Hangzhou West Lake Scenic Tourist Attractions

West Lake, Hangzhou

West Lake, Hangzhou by Fang Guo. Sourced via Flickr under Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs License.

West Lake Scenic Area in Hangzhou (杭州市西湖风景名胜区) is a renowned tourist location around all of China. Not only today, but going back into history, the West Lake of Hangzhou as long been popular. It was here that Marco Polo lived during much of his time in China. Even 700 years ago, he described Hangzhou as one of the greatest cities of the world. The beauty of the West Lake has inspire many Chinese paintings and musical compositions. The Emperors of China tried to copy the Lake in the Summer Palace in Beijing. Today the lake draws tourists form all over the world. The importance of the lake can be seen in that the lake is featured on the back of the Chinese one yuan banknotes.

The lake is about 6.5 square km in area with a circumference of 15km. However, it is not deep. The average depth is only 0.8 metres. It is divided by four causeways (Gu Shan, Bai, Su and Yanggong Causeways), into several sections. These are: Outer West Lake (外西湖), West Inner Lake (西裡湖, or 後西湖, or 後湖), North Inner Lake (北裡湖 or 裡西湖), Little South Lake (小南湖 or 南湖) and Yue Lake (岳湖). Within the Outer West Lake, there are also three islands: Xiao Ying Zhou (小瀛洲), Hu Xing Ting (湖心亭) and Ruan Gong Dun (阮公墩).

Map showing location of Hangzhou West Lake Scenic Tourist Attractions

Above: Location of Hangzhou West Lake Scenic Tourist Attractions in Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China