Sunday, May 18, 2014

2013 Kunshan Trip - Excursion to West Lake, Hangzhou (西湖游记) Part 3

Location: Hangzhou (杭州), Zhejiang Province (浙江省), China

Full experience of my visit to West Lake can be accessed through the list below.

The lush green scenery was nothing compared to the view of the lake. We did not see the lake until we walked past an arch signifying one of the entrance, and since the body of water was hidden from view, the moment it appeared it packed a punch to the mind, overloading it with pleasant sensations.

Lines of boats awaiting customers. These vessels will take passengers out on a tour of the lake on water and at a faster speed than on foot. To me it was a killjoy if one could not enjoy the scene by wandering around, relying instead on the captain's choice of path. But then again, to each his own path.

The whole lakeside was transformed into a giant park, and it sure was a leisure to stroll through. Cool breeze wafted across the winding path we took, complemented by different shades of pink dotting the lush green scenery. Oh yes, it was sakura season, the period when cherry blossoms bloomed and the landscape was beautifully filled with the colour of spring. 

The arch before the lake. We saw this tall structure before we see the full lake scenery, making this a sign announcing your entrance into West Lake vicinity.

There was this unmanned ticket booth that was closed for business. It seemed that it was possible to get tickets for some show in West Lake where spectators could gawk in awe from the comforts of the two-tiered vessel gliding across West Lake.

Although it was not mirror smooth, West Lake was serene enough. As I come to learn later, West Lake was split into two large body of water, with one side tranquil in nature, the other side roaring for attention with its high waves, making it more like a sea than a lake.

Cheery blossom season! Shades of pinks dotted among the lush green scenery along the winding path through the lakeside park, creating a cheery atmosphere and a longing to stay further in this beautiful place.

The colours of West Lake - red, green and white. Kite flying anyone?

Environment:       A picturesque lakeside
Suitable for:          For a stroll around the lake and to admire one of China's beautiful lake that had inspired ages of poets and painters
Visit worthiness:   9.5/10 (take your time, immerse yourself in the scenery)
Historical value:        5.0/5.0 
Architectural value:  4.0/5.0
Photographic value:  5.0/5.0
Landmark value:       5.0/5.0

Entrance Fee:                 the lake itself and the general surrounding area is free, but certain sites and areas may require an entrance fee
Opening Hours:             essentially open at all hours
Best Moment to Visit:  Avoid weekends and Public Holidays, you would not want to experience the crowd and the traffic
Length of Visit:              6 - 8 hours or more

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