"Walking West Lake" Hangzhou Things to Do Tip by John195123

Hangzhou Things to Do: 306 reviews and 575 photos

Supposedly China has many lakes called "West Lake" but this is the real one. It's featured on the 1 Yuan note, for what that's worth. The biggest draw of the lake is its scenic beauty, which, as is often the case in China is more visible in one direction than another- if you look one way, a pagoda rises from the smoky hills. If you look the other, the standard Han Chinese concrete city awaits your gaze. Just keep looking south.

To get all the way around the lake could take a long, long time. Fortunately, throughout history, certain leaders had the foresight to build causeways that cross the lake. The Bai Causeway is the shorter of the two, in the northeast corner. It was built by Bai Juyi, one of Hangzhou's governors who rebuilt a dam after the first dam broke, basically returning the lake to its average depth of 5 or 6 feet. This causeway is accessed on one side via Gushan, a hill/island in the lake with museums and restaurants.

The longer causeway, about 2.6 km, is called the Su Causeway. It was built by another governor oh Hangzhou named Su Shi (or Su Dongpo) and is lined with willows, magnolias and other trees. From the Su Causeway, you can access Huagang Park, a beautiful and quiet place with trees, flowers and ponds. One end of the Su Causeway begins at the northwest end of the lake and goes more or less due south.

If you're staying on the west side of the lake, you can walk back from the south entrance to the Su Causeway. Just turn left at the major intersection.

There's no east-west causeway.

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  • Written Mar 6, 2008
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