West Lake (Xi Hu)

Hangzhou, China

Hangzhou entices visitors, in great part, by the legendary gorgeousness of its West Lake, or Xi Hu as it locally called. This has even been recognized by UNESCO and has earned a spot amongst the World Natural Heritage Sites. The natural elegance of Xi Hu has been the source of inspiration for many landscapes around the world, including the Summer Palace’s Kunming Lake, that can be found in Beijing. It also boats being within the 10 most scenic sights in China.

Situated in the heart of Hangzhou city, transport facility is quite developed, and you’ll have a good choice of buses going that way. Subway line 1’s Longxiangqiao and Ding'an Road station will also put you near the park. The entry to the park is not charged, though some attractions and performances have a fee. The natural vista has no opening or closing hours. However, there is an RMB40 ticket for the battery car that has a route around West Lake. This service starts at 08:30 and ends at 17:00 in Sep-May; 21:00 in Jun-Aug. Travelers claim that the finest time to visit is Spring owing to the colossal variety of flora in their prime. Although all seasons have their own beauty to flaunt with the magnificent terrain.

Xi Hu has a lot of visual treats to offer guests. The 10 most highly rated natural settings in West Lake happen around the year. Sunrise in spring on the Su walkway is perhaps the most widely acclaimed. There are 6 bridge connections along the walkway while peach and willow plants make a boulevard for passersby. The Curved patch and pool of Lotus’s in summer with its alluring lotus scent. Nanping Hill’s ringing bell in the eve; hear it toll at dawn and dusk. Two cliffs breaking through the clouds on foggy days when peaks of the highland at the opposite end are all that is visible to the eye. Flower pond fish viewing, Moon Over the Peaceful Lake in Autumn, the Orioles chirping in the Willows, three ponds reflecting the moon, Leifeng Pagoda at dusk and Residual snow on the bridge in winter are other amazing sights that have aided in making Xi Hu the subject of literature and art works.

To make your Xi Hu excursion more rewarding, it is recommended to get a cycle and breeze around the wonderful scenery. Boating in the tranquil body of water will give you great peace of mind (, photo ops!) and relaxation.

There are a couple of performances which are scheduled as evening settles. A regular show is the Music Fountain, that starts at around 19:00 and lasts for an hour. This can be availed for free. The other one lasts for 50 minutes but it is only put on Friday, Saturday and public holidays. This consists of 5 parts and speaks of the legends regarding the lake. However, there is a charge, with tickets between RMB360 to RMB680 (VIP seats available as well). It is a treat for all the senses.

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