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West Lake Scenic Zone

West Lake Scenic Zone

West Lake Scenic Zone

The West Lake Scenic Zone is located at the urban area of Hangzhou City. The beautiful West Lake is surrounded by mountains with just one of its four sides bordering the city. The fame of the West Lake, as its name goes, is derived from its water. With a north-to-south length of 33 kilometers and a breadth of 2.8 kilometers, the lake lies like a beautiful mirror with its gentle glazing ripples. It covers 5.6 square kilometers, and the length rounding it is approximately 15 kilometers. Surrounded on three sides by hills and one side by the city, the lake has a total water surface of 24 square kilometers, with a depth averaging 1.5 meters and is divided into five parts by Su and Bai causeways. At the center of the lake are three isles ' Lesser Yingzhou, Mid-Lake Pavilion and Ruangong Isle. The isle of Lesser Yingzhou covers 105 mus of which 60 percent is water surface. It is literally "a lake within a lake, and an isle within an isle." In the front there are three stone pogodas with a height of 2 meters. Moonlight shining through holes in these pagodas is reflected on the water as three moons, giving the place the name of "Three Pools Reflecting the Moon." There are altogether 103 scenic spots distributed in 15 scenic areas like Solitary Hill. On the surrounding hills, 60,000 mu of trees are planted, some are famous trees as camphorwood and sweet-scented osmanthus.

 

The West Lake is dotted with green trees and colorful flowers of lotus, chrysanthemum, orchid, etc. There are as many as 38 places in Hangzhou which are under state, provincial and municipal protection respectively. There are also many other archaeological and cultural sites located in the periphery of the West Lake, for example, the well-known Grand Canal. Due to the ornamentation in the ancient dynasties, the natural scenery as the lakes, hills, caves, springs, flowers and fruits in the West Lake were well coordinated with the man-made temples, sculptures and inscriptions. Hangzhou, being the capital of ancient dynasties and a land of silk, has also produced many well-known historical figures and relics.

 

Many historical facts and wide-spreading poems provide witness for, at the same time, being witnessed by, the scenic spots in the West Lake. The long-term plan has been worked out for the preservation and development of the West Lake by the local government and responsible departments. State and local governments invest certain amount of fund annually for the implementation of the plan.

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