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The West Lake’s Glorious Four 2017-06-27
When we think of gardens we often refer to those flourishing in the corners of Suzhou which are widely viewed as fine examples of Chinese and Jiangnan-style Gardens. However in Hangzhou, a counterpart city of Suzhou, there are also a number of gardens blooming in the extraordinary and mountainous landscape of the area widely known as the west lake.



To appreciate the charms of Hangzhou’s glorious gardens then the best way to begin is with the ‘Four Gardens of West Lake’ – Liu’s Villa, Guo’s Villa, Wang’s Villa and Jiang’s Villa. All of these were, once upon a time, the residences of the rich and now showcase, to all, the best garden features of their time. 


Liu’s Villa

Liu’s villa, completed in 1905, is ranked in first position on the list of ‘Four Gardens of West Lake’ and is also recognized as the ‘No. 1 Garden of West Lake’. For its notable features of water and bamboo, the villa is also known as ‘Water and Bamboo Villa’.


Situated near water and backed by mountains Liu’s Villa boasts serenity in all aspects. With its luxurious architecture and elegant, classical ornaments it is no wonder the villa is the epitome of oriental gardens which are recognized for their crystal-clear colored waters running under bridges, pavilions with dove-tail eaves and zigzagging corridors. Furthermore, the villa offers unique views of the West Lake.


Today, Liu’s Villa is known as the ‘Xihu State Guesthouse’, a fully functioning hotel and has, in the past, welcomed key figures of society such as a former president of US - Richard Nixon and Chairman Mao.

Address: No.18, Yanggong Causeway, Xihu District (西湖区市杨公堤18号)


Guo’s Villa

Guo's Villa is situated by the Sleeping Dragon Bridge (卧龙桥) on Yanggong Causeway and is right next to the famous ‘Breeze-ruffled Lotus at Quyuan Garden (曲院风荷)’. Dating back nearly 140 years to the Qing Dynasty the villa covers an area of 9,800 square meters and is a special garden-like villa that features both elegance and tranquility.


Guo’s villa is to some extent similar to the Suzhou style gardens in that it features a residential section (northern section) and a garden section (southern section). Both sections, regardless of the season and weather, are always esthetically pleasing and every year the villa holds various flower exhibitions such as the lotus exhibition and Chinese rose exhibition.


Inside the villa is Jingsu Pavilion (景苏阁) where one can view the most poetic scenes – like those of the six bridges on Su Causeway, undulating mountains and an abundance of colorful flowers.

Ticket: RMB 10
Address: No. 15, Xishan Road, Xihu District (西湖区西山路15号)


Wang’s Villa (汪庄)

Just like Liu’s Villa, Wang’s villa has also been adapted into a hotel. Xizi Hotel, as it is known, is located on the southern banks of the West Lake under the Leifeng Pagoda at the foot of the Sunset Mountain.


Surrounded by hills on one side and the West Lake on the other three, the hotel offers exclusive scenery of the West Lake; and covering an area of approx. 195,000 square meters it also features pavilions, peculiar-shaped rockeries, lines of greenery and brightly-colored flowers. With such expansive scenic views this exquisite garden and its wondrous architecture truly highlight the villas natural beauty.

Address: No. 37, Nanshan Road, Xihu District (西湖区南山路37号)


Jiang’s Villa

Jiang’s Villa is the smallest among the four and is situated in the park of ‘Viewing Fish at Flower Pond’, south of the West Lake. The villa, a concrete structure, is a combination of Chinese and Western architectural styles and was once the residence of the renowned scholar Ma Yifu. Today Jiang’s villa is open to the public as the Ma Yifu Memorial Hall.

Ticket: Free
Address: Inside the park of ‘Viewing Fish at Flower Pond’ (西湖区花港观鱼景区内)

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No.188, Fuchun Road, Hangzhou, China
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FAX: 86-571-96123
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