West Lake was once a shallow bay connected to Qiantang River. Years of sediment build up caused by the Yangtze and Qiantang Rivers have turned it into a lagoon. Around 2600 years ago, it was an unwelcoming marsh of mud and sand. Gradually, over time, and aided by countess dredging efforts, it has evolved into a most beautiful fresh water lake.
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This oval-shaped lake spans 559 hectares. It borders Hubin Road to the west, Nanping Hill, Xixhao Hill,Jiuzhou Hill to the south, Yujin Hill, Jiqing Hill, Dingjia Hill and Santai Hill to the west as well as Qixia Ridge, Geling and Baoshi Hiill to the north. The entire lake is skillfully divided by the Su and Bai Causeways into five areas: the outer lake, Beili Lake, Xili Lake, Yuehu Lake and Xiaonan Lake. All of them are connected by a multitude of various bridges, which unify the causeways, islands, pagodas, monasteries and gardens. With its surreal beauty, West Lake is dreamy and timeless.
Situated in the western area of Hangzhou, West Lake not only plays a vital role in regulating climate, irrigating rice fields, and feeding its citizens, but also standing out as the finest example of man and nature coexisting in harmony. This beautiful natural reserve combines enticing natural splendor together with a rich cultural heritage, and it has penetrated into every aspect of Hangzhounese’s lives, from philosophy, art, expression, lifestyle, culture, and cuisine. In a word, the life-giving waters of West Lake has nourished and nurtured the hearts and souls of the people who call this city home.
The sun is shining and the autumn wind is just right. In such good weather, it is a good idea to travel back in time in the Hangzhou Confucius Temple. Here, you can cultivate your mind and soul. In the temple, tablets can be seen everywhere, positioning people instantly in the ancient seat of learning in the capital city of the Southern Song Dynasty. Here, you can stop and appreciate the ancient moss-covered stone tiles, which seems to narrate the thousands-of-year history of the Confucius Temple.