The West Lake
A shining pearl inlaid on the vast land of China, reputed for beautiful scenery, a multitude of historical sites, brilliant cultural relics, and a profusion of native products. In ancient times, this place had been an shallow sea gulf before it evolved into a residual lake. The Baidi and Sudi causeways provide access to many parts of the lake. Most of the best known tourist sites lie around and within the lake. Marco Polo called Hangzhou the most enchanting city in all the world. This is most evident in the West Lake area. Hills embrace the lake on three sides; the city proper lies to the east. Ancient Chinese people praised the West Lake area as a land of intoxicating beauty. Su Shi, a poet from the Song Dynasty, likened the lake to Xizi, a Chinese Cleopatra, for its allure. Map of West Lake
Three Pools Mirroring the Moon
It is in front of a pavilion at Lesser Yingzhou Isle in the lake. A stone pagoda stands some two meters high. The hollow pagoda has five round openings in it. When candles are lit inside at night, the light seen through the openings looks like tiny moons, forming a delightful contrast with the bright moon reflected in the lake. Three Pools Mirroring the Moon is one of the ten major scenic attractions of West Lake.
Temple of Inspired Seclusion
Known as Linying Temple in Chinese, it is one of the most famous ancient Buddhist temples in China. It was first built by an Indian monk in 326AD during the Eastern Jin Dynasty (317 - 420AD), but has been rebuilt no less than sixteen times since then, and was last restored in the Qing Dynasty (1644 - 1911). The temple has the Front Hall, the magnificent Hall and the Hall of Herb Masters. China's largest wood-carving of sitting Buddha Sakyamuni sits in the Magnificent Hall. The current buildings are modern restorations of late Qing buildings.
Six Harmonies Pagoda
Located on the north bank of the Qiantang River, the Six Harmonies Pagoda was first built in the year of 970, with a purpose of keeping down the river's tide. Rebuilt in 1153, today's pagoda was nearly 60 meters high, a pavilion-style structure of brick and timber, with 8 facets and 7 stories. Ascending to the top of the pagoda and Looking down, one has a panoramic view of the beauty of the Qiantang River, feeling as if "standing above the highest level of the sky".
Tiger Running Dream Spring Park
It is one of the nicest parks in Hangzhou and filled with tea houses, pretty trees and pavilions. Legend has it that when the Great Master, Xing Kong visited Hangzhou he bemoaned the lack of fresh water available, and quickly made plans to leave. Suddenly a god appeared before him and told him not to worry about the water as two tigers had been dispatched to deliver some! The next day, two tigers appeared as promised and the spring water flowed. The tigers were running, hence the bizarre name! The Spring remains (although the tigers are long gone), and this is now one of the most famous springs in Hangzhou. The combination of the Dragon Well tea and the spring water here, is said to be uniquely refreshing.
Yellow Dragon Cabe
although called "cave", it is actually a yard. It is a well-known place of interest in Hangzhou City.The Yellow Dragon Cave was where sacrifices and libations were offered to the Yellow Dragon during the Southern Song Dynasty. Later it was converted first into a Buddhist temple, and then a Taoist temple. The main scenic spot in the yard are Pavilion of Fragrant Snow, Pavilion of Standing Crane, and a dragonhead molded on a cliff. The dragon's head is the hero of the yard. Spring water comes out of the dragonhead and flows into the pond below.
Temple of Yue Fei
Built more than 770 years ago, the temple is dedicated to Yue Fei, a Southern Song general and national hero who was put to death as a result of a political frame - up engineered by a treacherous court official. "Recovering the land of my motherland" from enemy hands was the fallen general's cherished goal. For centuries, Yue Fei has always been regarded as the incarnation of justice and loytitley. In 1961, the State Council declared it as one of the major national protected monuments in China Tourism.
It rests on the 200-metre-high Baoshu Hill north of West Lake, only about two kilometres from urban Hangzhou. It was first constructed in 968 (during the Song Dynasty) and later fell into disrepair. Reconstruction took place in 1933 on the basis of the remaining brick core. The pagoda towers 45.3 metres but has a very narrow base, so it looks like a slend and elegant fair lady overviewing the west Lake.
Carved Stone Statues on Feilai Peak (Peak Flown From Afar)
On the peak in front of Lingyin Temple are more than 470 stone sculptures dating from the Song to Yuan dynasties. These stone sculptures are rarely seen in China. The most exquisite are the statue of Monk Qi Ci (an incarnation of Maitreya) carved during the Song regime and that of Guanyin with three faces and eight arms, a Yuan Dynasty sculpture. Both hold an important position in the annals of China's sculptural art.
Lei Feng Pagoda
Leifeng Pagoda is a tower by the West Lake in Hangzhou which was originally constructed in the year AD 975. During the Yuan dynasty, Leifeng Pagoda was still well-maintained. During the Ming dynasty, Japanese pirates attacked Hangzhou. Suspecting it contained weapons, they burned its wooden elements, leaving only the brick skeleton, as can be seen from Ming paintings of the West Lake. Later, due to a superstition that bricks from the tower could repel illness or prevent miscarriage, many people stole bricks from the tower to grind into powder. On the afternoon of September 25, 1924, the tower finally collapsed. It has been a popular tourist attraction since being rebuilt in 2002.
Museum of Huqingyutang Chinese Pharmacy
It is located in Dajing Lane, at the foot of Wushan Hill in Hangzhou. Huqingyutang and Tongrentang in Beijing are the two most famous stores of traditional Chinese medicines in China, one in the south and the other in the north. The Chinese pharmacy has a two courtyards, the one in front is the store and the one in the rear, the workshop. It adopts the strong points of garden architecture in south China.
Hefang Old Street
It is a well-designed old pedestrian street, which is the epitome of old Hangzhou. The original street has been ruined and it recently takes on a completely new look after lager-scale of restoration. Shops selling art crafts, souvenirs, silk, teahouses, and restaurants line on both sides of the street. Many famous century-old shops can be found here. Hefang Street is otherwise known as the Snack Street for the diverse food it serves. The street clearly concentrates food from all around the country, while at some time highlighting the local flavors.
Located in Lin'an County in western Zhejiang Province, Tianmu Mountain covers a total area of 4,284 hectares. It is a famous mountain with a long history of Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism. The topography and unique Buddhist culture have made Tianmu Mountain a wonder of the world for its quite entire preservation of its wildlife and vegetation. Established in 1958 with the approval of the Central Government as felling ban area, Tianmu Mountain National Nature Reserve was promoted as a national reserve in 1986 and included by UNESCO in the International Man and Biosphere Reserve Network.
The Grand Canal
The Grand Canal is the world's oldest and longest man-made waterway, far surpassing the next two grand canals of the world: Suez and Panama Canal. The canal which is 1,795 kilometers (1,114 miles) long connects the present cities of Beijing in the north and Hangzhou in the south, which served as dynastic capitals in the past, and contains 24 locks and 60 bridges. The building of the canal began in 486 B.C. during the Wu Dynasty. It was extended during the Qi Dynasty, and later by Emperor Yangdi of Sui Dynasty during six years of furious construction from 605-610 AD. Since most of China's major rivers flow from west to east, the fact that the Grand Canal runs north and south provides it as an important connector between the Yangtze River valley and the Yellow River valley, and other minor river systems. It is being restored as a water-diversion conduit. Map of Grand Canal