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Hangzhou West Lake Cultural Landscape

West Lake
The Scene of West Lake
Mentioning West Lake of Hangzhou, nearly all of Chinese people know it is a beautiful and elegant destination for traveling and leisure due to its uniqueness and enchantment formed over the past thousands of years. Therefore, travel professionals may always say it will not be the real China tour if the itinerary excludes West Lake Scenic Area of Hangzhou. In a word, Hangzhou West Lake to a most degree is the representative or visualized reflection of Chinese spirituality and interiority of Chinese culture.

Hangzhou West Lake located on the west side of Downtown Hangzhou, but it still belongs in the urban zone. Anciently, West Lake had diversity of names like Wulin Shui, Qiantang Hu and Xizi Hu. And being called West Lake started during the early period of Song Dynasty. Traditionally, it has a widespread fame for its picturesque natural landscape and multiple cultural and historic attractions. Many people consider the West Lake to be the eyes of Hangzhou, who is honorably titled Earthly Paradise on the basis of the beauty of West Lake.

West Lake Scenic Area centered on West Lake is comprised of Hubin Zone, Huxin Zone, Beishan Zong, Nanshan Zong and Qiantang Zone, all of which cover roughly 49 square kilometers. The beauty of West Lake lies in its floating gold-like wave in sunny day and dream-like surroundings in rainy day. No matter whether it is rainy, snowy, sunny, cloudy, or has sunglows at dawn and dark, the look of West Lake is always changing and transferring in beauty. Its diversity of beauties can be exactly shown as the spring flowers, autumn moon, summer lotus and winter snow, Most of the scenes can be seen from Su, Bai and Yang Causeways.

West Lake
A new couple is taking marriage
photo in West Lake Scenic Area
Historically, the highly comment on West Lake is:”Hangzhou West Lake is the most beautiful one among 36 west lakes sharing the same name on earth”. Hangzhou is a large-scale comprehensive museum exhibiting the beauty from nature, history, culture, custom, tradition and art of Hangzhou. Traditionally, the scholars and artists of different dynasties and times summarized the beauty of West Lake with many graceful names like Su Di Chun Xiao, Duan Qiao Can Xue, Ping Hu Qiu Yue, San Tan Ying Yue, and so on. Actually, today’s amount of scenic spots of West Lake exceeds 180. These scenic spots are not only the natural scenes but the cultural and historic sites with many touching historic stories and folk legends. There are more than 60 cultural and historic sites under the protection of different levels and over 20 museums and memorials partially opened to the public all the year around. These famous scenic spots later not only became the tangible cultural and leisure sites but also the classic literary imageries in Chinese classic literature. Moreover, many learners collected them to be a list, which is also quite well known such as Top Ten Classic Scenes of West Lake, Top Ten New Scenes of West Lake, Top 18 Scenes of West Lake in Qing Dynasty, Top 10 Scenes of Qiantang in Yuan Dynasty and Top Ten Latest Scenes of West Lake. These brief summaries of Hangzhou beauties largely show the history of West Lake in ancient times.

Hangzhou West Lake inscribed on World Cultural Heritage List in June, 2011 and becomes the 41st site of World Heritage in China.The 35th session of UNESCO's World Heritage Committee officially defines it as Hangzhou West Lake Cultural Landscape. It means that Hangzhou West Lake is formally accepted by the world. West Lake Scenic Area also belongs to the List of National Key Scenic Places of Interest in the first batch, and also one of national top ten civilized scenic zone as well as Five-A tourist destination. The whole west lake seems like a moving painting, and each part of it can be a poem, a painting, a charm and a dream.

West Lake
A Scene of West Lake
Since 2002, the whole West Lake Scenic Area was freely opened to the public, besides, the Hangzhou Municipal government also made a great decision of implementing the Protection Project of the West Lake. There are more than 150 scenic sites rebuilt, resurfaced and extended. And the whole west lake has a new and refreshing look. The lakeside parks and museums are all freely opened, the classic scene of One Lake, Two Pagodas, Three Isles and Three Causeways returned to the world again. And a new feature also forms, which generally shortened to be Hot East, Prosperous South, Tranquil West, Elegant North and Pretty Center. This is a great and rarely-seen contribution of government to the West Lake.

Nowadays, a series of themed festivals are also held in West Lake Scenic Area, and they are the other new highlights of West Lake. They approximately include: West Lake Cuckoo Festival lasted from April 20 to May 20; West Lake Lotus Festival from July to August; West Lake Sweet-Scented Osmanthus Festival from Late September to Early October; West Lake Soirees of Mid-Autumn Moon Appreciation from August 14 to August 16 in lunar calendar; and West Lake International Fireworks Festival, which is the most impressive festival annually of Hangzhou. Surely there are also many other festivals like temple fairs, local festivals available as well. We dare to say that each day of Hangzhou is the festival. Also, each day of West Lake is the enjoyment of comers and goers of Hangzhou. West Lake is the best destination for tour, welcome to Hangzhou for tour.

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