I love all the cities and places that I’ve been to. But for spending a relaxing day with breathtaking scenery on travel, I would recommend Xihu (西湖), or West Lake of Hangzhou, China. If you are planning a trip to Shanghai, make sure to spend at least 2 days in Hangzhou city nearby. Hangzhou was the favourite getaway city for ancient Chinese emperors and is now a city full with history and ancient cultures. Once you reach Hangzhou, Xihu is right in the middle of the city.
I’ve been there once 3 years ago and had immediately fallen in love with it. West Lake is one of the most famous fresh water lake in China with an area of over 6km square. How would I spend a day at this breathtaking lake? Let’s tour around the traditional top 10 scenes of West Lake:
- Dawn on the Su Causeway (蘇堤春曉) – Welcoming the first light in the morning and walking across the lake with the beautiful Su Causeway, I was immediately freshened up by the morning breeze and the serenity of the environment;
- Curved Yard and Lotus Pool (曲院風荷) – At the end of the causeway, I stopped by the pool and view the beautiful lotus pond with booming pinky lotus flowers everywhere;
- Remnant Snow on the Broken Bridge (斷橋殘雪) – On Sunday, there are crowds coming from everywhere in the world to the West Lake. For local Chinese, many of them choose to relax and sit along the Broken Bridge and the pagoda at the end of it. After a long walk, taking a break at this historic bridge definitely my favorite.
- Two Peaks Piercing the Clouds (雙峰插雲)– In fact what you would see from the pagoda is the 2 mountains peaking up into sky and shrouded by clouds surrounding it just like they are piercing through the clouds. Marvelous!
- Orioles Singing in the Willows (柳浪聞鶯) – There are more to see along the lake side. After my lunch of 2 sticks of herb broiled Taofu (beans curb), while strolling around the lakeside, occasionally and if you are as lucky as me, you can hear some orioles singing! They are coming from willows that covering most parts of the lakeside of Xihu. At that moment, all your pressures from your daily work would surely be disappeared!
- Fish Viewing at the Flower Pond (花港觀魚) – Way to go! A fish and flower pond next to the willow would certainly make you smile on Sunday.
- Leifeng Pagoda in the Sunset (雷峰夕照) – What would I do in the evening at West Lake or Xihu? I went to the food heaven of XihuTianDi (西湖天地) of West Lake where I chose one of those many international cafe chain outlets and sat down for an evening coffee. From there, I could view the magnificient Leifeng Pagoda in the sunset!
- Moon over the Peaceful Lake (平湖秋月) and
- Three Ponds Mirroring the Moon (三潭印月) – You could even stay up late and head back to the lakeside for another plendid view of the peaceful lake with the shadow of the moon… 🙂
- Evening Bell Ringing at the Nanping Hill (南屏晚鐘) – Apart from the moon, every evening there is an evening bell ringing session at the Nnping Hill Buddhist temple which could clearly be heard from the West Lake. It marks the end of my Sunday soul!
If you wish to escape from the hustle and bustle of the metropolitan city, spending a Sunday at West Lake in Hangzhou would definitely be one of your unforgettable experience in your travel to China. It has been mine… 🙂
View all my photos of West Lake, Hangzhou, China in Flickr. – Travel Feeder