When you visit Hangzhou, you cannot miss West Lake. It’s a center attraction and is a heritage site declared by UNESCO World Heritage. The greenery around the lake is absolutely beautiful. It is so nice to have a relaxing walk around the area.
The West Lake displays different shades of beauty in different weather and season. So, you can visit it anytime of the year. There were many lotuses on the lakes and the dew was shinny under the sun on the leaves. Sometimes dragonflies would fly in the low air. What a beautiful picture it is! We took a lot of photos there as attracted by the view of the West Lake.
We spent a few hours here. Taking a boat cruise on the West Lake is the best way to view numerous cultural sites, Pagodas and Temples, also the artificial lakes with many willows, their draping foliage, all so utterly mesmerizing.
There was not a single piece of trash in the water, and the lakeside was unspoiled by commercial development. The lake and its surroundings exude a hazy feeling and that is what is special. The lake feels a world away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
The landscape around the lake is really beautiful and there are several boat options to enjoy the artificial islands inside and lots of beautiful gardens, monuments or museums around the lake.
From center island, we took another boat to the other side of the lake which has the Lei Feng Pagoda. There are countless pagodas and temples in Hangzhou, but the pagoda we highly recommend is the Lei Feng Pagoda.
This pagoda can be seen everywhere and it stands on a small hillside by the lake, rises to the sky and overlooks the area. The road to the top floor of the pagoda is short, only five floors and if you do not want to climb the stairs, you can choose between riding an escalator or taking steps to reach the pagoda on top of the hill.
The panoramic views from the higher levels are magnificent, with a few small boats slowly cruising in the peaceful and serene lake, and distant hills in the background, one can easily imagine the sceneries in traditional Chinese landscape paintings coming to life.
The original pagoda was built in 975 by a king who decided to celebrate the birth of his son. The building survived for centuries, but a local tradition eventually led to its collapse in 1924. The tradition was to take a number of bricks from the base of the building, as luck signs.
The pagoda was rebuilt in 2000 on the site of the original pagoda, so that the building is not only a religious building, but also preserves the remains of the ancient building.
On the ground floor of the building, you can see the remains of the original pagoda and on each floor you will be impressed by the reliefs and the paintings along the rounded walls.
The walk to the Lei Feng Pagoda and around West Lake is lovely. We enjoyed the grounds and the views are outstanding. The pagoda itself is an interesting story, the building style intriguing and the art work impressive. Certainly worth a visit
Best Times for Visiting West Lake
Spring — Best Season
Summer — Lotus Blossoms
Fall — Calm Lake and Clear Sky
Winter — “Melting Snow on Broken Bridge”
West Lake is a large open lake area which welcomes tourists for free. However, admission fees will be charged to visit some scenic spots around.
|Attractions||Opening Hours||Ticket Price|
|West Lake||All day long||Free of Charge|
|Lei Feng Pagoda||Mar. 16 – Apr.: 08:00 – 19:00
May – Oct.: 08:00 – 20:00
Nov. – Mar. 15: 08:00 – 17:30
Ticket selling stops half an hour before closing.
Free for children less than 1.2 meters.
|Three Pools Mirroring the Moon||8:00- 17:00||CNY 55 (including the boat ticket)|
Public Transport to West Lake
By Metro: Hangzhou Railway Station
By Metro : Hangzhou East Railway Station