Hangzhou is renowned for its four distinct seasons and each is revered for its unique characteristics. For example: in spring waving willows dance to the breeze, in summer gorgeous lotus flowers radiate in the sunlight and in autumn a delightful odor of osmanthus pervades the air; but it is the remnant snow that covers the Broken Bridge in winter that makes Hangzhou this season’s coolest pick and the ideal place to visit many of its winter wonders, eight of which are listed below.
Yanggong Causeway, located at the west of West Lake, is one of the West Lake’s three causeways – the other two are Su Causeway and Bai Causeway. Constructed under the order of its designer, Yang Mengying, Yanggong Causeway was named after him.
Yang Mengying took the post of Hangzhou Zhizhou (the head of the Hangzhou local government) in the Ming Dynasty. At that time, the West Lake was stilted up so Yang implemented a dredge project to clear up 3,500 acres of paddy fields around the West Lake.
The silt dug from the lake was built into a causeway stretching from the foot of Renshou Mountain and Malin Mountain in the north to Chishan Dock in the south. Six bridges were also built across the causeway.
Guo’s Villa is a private garden with all the features of a Chinese Jiangnan classic garden. Without further expansion or reconstruction, Guo’s Villa was only renovated in 1991 and still manages to preserve its original pattern and style. According to the landscape architectural expert Professor Zhou, this is the only original looking garden to exist in Hangzhou.
Guo’s Villa was built in the period of Xianfeng in the Qing Dynasty (1850—1861). The original owner of the garden was Song Duanfu, a silk businessman. Afterwards, the garden belonged to the Guo’s from Fenyang and its name was changed to Fenyang Villa.
Hupao (Tigers' Paws) Spring is one of the New Ten Top Views of the West Lake and believed to be the third best spring in the world. According to legend, in the Tang Dynasty a Monk called Xingkong used to live here but planned to move due to the spring’s lack of water. One day in his dream he was visited by God who told him that two tigers would move a spring from Heng Mountain to this place.
The next day, as predicted, two white tigers appeared and began to dig on the rocks and the spring water began to spout from under the tigers’ paws. Today, visitors can enjoy the spring’s tranquility and peace.
Pagoda of Six Harmonies, a famous place of interest in Hangzhou, stands proud on the banks of the Qiantang River. Visitors can admire both the grand appearance of the pagoda and enjoy the spectacle of the Qianjiang River. Poets have praised the landscape of Pagoda of Six Harmonies and Qiantang River for its beautiful scenery.
Leifeng Pagoda is the landmark of West Lake. In the olden times, Leifeng Pagoda in the south and Baochu Pagoda in the north faced each other across the lake. Leifeng in Evening Glow is also one of the Top Ten Views of the West Lake. Watching the pagoda stand in the flamboyant glow of the city’s sunset is truly impressive.
Prince Bay Park is positioned in the southwestern part of the West Lake, opposite Viewing Fish at Flower Pond and in close proximity to Su Causeway and Yanggong Causeway.
Abundant in fauna and flora and with brooks and stone bridges aplenty, the park is often the chosen place to capture a wedding photo or two. Whenever you come you will see newlyweds, their beaming faces adding happiness and romance to an already glowing location.
Nanshan Road stretches from Jiefang Road to Yanggong Causeway, along the south bank of the West Lake. China Academy of Art, one of the most prominent art academies, is situated along this picturesque road, which is also the home of many trendy pubs. Enjoying a leisurely drink on the lakeside whilst sharing a variety of local dishes, one will understand why Hangzhou is often referred to as paradise on earth.
At its peak time, Hangzhou was home to hundreds of temples of different sizes, some of which may have vanished or have been forgotten. Nevertheless, the glorious history has blessed Hangzhou with a profound Buddhist culture which one can witness from its many prevailing customs such as burning incense in the eight temples.