Solitary Hill is another highlight for Hangzhou visitors. It is so named because it’s surrounded by water on all sides, standing solitarily in West Lake.
Brief of Solitary Hill
Solitary Hill, otherwise known as Solitary Island, is another highlight for Hangzhou visitors. It is so named because it’s surrounded by water on all sides, standing solitarily in West Lake. With Bai Causeway (白堤) on its east, Xiling Bridge (西冷桥) on its west, the Outer West Lake (外西湖) on its south, and the Inner West Lake (里西湖) on its north, Solitary Hill is the largest natural island in West Lake. On the boundary of Solitary Hill and Bai Causeway lies “Autumn Moon over the Calm Lake (平湖秋月)”, one of the Top Ten Scenes of West Lake.
Zhongshan Park (中山公园) in the middle of the island is the main attraction. A tree-shaded path leads from the park gate to a stone wall on which are engraved two huge Chinese characters in bright red: 孤山 (Solitary Hill). Flights of stone steps wind its way to serenity. Red-pillared pavilions dot the hill slope, their upturned roofs half hidden amidst luxuriant vegetation. A bird’s-eye view of the dreamy lake can be seen on the southern hill slope, where there are high and low rockeries and piled rocks, full of irregularities of ups and downs as well as twists and turns, arranged in picturesque disorder. Odd-shaped peaks, winding walls, flat terraces and mysterious caves as well as trees and flowers combine to create a world of fascination. No wonder emperors of the Southern Song Dynasty and the Qing Dynasty chose the spot for their imperial gardens, palaces or their temporary lodgings when they came to tour Hangzhou.