When people talk about HangZhou, people talk about West Lake. West Lake (or XiHu‘ in Chinese) is the key landmark here at western part of the city where most of the tourisrism activities happened around this 6.5km² area. It is surrounded by mountain and trees at three sides and is divided into 5 lake sections by Su causeways, Yanggong causway, and three little islands. West Lake is famous for its 10 picture perfect scenes that appeared or happened around it throughout the year which include: -
- Dawn at Su Causeway in Spring (蘇堤春曉)
- Curve Garden and Lotus Pool in Summer (曲院風荷)
- Autumn Moon over Peaceful Lake (平湖秋月)
- Winter Snow on Broken Bridge (斷橋殘雪)
- Leifeng Pagoda in the Sunset (雷峰夕照)
- Two Peaks Piercing the Clouds (雙峰插雲)
- Orioles Singing in the Willows (柳浪聞鶯)
- Fish Viewing at the Flower Pond (花港觀魚)
- Three Ponds Mirroring the Moon (三潭印月)
- Evening Bell Ringing at the Nanping Hill (南屏晚鐘)
HangZhou is a city of heaven while West Lake is the perfect place to relax by just simply walking along the 15km path surrounding the Lake, or sitting at one of the many chinese tea or coffee shops spotted nearby. We left Wan Song Academy for our first highlight of West Lake, Orioles singing in the willow (柳浪聞鶯).
Though we were not in the best Spring season to experience the best of willows and flowers, the scene was still looked great to me with the breezy weather, autumn willow, along the lake side walkway. Though the misty weather did affect the overall brightness and colour of my photos, it’s ‘bokeh’ feel did make something different to my photos. However, sometimes it was so misty that I need PS Element 6 to make it more contrasty!
Apart from hearing the brief introduction from our tour guide, Ah Mei, my time was mostly occupied behind the LCD screen of my Panasonic Lumix.
We kept walking and reached another scene of West Lake, Winter Snow on Broken Bridge (斷橋殘雪). No snow yet at the moment please!
Another famous attraction of West Lake is to take a tourist boat to cruise around West Lake admiring the Autumn Moon over Peaceful Lake (平湖秋月)…. sorry, no moon yet… Some distance away we could see Lei Feng pagoda at the other end of West Lake.
If you want to cover the whole 10 scenes, you would need at least 2 days which explained why we were going to stay in HangZhou for 2 full days.
Later in the evening, just before the sunset, we decided to take a quick rest relaxing ourselves at one of the cafe in XiHu Tain Di, the dedicated zone of cafes in West Lake. Mr. Jin Yong, the legendary Chinese author, owns cafes here as well! The photo above above shows the directory of restaurants and cafes in XiHu Tian Di (West Lake Heaven and Earth).
Just before the sky turned dark at dusk, we left the magnificient scenes of West Lake for our dinner and watch a stunning musical show of ‘The Night Of XiHu’. Featuring most of the histories happened in HangZhou, we would regret if we miss this. It reminded me of the magnificient opening and closing ceremony of Beijing Olympics 2008.
Opening show featured 4 local young vibrant ladies musician playing ancient guitar. This was the ‘best’ …..
Zhang Yi Mou‘s style of presentation…. acrobatic dance within a giant balloon. The lightings were so brilliant and attractive for photography.
A historical scene featuring hero of HangZhou, Yue Fei and his subbordinates, armies of Song Dynasty.
Acrobatic presentation featuring young boy at the centre and 2 not so young but still young boys throwing vase at their back….
Crazy Yoga presentation with three young ladies overlapping and spinning around a stabilised metal rod…
This was familiar: Liang ShanPo and Zhu YingTai starred in this musical presentation with the scene where Liang and Zhu met each other at Wan Song Academy…
The most exciting moment of the night: Thousand Handed Guan Ying Liang Liang…..
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The show ended at 9 something and it was our last activity of our first day travel in HangZhou. Oops! Guess what? It was not. My wife and I went out again after checking into our hotel for supper at one of the nearby restaurant. We had our favourite dumplings with a large bottle of local beer which was really cheap at RMB 5.00 only! For further updates of my travel to China, subscribe to my RSS Feeds, FREE, now! – Travel Feeder.
For me, visiting a city that running or organizing a major game such as the Olympic or World Cup, is always my last option, unless it is not my first visit to the city. The reason why is that I would not be able to see the ‘real’ side of that city after the ‘decoration’ done by the government to [...]