West Lake (Xihu) is located in the western downtown area of Hangzhou, Zhejiang province. It is one of China's first batch of national scenic spots, one of China's Top 10 scenic spots, and one of its major freshwater lakes for sightseeing.
It is a lovely mixture of islands, pavilions, villas, courtyards, boulevards, arched bridges, hills, parks, museums, shopping streets, boutique restaurants, monasteries, lagoons and tea plantations, with a scenic area on three sides and downtown Hangzhou on the other.
West Lake is a centerpiece of Hangzhou and is bound to satisfy visitor's interest for authentic Chinese culture.
Top 10 sites
According to the seasons, the top 10 sites are Spring Dawn at the Su Causeway, Breeze-ruffled Lotuses at Quyuan Garden, Autumn Moon over Calm Lake, and Lingering Snow on Broken Bridge which can be enjoyed all year round; Leifeng Pagoda in Evening Glow and Three Pools Mirror the Moon, which, as their names suggest, should be visited at sunset or on moonlit nights; and the places that are not subject to seasonal and weather whims, Orioles Singing in the Willows, Twin Peaks Piercing the Clouds, and Evening Bell Ringing on Nanping Hill.
They are all linked by tree-lined boulevards, causeways, or hiker-friendly trails so they can be covered on foot or by a free public bike. And, if the adventure proves a bit exhausting, a comfortable electric-cart or cruise boats can come for service.
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