

  3. Once again have you taken me on a magical tour … with beautiful views. Even in rain you bring us a beautiful existence fare away. My favorite photo is Yue Fei Temple – with all the soft colors, the dusk and the reflections in the rain wet surfaces.

    • Curious if you can remember which “Topic” in Reader you were following: “Nature?” Thanks for the reply – I’m always wondering how to draw more readers into my blog about elephants. Happy Trails!

    • Thanks for your reply, Michael. FYI, it seems that a lot of the people who found my blog came to it from different topics and by routes other than WordPress. I just started Pinterest and received a follow from that website. I love how small the world is getting! Thanks!

  4. I love your photography so much. I always feel as if I’m there, in the landscape. I like to take my time gazing at the many interesting details. Thank you for sharing these images.

    • Hi, The massive wall hanging woodcarving: Madam White Snake inside Leifeng Pagoda in Hangzhou is a masterpiece of Dongyang Woodcarving. What you see in my photo is a part of several large wood carvings. I should have taken a panoramic view of the carvings and stitch them together for sharing. Dongyang Woodcarving, used in depicting folklores and historical events, is mainly used to embellish the wood furniture. Slightly varnished, it shows the wood grain clearly so that one can appreciate the skillful, exquisite carving. Rgards, Michael

    • Hi Fernando, thanks so much for the nomination. I have decided not to pursue or accept any nomination / award during my retirement and for this reason, I have already turned down all similar awards. Knowing that my blog is read in many places of the world is already my biggest reward. With regret, I have to decline the nomination. Thank you once again for the nomination which is very much appreciated! Regards, Michael

  5. Yes indeed west lake is a great place and I always don’t really feel that I’m in China whenever I’m here.

    I will want to spend some time traveling the whole of China.

    • Good thing with West Lake is that you can walk around the whole lake to your own pace; it has an open view so you don’t really feel you are in China. . .it could just be any lovely lake. I also like XiXi vey much (if interested, see my other post). Worth to spend more time in China before places are getting too touristy and RMB too high!

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